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Global Mobility Trends and Expatriate Relocation


Weichert Relocation specialists, provide essential insights into international relocations and personnel movement with their whitepaper “Current Global Workforce Mobility Trends”. 

As online cultural awareness training providers, whitepapers such as these are essential to helping us ensure our expatriate cultural training programmes meet the needs of relocating staff.

As such, we're a big fan of well written papers, and this one certainly ticks all the boxes.

Below, we've shared some the key findings: 

Tax Compliance

Tax authorities are looking for new revenue streams. They have become more aggressive in pursuing lost tax dollars and are now much more au fait with expatriate populations and their employers. Countries are now embracing stricter tax rules and reporting mechanisms. This has impacted businesses working globally and a key challenge is providing compliant compensation approaches that meet the needs of their emmployees and families. 


In the interests of compliance and consistency, resources are being leveraged across supply chains. Companies are moving towards a model whereby relocation services are outsourced and managed by independent specialist entities rather than  being managed in-house. This is rooted in the access given to the expertise, skills and resources of the supplier. 

Centralized or De-centralized Management?

International relocation in the past was managed in different countries by different stakeholders. It seems that these arrangements are now being migrated away from local sources to a more centralized system. Drivers behind this seem to be improvement in technology,  compliance issues, a more consistent relocation approach, centralized management of assignees and leveraging volumes across the supply chain.


The emerging markets seem to be hot on the list of locations people are being sent to. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) countries sees most activity in terms of rising activity. Those to watch out for include the UAE and Qatar illustrating the future importance of The Gulf economy.


In the sense of international relocation, localization means putting an international assignee on the same compensation and benefits package as locals would. Some 45% of companies surveyed for the whitepaper said they are using localization for assignees on long term stays.

Alternative Assignments

Recent economic developments seem to be changing how businesses think about their staffing internationally. The traditional ‘family move over for 5-7 years’ approach is still popular but getting less and companies tighten budgets. We are now seeing what Weichert called “alternative policies”. These include alternatives such as commuter assignments, extended business trips, rotational assignments and others.


So what conclusions can we draw from the research carried out?

  •  Compliance and tax regulations are a major concern for businesses today
  • Alternative assignments have become more prevalent due to changes in the speed and nature of business
  • Companies are becoming more in-tune with local expectations and needs
  • There is still plenty of business for relocation related services as outsourcing becomes more beneficial
  • Watch out for new and emerging economies – companies will have personnel travelling there in one form or another

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

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