Workia Knowhow

The 12 Essentials of Modern Employee Mobility

In the modern work environment, employees are increasingly driving the terms of where and how they want to work. Accommodating such flexibility can clearly lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, but carries risks around tax, social security, and immigration, especially with the rise of β€œdigital nomads.”

Traditional long-term assignments are giving way to shorter trips, permitting a more diverse group of employees to move. Though shorter moves usually mean smaller risks, understanding and managing them is vital.

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

Assess the purpose of the move, considering both employee happiness, career development opportunities and business impact πŸ“Š.



2. Have a clear policy

Set principles πŸ“œ to guide decisions on move requests, including criteria like no-go countries🚫🌍, different rules for move lengths, and responsibilities for various expenses.



3. Responsibility allocation  

Define who is responsible for what πŸ“Œ, from work permits to record keeping πŸ“‹.



4. Keep an open mind  

If a move is important to the individual but you cannot accommodate it in the way requested, are there things you can change like duration, role or even location? πŸ’‘



5. Communicate

πŸ“’ Keep people in the loop, let them know what they are responsible for (and not). Make sure they understand the implications of changing their role or staying for a longer time than that which was approved, or for entering a country without the right visa. 



6. Prepare early

If you know that it is going to take you 8 weeks to get a work permit for someone, start as early as you can to make sure that you have the best chance of success ⏳



7.Consider local employment law

Know the mandatory provisions for workers in different locationsβš–οΈ. Will they acquire any rights that you need to know about?



8. Be prepared to say no

If an employee cannot work lawfully somewhere, be firm 🚫.



9. Understand duty of care

Ensure a safe working environment for the employee.



10. Keep great records

Track and monitor where your people are and how long they have been there πŸ“…. What paperwork is coming up for renewal? Are they nearing a critical day count that might make them resident somewhere? 



11. Remember the human element

Working overseas might seem like a great idea at first – but if employees are always on their own with limited contact with an employer or colleagues, they can quickly become isolated and feel unconnected with their company. πŸ’¬ Making sure you have scheduled contact points is important and can be key to the success of a move. Have clear line management and appraisal responsibilities. 



12. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help

Being compliant from an immigration and tax/social security aspect is critical, yet knowing the idiosyncrasies of the rules in each country is challenging and costly at best if you get it wrong.  



International mobility has undeniable benefits πŸ’ΌπŸŒ, but being aware of the various risks and planning accordingly is essential for success. By focusing on these 12 key considerations, companies can enjoy the rewards of global talent management while minimizing potential pitfalls ⭐.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not reflect the opinions or views of Workia. Always seek professional advice based on actual circumstances before acting.

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