global mobility landscape

The Landscape of Global Mobility in 2024

In the ever-evolving world of global mobility, 2024 stands as a pivotal year of transformation and innovation. With insights from industry experts like Paul Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Perch Peek, we explore the dynamic shifts and emerging trends that are shaping the future of global mobility.

The global mobility industry is experiencing a fundamental shift. Traditional expatriate assignments, once the cornerstone of international business, are experiencing a downturn across various sectors. 

This decline is not a sign of retrenchment but an opportunity for expansion and diversification. Progressive global mobility departments are now exploring new realms such as internal mobility, graduate programs, remote work initiatives, self-managed relocations, internships, and strategic location planning.

Paul Bennett remarks, “The mobility landscape is rapidly evolving. We’re seeing a significant shift from traditional models to more dynamic and inclusive approaches.” This evolution leverages the distinct skills of global mobility teams, enabling them to drive meaningful internal changes and align with modern workforce expectations.

RMC business model transformation

The conventional business model of Relocation Management Companies (RMCs) is undergoing a transformation. Traditional revenue streams, such as management and referral fees, are increasingly under pressure due to the changing nature of relocations. 

This shift opens doors to new possibilities, particularly in technological innovation and diversified service offerings. The industry is witnessing a continuous evolution in business models, with varying degrees of adaptation success across the industry.

AI’s ascendancy in global mobility

Artificial intelligence (AI), a dominant theme in recent years, continues to integrate into global mobility. While there have been strides in improving efficiency, the sector eagerly anticipates more transformative AI applications. 

“The potential for AI in global mobility is immense,” says Bennett. “We’re expecting to see more specialized solutions, like knowledge-sharing bots, automated immigration procedures, and enhanced expense analytics in 2024.”

Cost management strategies in 2024

Facing ongoing budgetary pressures, global mobility programs are adapting with two significant trends gaining traction:

Cost caps: Global mobility programs are evolving to contain costs, such as large household goods bills, while enhancing flexibility to improve employee experiences.

Multi-service vendor preference: There is a growing trend towards consolidating spending with multi-faceted vendors. Broader service offerings from existing providers and some industry consolidation are anticipated as firms seek to maximize cost efficiencies.

Remote work years – the emerging perk

In response to 2023’s return-to-office mandates and the refinement of Work From Anywhere policies, progressive companies are considering offering Remote Work Years as a new employee benefit. This innovative approach, facilitated by the increasing accessibility of nomad visas, could offer a flexible alternative to traditional sabbaticals, aiding in retention and sustaining productivity.

Deel’s employee-centric mobility perspective

Deel, a notable player in payroll and compliance, observes a significant shift in the global mobility landscape from a traditionally paternalistic approach to a model that empowers employees. This shift is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent and achieving international business objectives. 

“We’re seeing a paradigm shift in how companies approach global mobility,” explains Masha Sutherlin, director of Global Corporate Legal and Mobility at Deel. “The focus is now on creating tailored experiences based on individual needs, considering factors like career growth, lifestyle, and personal development.”

Comprehensive mobility programs

To thrive in this new era, companies must develop holistic mobility programs that align with employee aspirations and ensure an enriching journey. This includes conducting location risk assessments, providing visa and immigration assistance, offering cultural adaptation training, adjusting compensation structures, and offering flexible, personalized benefits and 24/7 support systems.

Challenges in managing a diverse global workforce

The modern workforce is increasingly diverse, encompassing third-country workers, new movers, digital nomads, international gig workers, frequent flyers, and commuters, each with unique mobility needs. Many HR teams struggle to manage such varied and complex employee movements, leading to challenges in employee experience, compliance, and cost management.

Unified HR platform for global workforce management

According to Deel, success in managing a global workforce lies in coordinating mobile workers through an integrated digital ecosystem. Such platforms offer a range of services, including employer of record services, compliant contract creation and modification, visa and immigration support, global benefits administration, and streamlined onboarding, offboarding, and payroll processes.

Legal reforms shaping global mobility

Legal and regulatory changes are crucial for mobility leaders to ensure compliance and efficiency in the evolving work landscape. Governments worldwide are reforming visa processing, work permits, and international tax compliance regulations. Partnering with organizations like Deel, which houses teams of legal professionals versed in international employment laws, can significantly ease the mobility process.

As we look towards 2024, it’s clear that the global mobility sector is poised for significant transformation. With the integration of AI, evolving business models, and a greater focus on employee-centric approaches, the future of global mobility is shaping up to be more dynamic and inclusive than ever before.

By adapting to these changes, companies can navigate the complexities of global mobility, ensuring a seamless, compliant, and efficient experience for their global workforce.