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Video Chatting While in Transit? It’s a Global Mobility Specialist’s Job  


It has become a mobile world, and employers and global mobility specialists should run with the pace or risk getting left behind. Full-time employees and assignees alike will be spending more of their time outside the brick-and-mortar office to close deals, network with clients, or do research to come up with the next big idea. They would be signing contracts, writing proposals, or doing video chat conferences while in transit.

The New York Times estimated that 30 percent of the American workforce as of 2014 were mobile, and that number is increasing. Landmark Technologies estimated that as of 2015, 82 percent of U.S. companies were conducting virtual offices through the cloud. Business meetings, webinars, training sessions, and project management (just to name a few) were — and are — being done on the cloud.

Global mobility specialists who spend a major portion of their time recruiting and doing business with international parties should maximize this opportunity, and not just cope with it. There are three trends they should be aware of and include as part of their work process:

Apps are for boosting productivity.

Indeed, those icons on your devices are no longer just links to video streaming, video chat with friends, or social media hangouts. Many of them are designed for office use, like the ubiquitous Microsoft Office (although some use Google Docs even for work), stock market summaries, multi-party collaboration suites, research databases, and powerpoint-and-video design for corporate use. One of our earlier blogs discusses how digital tools are revolutionizing the workplace, including expatriate management processes.

Mobility devices and their data are being tapped to assess the ROI’s of every project.

According to Shield GEO Services Limited CEO Tim Burgess, every iota of information you and your assignee click on your smart device becomes part of a huge dimension of data that analysts in your company can break down to calculate your assignee-related costs and their return in terms of productivity. Find a data scientist who can navigate you through this stream of data, and you might find more leverage with your boss during the next budget debate.

Mobility can affect your assignee’s (and perhaps your) taxes.

CPA Practice Advisor says that a new bill is pending in the U.S. Congress which will simplify taxation for a mobile employee who keeps crossing different state lines. For example, an assignee who is based in the head office in Northern California may be assigned to the branch in New York City to help out in a project for six months.

You yourself might be staying in several cities at a rate of one city for two months as you scour the country for talent. That mobility can affect how much is taxed from your income, and to which state you pay it to. Of course, none is carved in stone yet, but this political development is a must-watch.