Sphere is developing the future of community-driven group chat, calming the chaos of chat with the organisation and closeness of community. Sphere is currently in Beta, with plans to release late 2021.
The employment challenge
Johannes is an existing employee at Sphere, working from London prior to the pandemic, who wanted to work remotely from Germany on a permanent basis. This was the first time that Sphere was employing remotely.
The key challenges of the situation were:
- Johannes' hiring status - whether it was possible to hire him as a contractor.
- Localised contracts - the possibility of having a local lawyer draft a locally compliant employment contract.
- Benefits - there were existing benefits that Sphere offer their employees that they wanted to maintain for Johannes.
Exploring their options
Before deciding to use Omnipresent, Kyrie and Aušrinė explored a number of options but found them prohibitive from a time, effort and cost perspective:
- Exploring other legal avenues was time consuming - they were experiencing up to two week turnaround times to their queries for setting up the German contracting contracts.
- Contracting in Germany is highly complex - there are many hoops that you're required to jump through as both an employer and as a contractor, in order for the set-up to be compliant under German law.
- Competing employer of record solutions proved more costly
The Omnipresent solution
For Kyrie and the team, they decided to use Omnipresent because of the "cost and ease of the process"
- A highly responsive services team - the speed with which the team responded was in stark contrast to their experience with other legal avenues. They were delighted to get email responses to queries in as little as 5 minutes.
- Proactive and efficient process for a one-day turnaround - calls were proactively set up by the services team to ensure that Kyrie and Johannes fully understood the process and had all the documentation that they needed to move quickly. This allowed them to complete the process in a day.
- A trusted part of their team - Kyrie felt at ease and looked after by her dedicated point of contact. He quickly built up a high level of trust with Kyrie which allowed him to liaise with Johannes directly to complete the process on her behalf.
- Contract amendments to align with benefits - these changes were to ensure that they could continue to offer benefits that were consistent with what they were providing their UK employees.
- Simple automated payroll management - everything from the first payroll was completed automatically and they felt looked after.
Evolving their approach to remote hiring
Since working with Omnipresent, Sphere are reviewing their approach to remote work.
While they hope to be back in the office soon, they are considering a hybrid model of work to provide their employees with the choice, taking into account different roles and financial implications.
They recently considered hiring their first fully remote employee based in Romania. They were delighted to know that the Omnipresent team were on hand to discuss the possibility quickly so that they could make an informed decision and could move quickly should the need arise.
For founders of companies like Sphere, having a team that's bought into their long-term vision is important for their business growth. Working with Omnipresent, they can now confidently hire their ideal candidate as full-time employees, wherever they're based.