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COVID-19 has affected all of our lives in a way we could not imagine less than one year ago.

As well as the immediate health, safety, and financial aspects affecting individuals, organisations have had to adapt in order to survive. While face-to-face activity has reduced dramatically, technology has been at the forefront of change, allowing and facilitating employees, clients, and customers to remain connected and continue to provide or receive services.

This unique situation is also driving the conversation around remote working. Is a two-hour commute each way necessary when the work can be done more efficiently from home? What will this lack of social contact mean and how will it affect the organisations culture, mission, and results?

The encouragement and growth of international mobility has long since been a key strategy of multinational companies. Supporting employees to learn or transfer skills and drive business, while embracing a different culture, offers many benefits to individuals and the organisation alike. But as many borders remain closed, this pandemic is likely to have an effect on the way organisations operate their international programmes. 

Most companies have paused cross border movement for the time being. In AIRINC surveys and focus groups, many companies tell us they expect to see more short-term movement, certainly for an initial post lockdown period. On the other hand, some have told us they still need critical assignees on-site, so as soon as borders re-open they expect persons to travel, though the approach may be different than before.

As with regular employees, technology will allow some jobs to be done remotely, without
the need to cross a country border, and companies are exploring the concept of “virtual assignments”.  It’s not a simple idea, though. There could be tax and compliance implications of someone working wholly for country B, but still residing, working, and paying taxes in country A. Most likely it will become another option in a growing policy suite, and it’s important that companies determine their policy position.

To find out more about this topic, download AIRINC’s Virtual Assignment Pulse Survey results of 182 companies.

NES & Global Mobility

If you’re looking for support, we have a team of Global Mobility experts who can use their 20+ years of industry experience to support clients with their mobility programmes. We currently look after 12,000+ contractors and permanent staff across the globe and are well placed to support clients with their mobile workforce needs.

The spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of us. But as a global staffing company, NES would like to reassure our customers that we are fully operational across all our locations and are working closely with clients to ensure essential projects stay on track at this difficult time. For regular updates, please see our COVID-19 Support Hub.