One-way moves used to be just for permanent transfers, but global mobility is finding creative ways to apply this policy approach to save costs, support remote work, and give employees the flexibility they want. In this blog series, we’re taking a deeper dive into one-way transfers, focusing on the basis of the policy approach. Please read on for the third installment of this series (intro here and second article here).
One-way moves were already being used in creative ways prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and global mobility experts have continued to do so. Having used one-way transfers successfully in the past, companies are recognizing that the world has gotten “flatter.” For mobility between countries with economic affinity and comparable standard of living, employees may be satisfied with a one-way transfer rather than a full assignment.
The pandemic presented mobility with another opportunity to use this policy type in a new way by addressing the rise of remote work requests. With the Great Resignation in 2021, employees became empowered to ask more from their employers, and in turn, employers needed to adapt to meet these challenges. Since employees have become used to working from home, requests to work remotely are more common than ever. While some organizations began developing remote work policies, many global mobility programs have found that one-way moves are the simplest way to accommodate these requests. Although one-way transfers typically do not include company support for relocation, mobility has seen that using a leaner one-way package allows their organization to retain talent at a low cost while allowing employees the flexibility they wish.
Another example of a low-cost one-way relocation scenario is volunteer requests to work in another location. Many programs had already been using one-way transfers for talent looking to gain international experience, but more programs now feel more comfortable offering a limited-support one-way transfer package for employee-initiated moves. Consider an accompanying spouse or partner: Should an employee wish to remain with their organization while still moving with their spouse, a volunteer one-way package containing tax preparation services and immigration support allows the employee to work where they wish while maintaining their employment. Like remote work moves, this allows mobility to retain talent while supporting employee flexibility.
From employee-requested relocations to critical business requests for international talent movements, mobility wants to accommodate more move types to help deploy talent on a global scale. But more specifically, mobility wants to accommodate each move with the proper package. While many of the new ways to support one-way transfers make sense, such as for volunteer assignments or remote work requests, one-way transfers are not to be used for all transfers. Part of being an adviser to the business means knowing when a policy should not be used, and there are many cases when an assignment is preferable to a one-way relocation.
For the full article, originally published in the Issue 4 copy of Mobility Magazine, please click here.