A key to global mobility success
The nature of work is changing, and global mobility is not immune — in fact, it is often where new attitudes toward work and employer-employee relationships first emerge in a globalized world.
Global mobility increasingly must answer questions from managers and HR about the UK employee who is “working from home” in New Zealand, or the US employee who followed her partner to London without notifying the business and then was turned away at the border.
To deal with these and similar challenges, companies must collaborate in a more fundamental and effective manner with other teams, countries and businesses, in a way that is mutually beneficial. Because the world and its forces are simply too complex for siloed functions to address, collaborative deployment is a way forward.
Calculating the cost of mobility
Following the financial crisis, governments have increasingly sought out new revenue streams, including those derived from internationally mobile employees.
At the same time, companies have worked to minimize or optimize costs in their global deployment operations, exploring new strategies such as moving assignees onto host country local packages to remove them from their home social security system. With the advent of data analytics, employers can more precisely quantify mobility options and costs.
In our report, we explore the challenge and opportunities collaborative deployment presents, within the framework of four of our six identified global “megatrends.” These trends have been identified by EY as large, transformative global forces that define the future. In the context of global mobility, we believe these four factors are significantly impacting the mobility landscape and will continue to do so in the years to come:
| “Digital future” |
Has the information technology revolution accelerated collaborative deployment?
Through knowledge sharing, digital challenges can turn into opportunities for global mobility to take the lead and demonstrate strategic value.
| “Urban world” |
Does the changing political and economic environment require employers to collaborate differently?
Governments will continue to exercise their national authority and data-reporting expectations in response to domestic political and economic needs. We believe this reality obliges businesses to ensure their mobility advisors equip them with process, technology and collaborative compliance and advisory approaches.
| “Global marketplace” |
Are emerging markets creating mobility challenges that only collaborative deployment can overcome?
Global mobility can work with payroll to help them understand what may be required when assignees enter a new market and what compliance and information-filing obligations must be fulfilled.
| “Entrepreneur rising” |
Do the changing talent pool dynamics require closer collaboration?
The most successful mobility programs offer an integrated, collaborative business approach involving employee education, dedicated tracking technology functions and collaborative mobility specialists.
A common thread among the megatrends is interconnectivity, ease of physical and virtual relationships across borders, and growth as a clear business driver — which means global mobility should seize this opportunity to expand its reach, improve its services and partner with as many other groups as possible.
Mobility covers assignment policy, cross-border social security and compensation arrangements, labor law, tax triggers, and valuation strategies. Focused collaboration among these groups, in pursuit of clear goals and objectives, is imperative for a multinational company, and to address only one area does not create a long-term, holistic solution but rather a system in which old problems remain and new ones quickly surface.
The simple fact is that the environment in which mobility must operate — one increasingly typified by smart borders, negative political pressures, previously unexpected calls for assignee justification, cost or expense calculations and other factors — is unprecedented and cannot be addressed with assumptions and approaches first envisioned 10 years ago.
To drive the creativity necessary to co-develop the genuinely innovative solutions that this environment requires, we must be focused not just on integration but also collaboration.
As the 21st century unfolds, confronting the complexity of global mobility demands nothing less.
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