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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.

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…
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.
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
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.