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Do you have a global mobility strategy in place? If you don’t, you are not alone — many companies have yet to implement a policy to help navigate employee relocation challenges. However, this is now more important than ever, as most employees are no longer tied to one city, or even to a single country. The remote work era has made it possible for professionals to do their jobs from anywhere in the world, leading many to choose to relocate.
A sound global business strategy now involves one that compliantly allows your team members to work from new locations across the globe.
How do you create and implement an effective global mobility strategy?
Global mobility as a term and business strategy was only recently established in the present century to describe a company’s function when moving team members from one place to another.
To avoid any misunderstandings or issues in the long term, ensure your global mobility policy encompasses every aspect of employee relocation, from compensation for flights to compliance with international labor laws.
A global mobility strategy should cover:
- Data privacy regulations
- Information on salary adjustment by jurisdiction
- Local legal and tax laws
- Required visas
- Home and travel assistance
- Any support provided for family members
Why is global mobility important for your company?
According to coaching company Better Up, global mobility provides three significant benefits:
- Increased creativity and flexibility
- A stronger sense of inclusivity and belonging
- Higher retention rates
Even if your company does not currently have plans to operate in another country, in an increasingly remote, globalized business world, ongoing trends like the “Great Migration” and “Great Resignation” may push your company to scale globally earlier than planned to stay ahead of the competition. After all, employees are beginning to expect that their employers will allow them to work from anywhere and support them in relocation processes. Having a mobility strategy in place will ensure you’re able to attract top talent, and prove to your shareholders, executives, and team members that you are ready to undertake future global challenges.
What are the challenges of global mobility?
While global mobility can have significant benefits for your company, it also comes with its challenges that your teams must be prepared to navigate.
- Visa requirements: Relocating an employee involves obtaining the appropriate documentation and visas. Be very clear as to the level of support your company is able to provide throughout the visa process. As many countries, such as China, have stringent work visa requirements, you must ensure your employees have sufficient time to request and secure a visa before they begin working in the country — or your company could face significant penalties.
- Expenses: Moving employees abroad could include expenses for travel and moving and shipping possessions. Many companies find it to be more cost-effective to give employees relocating internationally a set allowance to buy furnishings when they arrive at their destination.
- Employee wages and benefits: Each country has specific rules regarding wages and benefits. For example, in some countries, health insurance is a required benefit, while in others, it’s not. The same is true of wages. Some countries require employers to pay a certain minimum hourly wage, while others leave it up to the employer to decide. Ensure you and your employees understand these regulations within the country they are moving to.
- Family assistance: Relocating team members with families may cost significantly more than relocating an individual. For example, you may want to consider allocating a budget for schooling.
- Compliance: Labor, tax, and payroll laws vary by country and are constantly evolving. For example, termination laws may be drastically different than what you’re used to in the country your HQ is in. Your company must have access to local HR and legal expertise to ensure you are in compliance with these regulations. Inability to follow these rules can lead to a tarnished company reputation as well as legal penalties.
How can your company overcome global mobility challenges?
While perhaps one of the standout benefits of supporting global employee relocation is that it helps retain your world-class talent, it is also a strategic way to test new international markets. If your product or service does particularly well in the new country, you may decide to grow a team there. Companies that choose to follow the traditional international employee relocation or hiring process will have to:
- Set up global entities
- Hire legal, tax, and finance experts in every country
- Meet capital requirements
- Keep up with changing in-country regulations
The good news is that you can choose to leverage an end-to-end solution that enables seamless global hiring and mobility wherever your employees can legally work. Globalization Partners’ Global Growth Platform™ enables companies to move and hire talent across 187 countries while in compliance with international labor laws — all while mitigating cost and risk. This way, you can focus your time and budget on key hiring and relocation processes.
Gone are the days of dedicating invaluable resources to lengthy, complex, and costly entity setup to facilitate relocation or international hiring. Global mobility has never looked this good.