5 Key Features of a Web3 Employment Partner

Jody Cruttenden
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July 8, 2022

Web3 is rewriting the book on how we create, share, transact, communicate, socialize and so much more. It offers so many opportunities for growth and innovation that are driven by communities rather than corporations.

However, it’s still in its infancy. And this youthful attitude can sometimes come with reckless optimism and a “no need to worry about tomorrow” mindset. This is changing… rapidly. Regulators are taking notice. Investors are paying closer attention. The world is watching.

Web3 needs to go through a period of maturation and growth. This starts with bringing in the builders, thinkers, and doers into the ecosystem to build the essential infrastructure to enable Web3 as a whole to sustainably scale. This begins with DAOs and other Web3 organizations, focusing on the unique People Ops challenges that they face.

There are a number of existing or emerging solutions in the market, but they are yet to offer a solution that is specific to the challenges of Web3 OR they aren’t comprehensive solutions that address the whole spectrum of what a true Web3 employment partner needs to offer. In this blog, we take a look at the five key features I believe a true Web3 employment partner needs to achieve to provide a complete solution.

What a Web3 employment solution should look like

In the Web3 ecosystem, there are some incredible tooling or DAO service organizations out there doing great things for employment. However, very few (if any) offer a comprehensive global solution. That is not to diminish what any of these organizations have achieved but we believe that to meet the challenges of employment in Web3, a global and complete solution to the employment is required. 

Here’s what that looks like.

1) Global employment and token payroll

Web3 is a global movement made up of individual contributors from every corner of this planet. We need to be able to handle the complexities of global employment as a whole if we want to truly support the growth of the ecosystem. This is a huge undertaking and requires knowledge of labor and employment laws across hundreds of jurisdictions. Similarly, nearly every labor code, regardless of jurisdiction, requires a locally registered corporate presence as an ongoing condition of employment. The practical costs of individually establishing these entities for an organization are enormous.

Once the employment hurdles have been jumped the focus turns to running token payroll. Compensation in tokens or crypto is a MUST in Web3. Contributors expect it and Web3 organizations expect to be able to deliver it. However, achieving it globally and in compliance with local regulations is incredibly complex. But that’s only the first challenge... 

Income taxes are income taxes, right? Not quite… especially when dealing with token compensation. There are so many variables to consider and they differ wildly across borders. 

The considerations that are needed for calculating income tax on token payroll add another layer of complexity and specialist understanding - think restricted token grants, withholding tax on tokens and so much more. And remember, the vast majority of tax authorities do not accept payment in crypto or tokens… only fiat. That requires implementing a complex sell-to-cover strategy for each jurisdiction to ensure contributors are able to make their tax payments in fiat. 

To encourage the talent we need in this ecosystem, Web3 employment partners need to be able to support and perform tax calculations and payments on behalf of the contributor that is accurate and timely to keep contributors compliant and remove the burden of costly specialist accountants (or more dauntingly) calculating their own taxes. 

2) Benefits packages designed for Web3

Web3 offers a whole new way of working. It is the first ecosystem that is built with remote working and decentralization as the norm. But, to do it right and ensure that employees stay motivated, incentivized, and feel valued there are some huge steps that need to be taken in redefining the employee experience. 

Thankfully, we can take a lot of the learning from the work that is being done in setting the standard for remote employees. Benefits like universal healthcare, paid time off, “me” days, home office allowance, and truly flexible working are a great start. But we also need to accommodate the autonomy that is inherent of Web3 into the offering by giving contributors the ability to choose the benefits that they need, as they need them. No more one-size-fits-all packages. No more hollow, meaningless attempts at providing employee benefits that are designed for optics over value. 

3) People support that makes a difference

The individuals that make up an organization are everything. This is only compounded in Web3 when the individual working on a project within your organization acts essentially as both your talent and a voting member of your board. It is critical that these cornerstones of the organization's success are supported and nurtured to the best possible level. And it is something that has been largely overlooked in Web3.

One of the most critical features of a Web3 employment partner is providing the level of support, training, and guidance to your contributing workforce to help them grow, up-skill and stay motivated within your organization.  

4) Compliance at a minimum but not as the final target

All of this needs to be designed with regulatory scrutiny in mind. As I said earlier, we are under the microscope. As an ecosystem, Web3 needs to be meeting statutory requirements, globally. But that cannot be the ultimate goal. We need to do better than traditional corporations to hope to encourage the next wave of talent into this space and facilitate the continued growth of the whole ecosystem. This means meeting these regulatory requirements but seeing these as the floor, not the ceiling, of how employment is managed across Web3. 

5) Built for Web3 challenges, specifically. 

This point might seem somewhat hyperbolic, but it really matters. What the Web3 community is building sits outside of almost any norm corporations have existed within for decades. It’s a completely new approach, way of working, and ultimate goal. It’s vital that any employment partner has a fundamental understanding of the values of Web3, community, building better, decentralization, and much else to adequately meet the needs of the ecosystem. 

That being said, there exists a difficult mismatch between the world of Web3 and everything else. Crypto compensation is on-chain, but bills are off-chain. Contributors are spread globally, but individuals are hyper-jurisdictional. Web3 is regulated by outdated legislation that was designed for a different era. That’s why it’s key that an employment service can have a foot in both worlds -  to bridge that mismatch and help facilitate future growth. 

WorkDAO: The only true Web3 employment partner 

We are that solution. We have solved those challenges. WorkDAO is the Web3 employment partner that will help DAOs and Web3 organizations onboard, employ, compensate and support the organizations and contributors who will build the future.

We are setting the new standard for what a Web3 employment partner looks like and we are proud of it. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss anything here please reach out at hello@theworkdao.com