The human impact of remote work across borders and cultures

Opening doors to greater opportunity.

In late 2022, we conducted a survey of team members based in emerging markets who had been hired into their roles through the Oyster platform. 

The purpose of this survey was to better understand how being hired through Oyster had impacted their lives, careers, and ability to access new benefits and resources. 

The team members we spoke to were based in countries like India, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Kenya, Thailand, and Ukraine. They also represent a variety of sectors, from finance and software development to marketing, sales, and operations. This research was conducted in partnership with 60_decibels and our friends at Salesforce Ventures. 

What we discovered was that being hired through Oyster did improve people’s ability to support their families, access benefits, and tap into better-paying global employment opportunities from their home countries. 

This has been, and still remains, our number one focus — to break down the barriers of global employment, curb the impact of brain drain on emerging economies, and ensure that companies everywhere can engage with talent anywhere.

A note from Oyster co-founder Jack Mardack 

I’m excited that we are able to surface these insights for the very first time about the impact of remote career opportunities in the lives of knowledge workers in emerging markets.

It was the basis of our thesis that providing access to global employment opportunities would give rise to impactful benefits for many based in emerging economies. Though we already had strong evidence of our impact in the form of our aggregated impact metrics (which we published in our 2022 Impact Report), we had not yet gained access to qualitative evidence to prove this hypothesis until now.

For employers, the reasons to look for talent in emerging markets are compelling. Broader talent horizons equals greater access to employees that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect with. It is also an opportunity to become agents of positive social impact at a time when employers are looking for ways to expand their ESG footprint.

We’re excited to share this further evidence of the impact that remote job opportunities can have on individuals, families, and communities across the world.

Opening doors to greater opportunity 

As technology has improved, so has our ability to collaborate and communicate across geographical barriers. This means that talent from emerging markets no longer need to be located in specific tech hubs to work with international companies hiring for great roles.  

Oyster removes the roadblocks that have traditionally made it difficult to compliantly hire and pay global talent. Now, with fewer barriers than ever before, onboarding that Operations Lead in Nairobi or that Sales Director in Manila is straightforward and may only take hours or days instead of weeks or months. 

When we asked team members located in these markets how engaging with the Oyster platform had impacted their career prospects, 64% of respondents told us that Oyster helped them secure their dream job. Additionally, 3 in 5 of these team members surveyed believe they have increased access to global companies because of Oyster. 

Our belief is that everyone should be able to work for companies and in roles that align with their skills, career aspirations, and values. By making it easier for companies to engage talent across the world, we hope that these team members feel a sense of purpose and belonging no matter their location or country of origin. 

Better pay, better benefits 

In 2022, we forecasted (and exceeded) our goal to send $50M to emerging markets. We laid out this goal in our 2022 Impact Report and this metric remains our north star and the most explicit measure of how Oyster is realizing its social mission. 

Of course, increasing access to global employment opportunities has a financial impact on the team members themselves.

In surveying team members who had been hired through the Oyster platform, we hoped to understand whether these workers considered themselves more financially stable and whether they were able to access new benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and more.

According to these new insights, 64% of the people engaged with the Oyster platform reported an increased ability to support their families. 3 out of 4 respondents have seen an increase in their income, and more than half mention an increase in their ability to manage their finances because of Oyster. 

While factors such as location, level of experience, and industry can play a role, if the salaries in a team member’s country or region are relatively low, access to global pay and benefits standards can have an enormous impact.

“Oyster helped improve my ability to care for my family,” explained one team member we surveyed, “and opened up opportunities for health benefits.” 

These are life-changing improvements that impact not only workers but their families as well. 

For example, better pay and benefits for one Oyster team member can mean access to better education for their children, better care for an elderly relative, or even leftover money for the employee to reinvest in themselves through certifications and learning development opportunities. 

In circumstances where higher pay and generous benefits are harder to attain, global employment has the incredible potential to uplift the lives and livelihoods of workers around the world.

Finding freedom through Oyster 

The ability to live and work in a place of one’s choosing is a privilege that many take for granted. Oftentimes, where an employee wants to live and where they need to work are at odds because of structural or financial limitations. 

As a part of our impact survey, we asked whether people engaging with the Oyster platform were happy in their current roles, whether their quality of life had improved, and whether they were able to live where they wanted to live as a result of being employed through Oyster.

Here’s what they told us: 

  • 68% said their ability to live where they would like had increased because of Oyster
  • 70% said they were happy with their current job
  • 74% of the women we surveyed said their quality of life had improved since engaging with the Oyster platform
  • 55% of women said they were able to access new benefits after engaging with the Oyster platform 

These figures paint a clear picture. When global employees engage with the Oyster platform, they have greater freedom to live where they want, pursue their dream roles, and care for themselves and their families in ways that materially impact and improve their quality of life. 

Global employment that works for everyone

We know that global employment is a powerful opportunity for employers who want to build diverse teams, break into new markets, and scale strategically across their operations. 

Today, around 28% of team members engaged with the Oyster platform are from emerging markets. And we hope that number continues to grow. 

Through Oyster, these team members have told us that they have access to more career opportunities, better pay, more benefits, and the ability to live and work where they choose. 

These insights prove that global employment opportunities can unlock profound benefits for both companies and talent located in countries across the world.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expenses.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable and compliant payroll, plus great local benefits and perks.

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