Obstacles to Global Mobility

Remote working globally

Mercer has released the results of its latest Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices.

This research analyses answers from 831 participants. It addresses the most critical policy and practice elements of international assignments. These include the reasons why global mobility sometimes fails.

The report compares the responses given in 2012 with the results from 2015. In all the results shown below, participants could give multiple answers.

Top obstacles to global mobility

2012 results:
1. Cost – 69%
2. Dual career/family-related issues – 64%
3. Career management issues – 45%
4. Lack of package attractiveness – 42%
5. Hardship/remoteness of locations – 41%

2015 scores:
1. Dual career/family-related issues – 37%
2. Cost – 35%
3. Hardship/remoteness of locations – 25%
4. Career management issues – 23%
5. Lack of package attractiveness – 18%

All the barriers reduced in significance in 2015 compared with 2012, with ‘cost’ no longer topping the table. This suggests that organisations have increased efficiencies in global relocation, from operational issues through to assignee support.

Why international assignments fail:

Reasons in 2012:
1. Difficulty adjusting to host country – 64%
2. Poor candidate selection – 58%
3. Spouse/partner unhappiness – 58%
4. Poor job performance – 52%

Causes in 2015:

1. Poor candidate selection – 44%
2. Difficulty adjusting to host country – 41%
3. Spouse/partner unhappiness – 41%
4. Poor job performance – 41%Again, all reasons stated for the failure of international assignments have reduced in significance. In line with the results for global mobility obstacles, the support offered assignees’ partners/families has improved. As a result, this factor is less likely to prevent and/or fail international assignments.

“It is good to see that barriers to international assignments are becoming less significant,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International. “Successful global mobility depends upon a combination of effective relocation policies and thorough support packages for assignees and their families. The results show that more organisations are achieving this blend.”

If you would like to discuss your company’s relocation practises, contact Kevin for an informal discussion. Emailkevin@btrinternational.com or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.


Image courtesy of rajcreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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