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Welcome to our Blog

Our blog lets us share with you current news and views from the world of HR and Global Mobility which we hope you will find interesting, informative and even entertaining. Along with our own thoughts and opinions we will bring you external articles and updates on items we think may matter to you.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog.

15
Aug
2018
Today’s Mobile Workforce
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world how important is mobile working?
31
Jul
2018
The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations
There are lots of theories about the essential elements of successful international assignments. However some people have a secret ingredient…
10
Jul
2018
Work Friendships Help Relocations
Good relationships at work help international assignees to settle faster and stay longer in their new role.
27
Jun
2018
Easy Relocations
Any move can be stressful, especially when you are relocating to a new country. Working with the right partners can minimise this stress.
14
Jun
2018
Spotting Reluctant Relocations
For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent…
29
May
2018
5 Traits of Successful Global Employees
Global talent is predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2030. However the McKinsey Global Institute’s report also forecasts a shortage of skilled workers. The result?…
10
May
2018
Why International Assignments Make Good Business Sense
Many employees jump at the chance of an international assignment. Exciting challenges await… new role, new culture, a fresh start abroad. What are the advantages…
30
Apr
2018
3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations
Employees are likely to be excited about their imminent global assignments – and a little anxious too. So what can HR managers do to minimise…
06
Apr
2018
Take a Break!
Despite a plethora of research into work-life balance and working hours, UK workers are still bad at taking breaks. Worrying trends are emerging, reflecting the…
27
Mar
2018
Packing for Your Global Assignment
Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home…
Today’s Mobile Workforce

Today’s Mobile Workforce

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world how important is mobile working?
A report from the Society For Human Resource Management gives valuable information about how our mobile workforce looks.

Every day, 81% of workers are expected to take advantage of remote working options. Perhaps as expected, Millennials (born in 1980s and 1990s) represent the biggest group to take up the opportunity – 60% utilise their companies’ mobile working policy to the fullest extent. The compares to just a third of workers within the Baby Boomer group, (those born between 1946 and 1964).

One reason for this difference may be the potential for misinterpreted communication with colleagues. 25% of mobile workers feel that working remotely can cause this problem.

The location of mobile working also differs between age groups. One fifth of Millennials regularly work from cafes. This compares with just 10% of Baby Boomers who like to work from coffee shops.

With 81% of workers using remote working opportunities, what are the biggest reasons for choosing this option?
1. Sick child – 35%
2. Transportation issues – 34%
3. Avoiding a long commute – 30%
4. Improving productivity – 30%
5. Avoiding distractions – 28%

“Flexible working options are extremely important to a global workforce,” explains Suzanne Sells, of BTR International. “Conference calls that involve employees across varying time zones can influence where people will be when they are required to ‘attend’ the meeting. Flexible working patterns allow for optimum productivity and flexibility.

“This can be especially important when someone arrives at their new location for their international assignment.” She explains: “They need to make arrangements for moving into their new home or ensuring that their family settles in quickly. These aspects may require remote working.

“Efficient forward planning will minimise the upheaval involved with moving to a new country however additional support is always appreciated, especially at the beginning of an assignment.”

If you would like to discuss this further – without obligation – contact Suzanne via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations

The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations

There are lots of theories about the essential elements of successful international assignments. However some people have a secret ingredient…
Their secret? Pets!

Taking pets on an international relocation can be extremely helpful, offering support and comfort to assignees and their families.

Research published by the American Psychological Association shows that people are as close to their pets as they are other people. The findings confirmed that many of us feel that our pets are an important aspect of our wellbeing, offering social and emotional support.

Today, it is easier than ever to transport pets to different countries. Recognising the benefits that they offer will help international assignees to feel ‘at home’ in their new locations more quickly – the whole process becomes more effective, more quickly.

“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”

Relocating Pets Overseas


The BTR International team understands that pets are very much part of assignees’ families. Our earlier blog recommends that employees who are keen to take their pet on international assignments should be aware of:
• Requirements of their destinations country
• Their pet’s health
• How to prepare their per for travelling abroad
• Repatriation requirements

For more details, please see our earlier article.

Settling In

Caitlin Moore told MDSI Global Talent Solutions: “From helping to make friends at the dog park to serving as an excuse to go out and explore the city (be it to find a dog friendly beach or the best store to buy cat food), pets can help make a new place feel more like home. And since people often feel happier and more at home in a brand new place with their pets by their side, they’re also likely to be more engaged with work.

“Pets can also help the assignee’s family better adjust to a new location, which is important. Family adjustment challenges can often derail an international assignment, but having a familiar furry face to spend time with when they’re feeling homesick can make a difference.”

Louise Chilcott from BTR International adds: “Assignees and their families experience a huge amount of change when they relocate overseas. A family pet offers comfort and familiarity in their new home, helping everyone to settle in their new location more quickly.”

If you are interested in relocating your pet overseas with you, BTR International has information and advice that can help you. Contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image by Mister GC. at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Work Friendships Help Relocations

Work Friendships Help Relocations

Good relationships at work help international assignees to settle faster and stay longer in their new role.
Talent management company TLNT suggests that talent activation is built upon four pillars – one of which is “encouraging meaningful employee relationships”.

This is especially true when encouraging global mobility, with work friendships facilitating quicker productivity from international assignees. This is particularly relevant for younger employees. TLNT offers powerful statistics that reinforce the role of work friendships:
• Full-time employees (54% vs. 43% of part-time employees) were more likely to say they stay with their current employers because of their co-workers.
• 60% of employees feel their relationship with their employer positively impacts their focus or productivity at work, and 44% say it positively impacts stress levels.
• 3% of millennials consider “friendly co-workers” an important work atmosphere trait.
• 88% of millennials want to be friends with their co-workers.
• The number one source of hiring for organisations is employee referrals.

How can an organisation’s relocation policy maximise this opportunity?
Two aspects are important:

1. Communication
Encourage opportunities for shared experiences and communication, offering points of connection… and fun! A regular social programme with a mix of activities with help co-workers to bond and help new assignees learn about what their location can offer.

Ensure that managers have structured yet informal meetings with team members to encourage conversation beyond purely work-based topics.

2. Culture
Emphasise the culture of the organisation during team building and feedback sessions. Sharing ideas, providing honest feedback (safely) and celebrating team and individual success help to grow work-based friendships.

“Once an assignee has arrived in their new country and started their new role, support becomes even more crucial,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International. “For the relocation to be a success, individuals need to settle into their new home and work role and quickly as possible. Friendships are hugely influential – especially as co-workers may be the only people that assignees know in their new location. Support as this stage is often overlooked and should feature within every relocation policy.”

TLNT adds: “Creating meaningful relationships can form a support framework, but effectively evaluating employees’ relationships serves as a way to measure their level of activation.” The following metrics are suggested:
• Is an employee a social butterfly or do they stay isolated?
• Is an employee volunteering for teams? How many?
• Is an employee providing feedback to others? Coaching others? Seeking out feedback/guidance?
• Is an employee actively recruiting friends and colleagues to apply for open positions within the organisation?

Learning from the results helps individual engagement and team performance to be analysed. This allows best practices and relocation support options to be identified.

Louise says: “The quicker an assignee bonds with their co-workers, the more successful the relocation and the team become. It’s win-win situation however it relies on a support framework being in place.”

If you would like to know more, or to discuss your organisation’s relocation policy, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
Easy Relocations

Easy Relocations

Any move can be stressful, especially when you are relocating to a new country. Working with the right partners can minimise this stress.
‘The devil is in the detail’ – it’s a popular saying and it’s absolutely right. From research to choosing your new home, to physically arriving in your new location… working with accredited, experienced people will dramatically reduce the stress involved with your move.

A successful relocation – global or domestic – will involve professional support for:

1. Research
Moving to a new country is exciting yet can be a little daunting too. It’s important to research your new location. Be aware of housing options – where and what type – as well as schools (if necessary), transport links and local amenities.

We’re all individuals – and will have our own priorities and requirements for where we live. Find out if your relocation package includes orientation services and help with settling in. This support can make your transition into a new community much smoother and happier.

2. Finding Your New Home
Many international assignees start their relocation in temporary accommodation whilst they settle into their new country, defining what they are looking for from their new home. This step helps to make your initial move easier, however you may need to move again within your new location.

3. Your Physical Move
Moving abroad, you need a removals partner who will support you with a true ‘door to door’ service. Choose an accredited company that has experience of global relocations. They’ll have the contacts and knowledge to ensure that your physical move – from your personal belongings to valuable items and your family pets – will be completed reliably and with minimum anxiety.

“We make sure that moving is as stress-free as possible,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “We provide a move plan which meets the needs of the organisation and the assignee. Plus – you will have as dedicated account manager for easy, direct communication throughout your move.”

In summary
These three points can make all the difference to the ease of any move but especially an international relocation.

Talk to BTR about the countries involved with your organisation’s international assignments. We’ve been successfully moving corporate assignees and their families worldwide since 1983. We have a proven track record for providing excellent services and have a network of reliable contacts across the globe.

Contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Spotting Reluctant Relocations

Spotting Reluctant Relocations

For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent costly U-turns and longer settlement periods…
Recruitment specialist Mike Evers told Inside Counsel magazine: “The reality of moving is different from the thought of moving.” He added: “we have gotten pretty good at figuring out who is willing to pull the trigger on such a major life change. That assessment is just as important as matching credentials and culture fit.”

According to Evers, there are five useful signs to spot when assessing whether an assignee will be genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of relocating to a new country:

1. Single vs Partners
Single people relocate alone – without the support of a partner in their new location. They will be starting a new personal life on their own. This means they may take longer to settle into their new role and country.

2. Early Family Involvement
The earlier an assignee involves their spouse and family in reviewing information and asking for details, the more successful the relocation is likely to be. Any progress along the acceptance route without the clear involvement of the employee’s spouse signposts problems ahead.

3. Children
Relocations that involve older children are very difficult. Evers states that: “Even more than a reluctant spouse, teenage children have tremendous influence in this process. Almost without exception, our successful relocation experiences have involved candidates with young kids or no kids.”

4. Resume Clues
Looking at potential assignees’ work history, those who have already worked or lived overseas are most likely to settle quickly in an international relocation.

5. Recruiting Externally?
It is often assumed that, when recruiting externally, someone who is currently unemployed will be more open to the idea of moving abroad. Evers explains: “It’s a bad assumption, and this is actually the most common cold feet scenario. Currently employed candidates tend to do a good job of thinking through the location before investing time and effort in an interview process.  Conversely, and understandably, unemployed candidates seize interview opportunities and always show great enthusiasm early.  The relocation reality check tends to hit them later in the process.”

BTR International has been helping assignees to relocate to new countries for over 30 years. “As well as helping with the physical move, we help assignees and their families to fit into their new surroundings and integrate into to the local culture,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International.

She adds: “This aspect can make or break the success of an international relocation. Spotting potential problems and discussing them as soon as possible can stop them from escalating further along the relocation process, causing problems for the individuals and organisation involved.”

To find out more or discuss your relocation requirements without obligation, contact Louise via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
5 Traits of Successful Global Employees

5 Traits of Successful Global Employees

Global talent is predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2030. However the McKinsey Global Institute’s report also forecasts a shortage of skilled workers. The result? The competition for global workers is set to intensify…
A five-year study of the global workforce by Tsedal Neeley highlights five traits of successful global workers. International recruitment teams should be aware of these attributes, strengthening their organisations’ talent mobility during increasingly competitive times.

Neeley says: “Rather than assuming we’ll work in one location, in our native culture, we will need new skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help us work across cultures. Our ways of thinking about careers, colleagues, and collaboration will need to become more flexible and adaptable.”

Often, international assignees need to work across different countries, languages and cultures. Neely suggests five traits that help global workers to be successful:
 
1. Positive indifference. Embracing cultural differences rather than seeing them as obstacles helps global workers to adjust to international relocation. This is particularly important of less important differences such as the need to wear identity badges, for example.

“Positive indifference is important for two reasons, explains Neely. “One, because global work is by definition likely to bring employees into contact with cultural differences and culturally diverse practices, the ability to adapt smartly could be the difference between success and failure. And two, positive indifference makes work life that much easier in a global firm because employees are open to learning and exploring new terrains.”
 
2. Commonality between cultures. Similarities, just like differences, may seem small yet they can bring colleagues from different cultures closer together. Embracing common elements helps teams to bond and become more productive.
 
3. Global vs local belonging. A sense of belonging with the larger organisation rather than the local office has greater potential for commitment, understanding and job satisfaction.

4. Seeking interactions with other, geographically distant subsidiaries. Communicating with international colleagues enables:
• Shared learning and experiences
• Spread of best practice
• Greater efficiencies

“In general, when interactions are high, there is a greater ability to develop trust and shared vision among international coworkers,” explains Neeley.

5. Aspiring to a global career. The research findings show that travel, living in a new country, and the opportunities for career advancement attracted global career aspirations. For many, the advancement of a global career is linked to their ability to speak English.


“Comprehensive relocation policies give assignees the support framework for their global roles, however the attitude and approach of each individual are key to realizing the full potential of each opportunity,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International.

If you would like a no-obligation review of your organisation’s international relocation policy, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (1) 01582 495495.


Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why International Assignments Make Good Business Sense

Why International Assignments Make Good Business Sense

Many employees jump at the chance of an international assignment. Exciting challenges await… new role, new culture, a fresh start abroad. What are the advantages for the organisations involved?
Increasingly, companies are investing in global talent mobility. Global talent consultants MSI offer four reasons that organisations should introduce and develop international assignments:

1. Market Expansion
Research shows that expansion into existing markets is the biggest reason why employees are transferred overseas. International relocations can help a small office become a strong foothold abroad.

The other major factor for sending employees to another country is expansion into new markets. In fact, research shows that this is almost as important as moves to existing markets. (52% participants gave expanding existing markets as the main reason for internal relocations; 49% cited growing new markets as their main motivation for sending employees overseas.)

2. Develop Top Talent
International relocations involving existing employees help to:
• Project a consistent corporate identity
• Demonstrate commitment to employees’ personal development
• Provide the international experience often needed for leadership roles
• Show that employees are valued as they are trusted to represent the organisation overseas

3. Seize Opportunities Quickly
Existing employees understand the company’s culture, processes and plans. They can help the organisation to move quickly and streamline operations within global markets. This is especially important in markets where there is a local shortage suitably qualified and/or experienced talent.

4. A Different View
MSI explains that: “Being immersed in a new culture boosts creative problem solving and reveals valuable new ways of doing things, and the employee can both share these exciting insights with the company and apply them in his day-to-day work.”

Is your organisation seizing the potential offered by international relocations? AT BTR International, we make global moves as stress-free and cost-effective as possible.

To find out more without obligation, contact Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International. Email her via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image courtesy of rajcreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations

3 Ways to De-Stress International Relocations

Employees are likely to be excited about their imminent global assignments – and a little anxious too. So what can HR managers do to minimise the stress involved?
Here are three top tips:

1. Provide Information

Providing individuals with details of their new assignment and location will help them to make informed decisions about if, when and how they relocate.

In particular, ensure that people are aware of relocation support that they are entitled too. This should go beyond the financial details. Understanding that they are able to receive cross-cultural training, language lessons and support for partners and families - if they are moving too - can be extremely reassuring. As well as easing stress levels, this also helps employers and assignees to set realistic goals for their new role – both professionally and personally.

2. Remove Uncertainty

Housing, schools and transport are key aspects to everyday life. Uncertainty within these areas creates stress. Get these things right and people settle into their new homes and roles more quickly, which is the common goal for everyone involved with the relocation.

If possible, assignees should visit their new location before moving. Temporary accommodation gives people a chance to get to know their new area before choosing their long-term home.

Support with settling in includes services such as arranging for utilities, bank accounts and healthcare to be in place. This eases the transition into day-to-day life in a new country.

3. Communicate


There is often a flurry of communication between employers and assignees prior to relocations. This needs to continue once people arrive in their new country and start their new roles.

Loneliness is often the biggest worry for international assignees. Putting people in touch with future colleagues or other employees already working in the new location offers ‘front line’ information and the chance to ask questions. There will usually be an expat community that people can connect with – however combining this with learning the language and mixing with locals helps assignees to feel ‘at home’ more quickly.

Plus – treat repatriation at the end of an assignment just as carefully as the initial relocation. Although there are less unknown elements involved, slotting back into ‘home’ life needs planning and support too.


“These three tips seem simple enough,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International. “However not applying enough time to them is how many international relocations become more stressful than necessary.

“We’ve helped assignees and their families move and settle abroad for over 25 years. Our goal is to make corporate relocations as stress-free as possible. That’s something that our clients and assignees value too.”

If you would like to discuss your global assignments and how to manage them as smoothly as possible, contact Louise for an informal discussion. Email her via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Take a Break!

Take a Break!

Despite a plethora of research into work-life balance and working hours, UK workers are still bad at taking breaks. Worrying trends are emerging, reflecting the fact that many employees in the UK are working continuously throughout the day… and into the evening.
New research involving 2051 office workers shows that breaks are not taken seriously enough – or in many cases, not at all.

Workfront reports that four trends illustrate concern about employees:

1. Only 20% office workers take 45-60 minutes for their lunch break. 57% take up to 30 minutes – or have no break at all.

2. Delaying calls of nature – 52% participants had delayed visiting the toilet during the last week… to meet a work deadline.

3. 77% workers log into work outside of usual business hours – 47% do this daily.

4. A maximum of 40% of employees’ time is focussed on their main duties thanks to distracting emails, phone calls and meetings.

Addressing these patterns will increase productivity, motivation and satisfaction. Workfront suggests four ways to take control and win back time:

1. Protect prime time – when are you at your best… first thing, late afternoon? Protect this prime time to do the work which is most urgent and important. Book uninterrupted time within your diary – and make sure that your colleagues know about this. Stick to it! (22% participants thought that this idea would improve their productivity.)

2. Schedule set times to respond to emails – 40% workers said that excessive emails affect their productivity. Resist answering emails continuously throughout the day.

3. Agree communication expectations – guidelines regarding expected response times, use of ‘reply all’ and ‘cc’ features plus handling urgent communication. This will enable you to set personal boundaries around emails and messages.

4. Project management software will streamline and prioritise communication regarding the projects you’re working on.

“It can be difficult to make time for a break when you’re very busy,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Our team works tirelessly to ensure that international relocations take place as smoothly as possible.

“This often means working with partners and colleagues across the world, which may involve different customs requirements, cultures and time zones.

“This means that our team must be focussed and flexible at all times. We find that lots of small breaks help concentration and efficiency. Above all, they contribute to efficient international relocations.”

If you would like to discuss your organisation’s international relocation policy or your assignees’ requirements, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
Packing for Your Global Assignment

Packing for Your Global Assignment

Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home abroad to go smoothly...
1. Lighten the Load
Make sure that you are only taking items that you truly need or want. Other items can be stored or even sold.

2. Labels

Your packing partner will label the boxes so that you know which boxes belong to which room. But – make sure that you know where the essentials are – and that these boxes are marked accordingly. For example, which box labeled as ‘bedroom 1’ contains the bedding you’ll need for your first night?

3. List it
An inventory list helps to know exactly what goes where when you arrive at your destination. It prevents the time and stress involved with opening the boxes and then directing your support team. Talk to your move manager about this. They should be happy to help.

4. Liability Cover
A team of trained experts packs your boxes. But - you still need peace of mind that, should the unthinkable happen, any damages are covered by your relocation partner’s liability policy. “It’s very rare, but incidents do happen occasionally,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “We have one of the consistently lowest claims rates in the industry – but we always ensure that sufficient cover is in place.”

5. Life’s Essentials
The most important box to have available immediately upon arrival is your box of essentials: kettle, tea bags, toilet rolls – maybe a bottle of wine for your new fridge! Having these items to hand exactly when you need them will help arrival day to go smoothly.

As well as packing, there are other elements to consider when it comes to an international relocation. These include storage, transportation and customs documentation. “We do everything we can to ensure that every move is completed smoothly, with minimal stress,” adds Louise. “Every assignee and manager has a single point of contact; their own dedicated account manager. We coordinate and manage every stage of the move, keeping everyone involved fully informed.”

To find out more, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.