It’s safe to say that remote and hybrid working, for most companies, is here to stay.
Widely adopted following the pandemic, employers have had more than three years since then to develop flexible working policies that work for everyone, as well as meet the needs of their business.
But for employees on overseas assignment, flexible working becomes more complex. For employers, assignments are not cheap. A solid business case must be made to justify the cost of relocating their staff abroad.
And assignees (or prospective assignees) may find themselves questioning the very purpose of relocating at all, if only to work within the confines of a house the same way they do at home.
So, how can HR and global mobility directors manage this issue, and agree on a flexible working policy that really works for everyone involved in an overseas assignment?
In our latest trends report – Mobility Trends 2023 – we address these challenges in more depth, exploring:
- How building face-to-face meetings into the first few months of assignment can reduce the risk of failure
- The importance of helping employees build their at-home workspace while abroad
- How to listen to the needs and requests of assignees
According to the report: “As with any procedural HR issue, agreeing on a hybrid working policy for assignees between stakeholders is vital. It’s important to be clear about what you expect from your workforce and those starting an assignment from the outset. The needs and expectations of the potential assignee must be taken into consideration, but so do the commercial pressures on you as a business.”
“Assignments are costly, so there must be a real need in order to physically assign people to a new location. You could argue that the value of assignments is diluted if an assignee is in situ in a new location, but never interacting in-person with their colleagues and only working from home. So be clear about this in your policy making. This has to work for you and the assignee, or else it’s not worth doing.”