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Taking a Look at Modern Mobility Metrics

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Taking a Look at Modern Mobility Metrics

If your perspective on mobility and taxation predates your face mask, it’s time to look at what is happening today on this hot topic.

Even before 2020, companies were increasingly focused on employee mobility and the tax treatment of equity compensation. And then 2020 vaulted this hot topic into the red-hot category. While business travel and relocation nearly ground to a halt, the overnight pivot to remote work resulted in a significant portion of employee populations suddenly able to do their job in a tax jurisdiction different from where they were hired and a host of other pandemic-produced mobility complexities.

To help companies make better decisions about their mobile employee population, the NASPP and Fidelity worked together to help answer the multitude of questions on this pressing topic in the first installment of the Equity Compensation Outlook survey series. What did we learn?

You aren’t alone

If you are feeling overwhelmed by a pandemic-induced increase in mobility issues, you can rest assured that you aren’t the only one.

  • 91% of companies are more or much more supportive of remote work as a result of the pandemic, and companies with more than 5,000 stock plan participants are more likely to be more supportive than smaller companies.
  • 61% of companies saw an increase in their mobile population.
  • 46% of companies had employees voluntarily relocate as a result of the pandemic.

The vaccine isn’t effective for mobility

  • 15% of companies expect to return to pre-pandemic policies.*
  • 33% of companies expect to have a policy that will allow employees to voluntarily relocate.

Other fun facts on today’s mobility situation

  • The Honor System is the most common approach, with 54% of companies asking employees to update their personnel record and 23% of companies surveying employees; 40% of companies didn’t implement any additional procedures to track relocations due to the pandemic. Only 3% tracked VPN or network login locations.
  • You looking at me? If companies are looking for a home for mobility data, they probably aren’t looking to the stock plan department, with a minority reporting that stock plan houses their mobility data. A whopping 82% report that their payroll, HR, or mobility department is the home for their mobility data. 
  • Downsizing? If employees plan to downsize their expenses by moving to a less expensive area, they may need to plan to downsize their income: 17% of companies reduce salary and equity for employees moving to a less expensive location, and that jumps to 38% for technology companies.   

These findings reinforce what many companies have been feeling—the pressure is on to find mobility solutions that work for the future of your workforce. (If your company hasn’t started to think through a policy about remote work going forward, now might be the time!) These findings are just the tip of the iceberg. Mark your calendar for our April 21 webcast to learn more about today’s mobility metrics. 

As head of Fidelity Stock Plan Services' Industry Relationships and Thought Leadership, Emily drives connections with the stock plan industry and focuses on developing data-driven insights on equity compensation plan design, usage, and effectiveness based on quantitative and qualitative research to help plan sponsors make more informed decisions about their equity plans and processes.

With over 20 years in the industry, Emily is recognized for deep knowledge of and enthusiasm for equity compensation. She is a frequent speaker and author on topics to help educate employers, advisors, and the media. Emily is a board member for the Certified Equity Professional Institute, member of the NASPP Executive Advisory Committee, and a recipient of the NASPP Individual Achievement Award. She is a Certified Equity Professional and holds Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.

 


Results based on 2021 research by the NASPP on employee mobility.
*Excluding companies that don’t know what they expect their post-pandemic policy to be.
The NASPP and Fidelity Investments are not affiliated.
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