Russia-Ukraine Conflict: How It Affects the Global Remote Work Economy

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine could mean a major hit on the remote work economy. Read on to learn how to keep your business going during this time.

Over the past few weeks, Russia’s attack on Ukraine has been a mainstay in the daily news, causing concerns for everyone everywhere.

As Ukrainians pack up and relocate to safer areas in light of the crisis, major industries such as IT have naturally taken a hit. Ukraine is home to many outsourced and offshore employees working for foreign countries remotely, bringing up an issue in the current state of the global remote work economy.

Different industries worldwide have to understand better how this can affect the global remote workforce pool. Through this, your company can make better decisions on how to respond to the current crisis and help alleviate some of the challenges experienced by remote workers at this time. 

An Explainer on Outsourcing in Ukraine and Offshoring Economy

Outsourcing and offshoring work is a large part of the Ukrainian economy because of the many benefits that other countries can gain from it. Apart from that, Ukraine is known to have one of the most affordable rates with top-quality services in the surrounding areas. Here are a few facts and statistics to give you a better idea of Ukraine’s reputation in the outsourcing market.

  • The country is known as one of the biggest destinations for outsourced workers in Europe. Before the conflict, around 60% of the country’s talent was directed toward IT jobs. But because of the mandatory military service that had to be rendered, many companies experienced high levels of job abandonment. 
  • Around 20% of the world’s leading companies in software development for mobile platforms acknowledge the IT talent in Ukraine. Many offices have been established in the country as a main base of operations. 
  • On the Global StartUP Ecosystem Index, the country of Ukraine is ranked number 34 among other countries in the world in terms of how well a country’s start-up company performs. The quantity and quality of start-ups and how they prevail in the market are considered. 
  • The United States makes up 81% of Ukraine’s service consumers. This includes companies that are both start-ups and tech giants in the growing market, such as ISCO, TravelPort, Fluke Corporation, and many more. 

How Companies Should Respond to This Crisis

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia can be alarming for companies that manage a global clientele. And with a mandatory military service policy in place, a skilled workforce is now at higher levels of demand. But, here are a few things that you can do in response to the crisis that can help out the global remote work economy.

  • Prioritize employee well-being

Knowing the condition of the employees stuck in the conflict is still of the utmost priority. Employers should exhibit maximum tolerance and understanding during any unrest. You can also offer support in other ways, like through emergency funding.

Your company should also consider implementing emergency assistance programs to aid displaced workers. This can come in the form of providing healthcare and psychological counseling. 

  • Maintain communications channels

Since the current situation can be full of uncertainties, some workers may experience sudden power outages or internet problems at any given time. If this happens, other means of communication should be available so that both parties can instantly notify one another of the situation. 

  • Facilitate employee relocation if possible

While some workers may choose to stay in their country, others prefer to relocate to a safer location until the events have passed. Companies can help facilitate these needs by looking into providing relocation assistance. You can also help with special working permits, emergency immigration, and visa application. 

  • Reassign workloads and responsibilities

Remove any pressure from workers to deliver during risky situations that limit their ability to work efficiently and reassign those tasks, especially in case of mandatory military service, power and internet outages, or any event they have no control over.

  • Consider giving financial aid to workers in distress

Giving your remote workers peace of mind by providing financial aid is one of the best and most direct ways you can help at this time. This aid can come in the form of special dole-outs, paid time offs for the duration of the conflict, or relocation and lodging costs. 

  • Donate to relevant humanitarian charities

Another approach is by discreetly donating to local and international charities like the Red Cross that distribute necessities to help alleviate the plight of distressed people in the locality, some of whom are your workers. 

Overcoming Challenges Through Solidarity and Change

The impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict has placed European workers in unfamiliar territory. The global economy also faces risks of decline since Ukrainians were forced to relocate to other areas and abandon their jobs suddenly. Companies must be understanding of workers who are affected by these attacks and find ways to support them remotely. 

Lawrence Barrett