The U.S. is not the only country where remote work caught fire. South of the border, Mexico also experienced a massive shift in the way that people work and the work models that they prefer. In June 2023, the Mexican government passed new regulations that will affect companies and workers that engage in a remote work model.
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Remote Work in Mexico
As we’ve discussed in previous posts about remote work in Mexico, a lot of workers around the country seem pretty keen about this arrangement. Our Mexico Tech Salaries 2023 survey asked working tech professionals about their preferred work modalities. It was not surprising that a good majority of them preferred remote work and hybrid work arrangements.
To be more precise, 42.1% of working tech professionals in Mexico prefer remote work. About 26.6% prefer hybrid models and 24.7% prefer flexible work. That leaves only 6.6% of tech workers who prefer a fully on-site in-office model.
This pattern rings true throughout Latin America, as remote work increased considerably, offering people an opportunity to try out the work-from-home model. In the LATAM region only 14% of people worked fully remotely before the pandemic. That number rose to 36% after covid.
So as these work models spread and spill over to more and more industries, some countries are trying to figure out steps to protect workers and keep the playing field fair for those who choose these new arrangements.
And just like the Mexican government has invested heavily in tech education, training, and infrastructure, they have now decided it was time to define some boundaries when it came to remote work. On June 12, 2023, reports emerged that Mexico’s Labor Ministry (STPS) published new regulations revolving around remote work. These regulations go into effect in six months. What do they include?
- The new rules apply to those workers who spend more than 40% of their workday at home and require information technology to do their jobs.
- Employers will now be required to pay for necessary supplies including: internet service, ergonomic chairs, electricity, and printers.
- The regulations establish a “right to disconnect” rule. In other words, there must be agreed-upon working hours. This rule sets boundaries so that employers cannot force workers to connect beyond their business hours or work hours.
- There is also an educational aspect to these regulations: employers will have to inform workers of the risks (physical, social, and otherwise) of remote work to ensure employees have all the information they need to have informed decisions.
- The new rules also establish a policy that prompts employers to encourage face-to-face communication channels to avoid social isolation.
- If the employee’s home is not safe for work (that is with adequate lighting and ventilation), then the employee cannot be forced to work out of there. In this case, employers may request that employees turn in documentation that proves their homes meet the standard so that they may be in compliance with this part of the new regulation.
- Remote workers cannot be paid less than those going into the office.
What are the Implications of Mexico’s New Remote Work Regulations?
It’s difficult to say with some certainty, but these remote work rules will likely be met with some derision and protest by some and welcomed by others. On one hand, it does lend some credence to the idea that remote work should be treated as a legitimate work model that carries its own structures and stipulations. On the other hand, some may find that it imposes too many restrictions on what might otherwise be a simple arrangement that allows people the possibility to work from home. Either way, Mexico is seeking to ensure this new dynamic does not disadvantage workers and, instead, encourages companies to pursue this arrangement in a more organized manner.
The Changing Mexican Tech Landscape
Remote work is just one more reason why Mexico is gaining attention as a prominent nearshoring destination for many U.S. companies. Because of high salaries and talent shortages in the U.SMany companies recognize that Mexico is a good option for finding qualified tech talent, a place where they can look to build international remote tech teams to enhance their company growth and roadmap.
Learn more about Mexico as a top nearshoring destination and how to find qualified tech talent.