Although restrictions have lifted and things are somewhat ‘normal’ again, the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the way we live, work, and communicate with each other. So, just how relevant is employee relocation in 2022?
A significant number of people are working remotely either some or all of the time, and almost 90% of Irish employees would like to continue working from home full-time.
In a 2021 survey by McKinsey & Company, over 50% of respondents said that they would like to work from home at least three days a week in future.
Where does employee relocation fit into the picture? With the prevalence of remote and hybrid working, is it still necessary to send people abroad?
In this article, we examine what you need to know about employee relocation in 2022 and the potential benefits and challenges of relocation in the localisation industry.
Employee relocation in 2022: redundant or still relevant?
Relocation involves sending an employee to another location for work purposes, a practice that was common before the pandemic.
Now, the rise in remote and hybrid working has opened up a whole new world of opportunities, begging the question: is relocation really necessary anymore? After all, when your team can communicate remotely with each other as quickly and easily as if they were in the same room, why would you need to send anyone abroad?
Even if your business is operating successfully on a remote/hybrid basis, there are still many reasons you might want to relocate one or more employees, such as:
It gives you eyes on the ground
When it comes to setting up a new international office, there are lots of challenges and potential roadblocks to consider. In this case, sending a manager or highly competent employee to the new location can help things get off to a smooth start.
It gives you an experienced set of eyes on the ground and peace of mind that the company’s standards are being adhered to. As trusted representatives of the company and its culture, values, and ethos, they are perfectly positioned to guide and nurture the new employees.
It enables you to test the waters with minimal risk
Imagine going through the process of hiring a full team of new employees, only to discover that the location isn’t quite right. You can avoid this headache by sending your current employees to the new location first, testing the waters without committing fully.
In the event that it doesn’t work out, recalling your current employees is easier and less unpleasant than firing the new ones.
It allows the new employees to get hands-on training
Many companies conduct the onboarding and training processes virtually, but there are times when people need to be shown how to do something in person. In this case, you can relocate someone temporarily to train the new employees.
It helps to build a strong, diverse workforce
There’s no getting around the fact that when you expand internationally, your company is an outsider at first. There may be language barriers or cultural differences that make it challenging for everyone to get on the same page.
You can help to overcome these by transferring employees who demonstrate cultural awareness and competence, as well as a natural affinity for connecting with people. This can be key to building an efficient, thriving, multicultural team.
Legal and logistical implications to consider
As we have seen, there are many benefits to relocating an employee, either on a permanent or temporary basis.
However, relocation is a complex process with many moving parts — and there are many ways that things can inadvertently go wrong. Your employees working from a local coffee shop or coworking space is one thing, but working in a different state or country can pose challenges that you may not have considered.
Firstly, there are different rules when it comes to working in different states or countries, and it is your company’s responsibility to make sure everything and everyone is operating in accordance with local laws and regulations. It is crucial that you familiarise yourself with the risks and enlist expert help if necessary.
A relocation specialist can help you to navigate taxes, wages, benefits and local labour laws, ensuring that you are fully compliant with the country’s rules, regulations, and legal requirements.
Other challenges might include different time zones, unreliable WiFi, and less structured working environments leading to a drop in productivity. Relocation can also be a very costly process, with the company having to pay for some or all of the employee’s travel, housing, and insurance expenses.
How to successfully manage a remote team
Remote working gives people the freedom and opportunities to build the lives they want, with more than one in ten Americans moving to a new location during the pandemic. This trend looks like it’s here to stay, with 59% of workers considering international relocation, citing ‘potential life experiences, a better financial situation, and exposure to new cultures’ as their primary motivation.
Relocating one or more employees can have huge benefits for your company, particularly when it comes to scaling and expanding on an international stage. However, for a distributed team to work together successfully, there must be clear guidelines and expectations that everyone is aware of.
Before you send an employee abroad, create a relocation policy that outlines what the company will provide in terms of relocation assistance and support, as well as what they are expected to do themselves.
Once they are settled in, keep the lines of communication open so that issues can be anticipated and dealt with swiftly.
The role of employee relocation in 2022
Relocation will always play a significant role in the localisation industry since it allows employees to immerse themselves in the language and culture of another country. By gaining a deep understanding of their cultural and societal norms, your company will be able to deliver products, services and solutions that are perfectly tailored to the needs of the market.
For reliable support and advice on all aspects of localisation recruitment, you need to consult the experts.
International Achievers Group specialises in providing localisation recruitment services to international candidates and companies that are expanding in the global market.
Our team has over 100 years of combined experience providing premium recruitment solutions for many of the world’s leading companies and we have developed an exceptional reputation that you can rely on.
Get in touch with our team of localisation experts today to find out more.