How International Commuters Make Themselves Feel at Home

Today’s hardworking assignee may be more of tomorrow’s minimum “six-months-in-your-office” employee—although he will be called an “international commuter” instead. That is one trend forecasted by the Accounting Global Network that will soon be part of a global movement that is seeing more and more employees in transit, telecommuting, or staying only for six months to one year in an office setting.

Global mobility specialists are deploying more assignees for six months to one year or more in Silicon Valley companies. Making sure that assignees get the accommodation they need for such an unusual arrangement is California Corporate Housing which specializes in these international commuters for many years now.

California Corporate Housing customizes accommodating to suit the temporal needs of assignees, making them feel at home, as it also knows work can be at their office or their accommodations.

For global mobility specialists, it may be hard to imagine that the foreign national who you had prepared to immerse physically in a brick-and-mortar corporate environment with his American colleagues can get used to being an international commuter, but times have changed.

While he will be on call 24/7 for Skype, Facetime, and more personal meetings, he also enjoys a flexible schedule that allows him to increase his networking with business associates, or fetch his kids from the nearest international school.

And one perk that he also enjoys is that he can fly back to his home country during the weekends to do catch-up time with his clan and relatives, if he doesn’t live too far.

It’s not far-fetched as it sounds. Great Britain was one of the first countries that had pioneered international commuting. As early as 10 years ago, according to

BBC News, their assignees or foreign workers would report to their London office daily—and then take the fastest train home to their neighborhoods in Spain and Eastern Europe. The conditions that gave birth to this new working arrangement then were difficulty in finding housing accommodations; really bad traffic; cheap airplane tickets; strain and pressure in being removed from their immediate families; the employer’s willingness to accommodate flexible work time; and the rise of the use of the internet and email.

Many of those conditions exist in the major urban centers in the U.S. and Europe today. Furthermore, social media and live video platforms have made the digital workplace more practical and functional. All these factors can combine to make international commuting an option that corporate employers and their global mobility specialists can embrace one of these days.

Financial Times reports that the more affluent executive expatriates have made it a lifestyle to live and work in two to three cities. This happens when the consultant/assignee is based in New York or Northern California, for example, but considers London his home. Meanwhile, his wife is an expatriate executive as well in Denmark where their three teenage children study in an international school. The couple meet every weekend in their London home, and then fly off to Copenhagen during the holidays to spend time with their children.

This is the international scenario. In the States, it’s typical to see some assignees work in Silicon Valley and go home for the weekend in the midwest or northeast. They would not be international commuters but local commuters in this regard, but that’s another story.