October 12th, 2018

How relocation technology can benefit businesses and assignees alike

The world’s workforce is on the move as organisations strive to develop and manage top talent, achieve business objectives and foster an international mindset. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 68% of the 10,400-business people who participated agreed that “a mobile workforce is an enabler of business and talent strategies.”

The rise of this globalised workforce has been largely born out of technological advancements that enable us to travel, communicate and conduct business on a global scale. While relocating employees overseas provides businesses with a wealth of opportunities, it also presents financial, logistical and operational challenges.

So how can technology be used by organisations to make the relocation process more efficient in the first place? After all, the rapid development of digital technology has led many experts to claim we are in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – an era in which everything from wireless connectivity to virtual reality and artificial intelligence is changing the way we live and work.

The rise of relocation technology solutions

Relocation technology is becoming increasingly popular as organisations attempt to streamline the global mobility process. By leveraging advancements in technology, they can achieve operational and strategic advantage.

Of the 80 global mobility professionals who participated in the RES Forum’s survey to determine how technology impacts global mobility, almost nine in ten (86.5%) believe that digitalisation will be advantageous for global mobility management and assignees.

Digital solutions have the potential to enhance the efficiency, value and effectiveness of relocations for businesses and assignees.

Benefits to businesses:

  • Improved responsiveness: global mobility is a dynamic environment. Improving the speed of response will help retain control and impact of the support – chatbots are a good example of technology that can assist.
  • Accurately processing admin: automation has the potential to transform the efficiency of your relocation processes. This frees up employees to focus on more strategic activities, rather than getting bogged down with time-consuming admin tasks.
  • Efficient data management: a growing reliance on data is changing how mobility functions. Technology enables businesses to centralise and share data from multiple sources in real time, ensuring it’s quality controlled and fully auditable.
  • Cost control: technological solutions, such as cost calculators, can help get a handle on outgoings and even make savings.
  • Enhanced communication: technology can be used prior to the relocation to facilitate effective communication between human resources, assignees and service providers. The ongoing use of technology to improve communication once the assignee is in post will enhance employee support and aid the settling in process – leading to improved employee morale and retention

Benefits to employees:

So how will employees benefit from relocation technology? Devices such as tablets and smartphones enable access to solutions from anywhere at any time. This allows assignees to take advantage of various convenient features that will facilitate a smooth transition overseas, thereby motivating them to maximise their output. These include:

  • Virtual destination tours and guides
  • Relocation tools like rent calculators
  • Automated expense submission and tracking platforms
  • Travel booking facilities
  • Language and cultural tools
  • Text and email alerts

Obstacles to the adoption of relocation technology

Despite the obvious benefits of utilising relocation technology, many organisations are held back by misplaced concerns and misunderstandings about competitive advantage, privacy and confidentiality. Another hindrance to the adoption of new technologies is the lack of importance attributed to digitalisation.

This lack of awareness – often common among all hierarchical levels – inhibits the innovation process. Consequently, strategies for change are not developed, nor are the necessary resources provided to create and implement them.

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