Global Mobility – 2020 Vision
As we approach the year 2020, we leave behind Ridley Scott’s idea of what 2019 should have looked like in his science-fiction epic ‘Bladerunner’. Although those watching in the 1980s may have prepared themselves for a landscape filled with flying cars, synthetic life and laser guns, we have not yet reached those heights. What we have done, however, is to unlock planet earth to create an easily accessible sphere with instant communication, shared technology, economy and culture. It has never been easier for employers and employees to physically relocate to new pastures and in this increasing age of mobility and flexibility, there appears to be no end in sight. But what specifically can we expect to see in the year 2020?
Assignment type changes
Mobility is being embraced as a necessity for companies to drive their recruitment policy and overall global reach. Whilst the original big players are still very much around – the bankers, the oil reps, the manufacturing monoliths etc. we have seen fantastic growth across technology, social media, finance etc. These younger businesses and their CEOs appear to be drifting away from the traditional scope of assignments with a three year life-span and are instead looking at permanent transfers, short term assignments (less than a year) and even commuter style assignments whereupon an assignee works four days in one location and is back home for a long weekend. As well as being more cost-effective, this approach to assignments also encourages solidity in an assignees family life whereupon an employee is not expected to spend their career traversing the globe with their spouse and children in tow.
The noughties saw huge expansion into places like China, the Middle East, and Singapore. While the latter continues to see large swathes of western assignees move across to the bustling city-state, growth into China and the Middle East are decreasing. The political turmoil in China has seen the US and China face off with regards to trade tariffs and the conflict in Hong Kong has added to an unstable location to send your transferees for the time being. Similarly, although the Middle East is slowly reforming as a place that values liberty and personal freedoms, a lot of Western people are still nervous about the tight laws imposed against the LGBTQ+ community, about women in the workplace, about working environments and strict laws on alcohol.
Where some nations see a decline, others prosper. 2020 should see further sustained growth in Ireland, in part due to Brexit and Britain’s exclusion from the single market-leading Dublin to be a key European English-speaking hub and gateway to the global markets. Companies are also exploring new and exciting ventures in previously untouched locations. Murmurings have appeared to suggest that Krakow in Poland will be explored as a new location for businesses. Similarly, Cluj, the third largest city in Romania, and Tallin, the capital of Estonia, are experiencing something of a boom. In particular, coders and programmers from around the world are beginning to settle in these locations to enjoy some of the finest scenic views, and lower cost of living compared to traditional locations such as London, Frankfurt and the large American cities.
Relocation companies to focus on technology
In times gone by it was simple for a relocation company to handle an assignee’s transfer from the home location to the host location because the assignee trusted that they were in capable hands. As we begin to see a young, diverse international workforce we see how inquisitive and knowledgeable that they are. They are being expatriated around the world to build high-tech computing systems, electrical and engineering systems. They know what good technology looks like and they know if their Relocation company has poor levels of technology. The only way to counter this is for Relocation companies to up their game, to upgrade their systems so that the assignee knows that their data and personal information is in safe and capable hands.
2020 is the opening chapter of a very exciting decade to come. Many fast paced, exciting companies will be looking at expanding their operations overseas.