Viewpoints from Matt Marmorek

Italy just launched its new digital nomad visa, passed into law in 2022. It’s been a long time coming for a country with a reputation for very restrictive worker visa requirements. You used to need a guaranteed job in the country, but now a foreign remote job that meets annual income criteria will do.

Why should you care?

That may mean some of your top talent could be heading across the pond to partake in La Dolce Vita. Until now, they may have resisted the urge to go to other countries that were early adopters of e-residency (Estonia was the first!), but who can resist gelato, Vespas, and life under the Tuscan sun?

Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the global benefits water with a few global nomads, or you have more substantial employee populations abroad – or maybe even in-pats here in your U.S. offices – you need an integrated strategy that supports you and your valued teammates with a global network.

That means a strategy that supports your company’s overall business objectives.

Inflation and market volatility make leaders more cautious about expenses; therefore, there’s a greater spotlight on companies’ second-highest employment expense after salaries: benefits.

The challenge is that it’s becoming more difficult to tell where business strategy ends and benefits begin. Everything is getting more integrated – business strategy, benefits, wellness, and talent acquisition/retention – so you must consider the whole as you evaluate the parts.

The consideration stage of global expansion

There are several principal stages of global expansion: consideration, implementation, optimization, and validation.

If you are just considering global expansion – whether it’s a few digital nomads or a foreign office – here are three key factors to pay attention to in the consideration stage.

  1. Start with the basics and understand the statutory requirements.
    Make sure you’re checking with your legal advisors about setting up your business entity regarding payroll and expat employees. The best surprise is no surprise, so ensure that the expat benefits are as good as, or better than, what they have stateside. And don’t forget the supplemental benefits that help you be competitive for global talent.
  2. Speaking of being competitive, defining specific needs based on employee makeup is a wise move.
    For example, you’re likely to have varying component benefits for engineers compared to call center representatives, senior leaders, or all other staff. Also, understanding the nuances in human interactions and expectations within the culture is vital to your employees’ success and your own.
  3. Sort out your funding to know where to go from here.
    Your budget for global expansion will look different than your standard stateside benefits costs because there are more factors to consider and more unknowns. The good news is that having people represent your interests in a foreign country can save you time and money and avoid misunderstandings and faux pas.
Making a list and checking it twice: Reach out

You may have already started a list of factors to consider regarding global employee benefits. You don’t have to struggle to level up if you have a knowledgeable and globally connected partner supporting your best interests.

At EPIC, our business is helping our clients make the most of their business by serving as an indispensable partner for integrated employee benefits strategy and execution. Whether you’re at the start of your global journey or you’ve been on this road for a while, it’s crucial that your service teams have a deep understanding of insurance, regulatory, cultural, and economic characteristics in each of your served markets.

Find out what it means to have integrated benefits tailored to your needs. The efficiencies and effectiveness are well worth the journey.

Download our Top Ten Considerations for Your Global Benefits from the form on this page for a comprehensive inventory of considerations for success in global employee benefits.


EPIC offers this material for general information only. EPIC does not intend this material to be, nor may any person receiving this information construe or rely on this material as, tax or legal advice. The matters addressed in this document and any related discussions or correspondence should be reviewed and discussed with legal counsel prior to acting or relying on these materials.

Get your copy of our Top Ten Considerations for Your Global Benefits to help ensure you’re making the best decisions in the current benefits landscape.

Our Leaders

Matthew Marmorek Headshot
Matt Marmorek

National Practice Leader, Global (Non-U.S.) Employee Benefits – Jersey City, NJ