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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.

05
Dec
2018
Ten Christmas Travel Tips
All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive…
28
Nov
2018
5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner
Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with…
14
Nov
2018
Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet
If you have pets, you’ll know that they are definitely part of your family. So what happens if your employer offers you an international relocation?
31
Oct
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…
12
Oct
2018
How Global Mobility Helps Work-Life Harmony
Many assignees look for global opportunities as part of their quest for a better work-life balance. The reality of this balance will vary for each…
23
Sep
2018
Best Global Business Countries in 2018
During these times of political and economic uncertainty, where are the best places for global business in 2018?
12
Sep
2018
Compare the Relocation Market!
Comparison sites have become the ‘go to’ place when our personal insurance policies are due for renewal.
29
Aug
2018
7 Tips for Relocating Overseas
An international assignment is exciting. Here are our top seven tips for ensuring that your relocation overseas is a success...
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…
Ten Christmas Travel Tips

Ten Christmas Travel Tips

All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive with your festive spirit in tact!
The festive season involves many traditions. For many people this includes travelling to see family and friends... or even an exotic holiday. Whatever your travel plans are this Christmas, bear in mind these helpful travel tips:

1. Avoid the peak travel dates – you’ll save money as well as avoid the crowds.

2. Check your baggage allowance along with your shopping list – taking your Christmas shopping on your flight can create extra fees if you exceed your weight allowance. In fact, the allowance often changes over the Christmas period. If you’re travelling to see relatives or friends, how about ordering online with your destination as the delivery address? (Remember to allow time to wrap presents when you get there!)

3. Avoid excesses before your flight. There is little tolerance of inebriated behaviour – at airports and on flights. Make sure that you are allowed on the aircraft!

4. Allow extra time for parking – this is a busy time… there will be even more fellow travellers around than usual. Even better – can a friend or a taxi give you a lift to the airport?

5. Allow some extra time for booking in.

6. Allow even more extra time – so that when something doesn't go to plan, you deal with it in your stride. Delays happen!

7. Do not wrap presents before your flight – security personnel will need access to all items.

8. If you’re driving, remember to check the car before travelling – we know it but we don’t always do it!

9. Stay connected – there are lots of travel apps that will keep you fully informed about everything from real-time updates on delays to the time you’ll spend in airport security, cheapest petrol prices to the cleanest toilets along your route.

10. Relax! This is the start of your holiday… get ready to enjoy Christmas!

Wishing you a happy festive season from everyone at BTR International.
5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with minimal stress.
How do you choose your international relocation partner? Here are five essential features to look for:

1. Proven Expertise
The FAIMplus is the ultimate accreditation in the international moving services sector. BTR International is proud to have achieved this prestigious standard and has maintained it for many years. We know first-hand how stringent the application and audit process is. FIDIFAIM’s ‘plus’ accreditation shows that your relocation partner has provided qualified evidence that they are truly excellent at managing and implementing international moves. Credentials are important.

2. Independent Network
A truly independent partner will have its own network of contacts across the world. They’ll choose the organisations that will best suit your requirements. Free of the pressures and chains of using partner organisations, an independent relocation partner will offer you truly impartial advice.

3. Customer Service
We know that clients can choose between a myriad of potential partners. In our recent ‘Compare the Relocation Market’ blog, we stated that most clients look for alternative suppliers as soon as their satisfaction rate falls to 80% or less. “We are extremely proud of the consistently excellent customer service that we offer,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation specialist from BTR International. “We work hard to achieve our score of 98% customer satisfaction across all of our contracts, long term and new.”

4. Comprehensive Liability
Working with expert movers minimised the risks to your assignees’ property. It’s good to know that, should the rare accident happen, your relocation partner’s liability cover is adequate and robust.

5. Rapport
Understand why your relocation partner stands out from the crowd – what makes them different and better than your other options? Above all, can you work together? Will you have a single, consistent contact point and 24/7 assistance?

“Choosing your international relocation partner is a big decision,” says Louise. “A credible organisation will be pleased to provide you with the details you need to answer your queries and provide evidence of their work. Transparency and trust are key ingredients within every BTR contract.”

To find out more, 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.
Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet

Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet

If you have pets, you’ll know that they are definitely part of your family. So what happens if your employer offers you an international relocation?
In many cases, it is absolutely ok to take your pet with you. Different countries have their own requirements, however you should find that your pets could relocate with you.

4 Tips for Moving Abroad With Your Pets:

1. Check the requirements of your destination country before travelling

2. Your pet’s health

You will need to obtain a health certificate for your pet, approved up to ten days prior to travelling. Also, please consider the age, disposition and general health of your animal prior to deciding to ship him/her abroad. In addition, how will; the living conditions in your new destination compare to what your animal is used to?

3. Shipping your pet

To ensure that your pet endures minimal stress whilst travelling overseas you should:

• Buy a suitable carrier
• Get your per used to the carrier before travelling – from sleeping and feeding to taking them on short journeys. This ensures that the crate that they travel in is familiar and confortable to them.
• Access to water is essential, so fix a bottle securely to the crate and ensure that your pet is used to drinking from it before he/she travels.
• Provide adequate food (usual brand) and feeding instructions with the carrier. Plus, if you are transporting your dog, provide a collar and lead so that they can walked between flights or during delays prior to boarding.
• Mark your crate with your destination and contact details plus your pet’s name.

4. Returning home

Art the end of your internal assignment, you must meet UK border control requirements when return home with your pet. These include making sure that your pet:

• has been microchipped
• has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate
• has been vaccinated against rabies - it will also need a blood test if you’re travelling from an ‘unlisted country’
• has a tapeworm treatment, (dogs only).

Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you don’t follow these rules - or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.

“Many assignees want to take their pets with them when they relocate overseas,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move Specialist at BTR International. “It’s important that every detail to taken care of to ensure that animals are looked after properly during transit and reunited with their owners safely.”

If you would like to know more about what is involved with taking your pet with you to your planned location, contact Suzanne for an informal discussion. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.



Image by Mister GC. 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
How Global Mobility Helps Work-Life Harmony

How Global Mobility Helps Work-Life Harmony

Many assignees look for global opportunities as part of their quest for a better work-life balance. The reality of this balance will vary for each individual – perhaps work-life harmony is a better expression?
Organisations often claim to value their employees and offer flexibility and opportunity to achieve work-life harmony. This can include the chance of global assignments and relocation – many employees value and seize these opportunities. (Some people may not want to move to a different country or culture – it’s important to spot the reluctant relocations).

A new survey by Comparably, a compensation, culture and career-monitoring site, determines the best companies for work-life balance. The findings show that:

• 51% of people in design jobs and 49% of people in IT jobs say they feel burned out. These two industries represent the highest rates of burnout from those participating in the survey.
• Only 34% of employees from the top 25 winning companies felt burnt out in comparison with 53% of employees from all other companies.
• 29% of people say their bosses expect them to work even on their vacation.
• People ages 18 to 25 report the highest rates of working on their vacation to keep up with their bosses’ expectations (37%).
• People in business development are called upon most during vacation time (44%).
• 33% say work-life balance is their number one concern over compensation, advancement and job stability.

From the top 25 companies, 20% of employees are not satisfied with their work-life balance. 57% of workers say they’d stay at a job with a low salary if they had lots of paid time off. As we’ve previously highlighted, it’s so important to take a break.

Job site Indeed has ranked the top employers in the UK based on employer reviews:

1. Transport for London
2. University of Leeds
3. Apple
4. Unilever
5. Kumon
6. University of Greenwich
7. John Lewis
8. Jobcentre Plus
9. GlaxoSmithKline
10. American Express
11. Thomson Reuters
12. University of Southampton
13. Lloyds Banking Group
14. BAE Systems
15. Rolls-Royce

Suzanne Sells, Global Move Specialist at BTR International says: “Well-being is incredibly important and the workplace has a huge impact on every employee, affecting their work-life balance and ultimately their well-being. It’s no surprise that many people welcome the opportunity to work in a new country and culture if they think that this will help improve their work-life balance.

“The right support is essential so that assignees and their families adapt to their new lifestyle quickly, enjoying their work and their leisure time whilst learning about a new culture.”

Are you involved with managing international relocations for your organisation? Find out how global relocation can be stress-free… call Suzanne at BTR International on +44 (0) 1582 495495 or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Best Global Business Countries in 2018

Best Global Business Countries in 2018

During these times of political and economic uncertainty, where are the best places for global business in 2018?
Whether you’re a business owner, an investor or an assignee, it’s fascinating to know where foreign direct investment is being directed. Forbes Insights and OFX have developed the Global Exchange Index (GEI). This ranking takes various factors into account, such as: business environment, cost of living and quality of expatriate experience. The degree to which each country welcomes foreign investment and protects private property is also taken into consideration.

Forbes reports that the top ten countries for global business are:

1. Singapore
Singapore’s winning position is heavily influenced by its hospitality, absence of corruption and rapid economic growth. It was ranked as the top country for ease of doing business.

2. Switzerland
The economy in Switzerland combines stability and flexibility very well. Skills are amongst its most important imports, suiting global mobility very well.

3. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is strongly internationally-minded with a long history as a great trading nation. The Dutch are hospitable toward foreigners, as evidenced by the fact that 90% or more of the population speaks English.

4. United States
With the largest economy and the largest value of foreign direct investment, the US is strongly competitive and readily accepts foreigners.

5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong has the second-highest stock of foreign direct investment in the world and an ideal physical location for many markets.

6. Germany
German society is now diverse and inclusive with Berlin other cities ranked among the best cities in the world in terms of the quality of life.

7. Canada
Forbes states that: “Almost a quarter of the population is foreign-born, and major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver are as cosmopolitan as New York and London. Among the attractions of Canada for foreign investors are a relatively low cost of living and a highly qualified workforce.”

8. United Kingdom
The decision to leave the European Union has influenced the UK’s position, as the country would normally feature more highly in this list of global business countries. Whilst it remains the financial capital of Europe, Forbes reports that “its relatively poor showing in the expatriate survey and lagging global competitiveness help push it down to eighth place.”

9. Ireland
Ireland successfully attracts foreign investment, helped by its corporate income tax rate being the lowest in Europe, (12.5%). Whilst Ireland’s population has a reputation for being friendly, the country scored poorly in the expatriate survey.

10. China
The report shows that China is: “now the fourth-largest recipient of foreign direct investment, driven by the promise of access to the world’s second-largest economy and its position as an export powerhouse.”

“Each of these countries each offers unique opportunities for organisations and assignees alike,” says Suzanne sells, Global Move Specialist at BTR International. “Stress-free, fully supported relocations ensure that assignees can settle into their new country and culture quickly. By enjoying their new role and country more quickly, assignees offer better productivity to their companies.”

Are you managing global relocations for your organisation? Talk to Suzanne at BTR International about how your moves can be as smooth as possible. Email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495. You’ll have a single point of contact to keep you fully informed and our reach is truly global.
Compare the Relocation Market!

Compare the Relocation Market!

Comparison sites have become the ‘go to’ place when our personal insurance policies are due for renewal.
In the UK, 60% of people use them when researching or buying a financial product. Car, house… even holiday insurance… most of us shop around before renewing with our existing policy provider – or not.

The top reasons for using these comparisons are:

• Finding the best deal – 85%
• Price comparison – 83%
• Reduce costs or outgoings – 79%
• View which companies offer the policy needed – 69%
• Switch suppliers - 67%

Surely these reasons apply to businesses too? Yet – in our professional lives, securing comparisons is not as instinctive despite the higher value of the contracts involved.

Sticking with an existing provider can be a signal of apathy, of demanding roles or little time rather than an indication of good service and best value.

“Many organisations would rather avoid the time and effort involved with changing supplier whilst the company involved is providing an adequate service. Buy why should companies ‘settle’ for a service rather than be impressed by the work and value provided?” asks Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International.

Complacency can often creep into relationships with long term suppliers. Often, neither party realises that this is happening. Talking to an alternative supplier can introduce a fresh approach and innovative ideas. Sometimes, it can reassure you that you are right to keep working with your existing supplier. Very often, it can signpost the need to change. Simply talking to other providers can highlight opportunities to increase both service and value. If you don’t have conversations, you’ll never know.

Consistency is Key
Research shows that as soon as customer satisfaction falls to 80% or less, clients are willing to consider alternative suppliers.

Across all of BTR International’s contracts, our customer satisfaction score is 98%. “We are proud of our consistent performance,” says Suzanne. “This means that we never take our existing clients for granted and have a great deal to offer new contacts.”

She explains: “An informal discussion doesn’t need to be time consuming, yet it can generate a wealth of ideas to consider.”

Do you have time for an informal discussion about your international relocation requirements? There’s no obligation involved and it could be very enlightening!

Contact Suzanne via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495. Ensure that your assignees’ international relocations involve minimal stress and maximum cost-effectiveness.


Sources: pwc, mintel, B2B International
7 Tips for Relocating Overseas

7 Tips for Relocating Overseas

An international assignment is exciting. Here are our top seven tips for ensuring that your relocation overseas is a success...
1. Visit first – if you can see your new location before you move, it will help you enormously. Make the most of internet research too. The more you learn about the culture and infrastructure before you move, the easier it is to be prepared.

2. Prepare your paperwork – this should be part of your relocation package. Many countries require visas for working there even if they are not needed for holidaying to that location.

3. Healthcare – from jabs to insurance, what is healthcare like in your new location? Will you need injections before you travel? You should receive sound advice from your relocation partner. Knowing where your local, English-speaking medical centre is located offers huge reassurance.

4. Travel with technology – making sure that your tablet, laptop or smartphone has GSM and/or Wi-Fi access in your new location is essential. This means that you can access online information, make Skype calls and find your way around immediately.

5. Join the conversation
– most places have a strong expat community. Find local blogs and forums for useful tips and contacts in your new location. But – don’t let this stop you from mixing with the locals too. You’ll feel ‘at home’ much quicker.

6. Learn the lifestyle – many new countries have different customs, dress codes, cultural attitudes compared with your native ones. Looking into how local society works will save awkward moments once you’ve arrived.

7. Learn the language – feedback from international assignees shows that this is the fastest way to feel a sense of belonging and community in your new location.


“An international assignment is an exciting challenge, “says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International.

“You need to be fully prepared for your new lifestyle as well as the physical move involved. Professional relocation support allows you to settle in and enjoy your new role and surroundings as quickly as possible.”

If you would like to discuss any of the above points, please contact Suzanne via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
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