The Advantages of Global Mobility for Australian Businesses

Although snap lockdowns, new variants and last-minute cancellations make international travel a risky business, Australia is slowly reconnecting to the rest of the world. For the fully vaccinated, many Australians are able to freely leave and return without significant quarantine measures or being stranded overseas.

While many organisations have needed to focus on their domestic markets during this period, the gradual reopening of Australia presents several opportunities.

We’ve previously discussed the benefits in engaging international workers, and how organisations can run a best practice global contingent workforce solution from Australia. Now that employees can (somewhat) freely travel between countries, employers are looking at the possibility of a globally mobile workforce.

In this article, we look at the benefits of having a global mobility program, and how you can avoid potential obstacles.

What is a global mobility program?

On an adhoc basis, many organisations allow for an employee to transfer to another state or country and continue their work. But how many have a dedicated strategy for transferring workers between international offices, using their skills to their maximum potential, while ensuring they are set up for success?

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that work can be completed from anywhere, and with international travel resuming, there’s few reasons for organisations not to explore this avenue; especially when they consider the positives.

What are the advantages?

The most significant benefits that a global mobility strategy can afford your organisation include:

Mitigating a skills deficit

In Australia and around the world, many organisations are experiencing a severe talent shortage. Even before the pandemic, companies were struggling to find the right niche skills. Regardless of the reason, a lack of the right resource in the right place means delayed projects, mistakes due to inexperience and loss of momentum.

Now that the borders are opening, companies can again source workers from overseas to fill gaps. Additionally, however, companies with international office locations can mitigate local talent shortages by having a global mobility strategy. With a strategic mindset, your skilled workers can undertake successful placements in countries around the world.

Building diversity

A workforce will benefit from the varied and challenging experiences of international movement. Through having a truly global organisation, you’re building diversity within your teams, which has been shown to increase productivity and problem solving.

Additionally, your mobile workers will come back with greater experiences and development, meaning that they can bring the lessons they’ve learnt overseas home. Organisations benefit from making use of their workers to their fullest capability when they’re repatriated.

Employee satisfaction

Global mobility can give organisations a much-needed boost to worker loyalty. International placements within your company are a huge selling point to your current and future workforce. For employees, an international placement can offer:

  • Professional development.
  • Life experience.
  • Cultural understanding.
  • Networking opportunities.

Workers see global mobility as an attractive value proposition, and one that shows the company is willing to invest in individuals.

Obstacles of global mobility

Some of the biggest challenges to engaging, managing and paying workers in different countries include:

  • Remote working – Across CXC’s contractor workforce, we have seen a 77% increase in contingent workers working remotely. Does your organisation have the right systems and tools to enable remote working? Do you have adequate tracking of your workers assets and system access?
  • Payroll and legislative complexity – Organisations need to consider the in-country social security, tax, currency exchange rate and legislative requirements for employing expats. Additionally, for contractors, who acts as the employer? Is the contractor self employed or employed through a labour hire organisation?
  • Retention and talent pooling – Too often, companies don’t have a plan for workers when their contract ends. Because of this, performing contractors are let go by an organisation without being properly talent pooled. This is especially true for globally mobile contractors who aren’t as closely managed as those residing in the company’s home country.

Despites these challenges, leading organisations across the globe have embraced the shift towards engaging highly skilled, highly mobile contingent workers to help their competitive position in today’s global economy.

CXC partners with numerous international organisations to manage and payroll their globally mobile contingent workforce. In our 30 years of operation, we have supported these clients with tax, immigration and employment guidance for engaging contractors overseas.

If you would like to discuss global mobility and how to take advantage of this for your contractors, you can reach me here. I look forward to speaking with you.