The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered the lives of people all across the globe. From lockdowns to restricted travel and working from home, experiences differ vastly from pre-pandemic times.
The abrupt closure of many offices and workplaces as a result of lockdowns has ushered in a new era of remote work for millions of employed individuals all around the world.
While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most businesses. In most countries, a large segment of the working population is now working from home.
According to an article by Forbes, by 2025, 70 % of the workforce will be working from home. This is a huge change from the times when business travel and global work were commonplace.
Global work vs. Remote work
Global work differs from remote work, as it involves physical relocation and travel, where an employee has to live in another country for a period of time. On the other hand, remote work is a type of flexible working arrangement which allows employees to work from anywhere, outside of corporate offices.
Why Global work seems to be losing its attractiveness amidst the Pandemic
Expensive & Limited Travel Flights
The pandemic has forced people to rethink working abroad and business travel. Flights home which used to be available at the click of a button, are now expensive and limited.
Furthermore, travellers often have to spend long periods of time being quarantined in a hotel (typically ranging between 7 – 21 days, depending on the arrival country’s travel restrictions).
On-going Travel Bans & Restrictions
Coupled with travel bans and restrictions imposed by countries across the globe, global work in some regions may not be feasible amidst the pandemic.
The pandemic has also changed the equation for those already working overseas, as heading back to one’s home country has become harder than before.
Changing Preference Towards Global Work
Very often, predictability brings comfort when individuals encounter periods of stress and anxiety. This leads people to look for the familiar. This is coupled with the high cost of living which has pushed many employees to head back to their home countries.
The pandemic has also shown many people the importance of being close to home in the event of a global crisis, causing many to see a lower level of appeal in being an expatriate overseas.
Indeed, research by GLOMO has shown that Covid-19 “fuelled family oriented decisions, as personal and professional spheres were merged in the domestic space, challenging a long-pursued but fragile balance.”
Importance of Global work
However, many organisations make use of global work for leadership development, subsidiary control and knowledge transfer, all of which are extremely important for a business.
How then can they reconcile the fact that global work is losing its appeal?
How Businesses can Better Manage Employees’ Wants & Needs
It is a common sentiment that crisis breeds innovation, and is the best impetus for change, and the pandemic has clearly demonstrated this point.Businesses of all sizes — from small startups to large multinational companies, have taken steps to ensure their survival. These measures could range from pivoting their business model to providing new goods and services, and digital transformation.
Since face-to-face meetings are less common with the pandemic, employers have also had to use new methods to better manage their employees’ wants and needs.
Everyone can agree that communication is the key to success. Employers have to improving internal communications strategies to prioritise employee relations, or encouraging continuous engagement. This could be via virtual means, or even investing in online support structures.
Flexibility is also very important, and many employees are now used to working from home. Businesses have thus had to adopt to an agile, flexible workforce, with the freedom to work anywhere, at any time.
The Relocation Industry’s Pivot
As mentioned above, since global work has dwindled in attractiveness, the relocation industry has hit a rut. Thus, instead of fully focusing on relocation, it has had to pivot and come up with new business strategies.
To survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world, businesses have to constantly stay atop technological trends, or at least, move online.
Relocation industry also facing the impact by pandemic. For example, searching for new homes overseas has typically a very physical experience. However, due to the pandemic, people are no longer able to do so in person.
In the relocation industry, we’ve seen some companies start moving towards digital. For example, property providers offer home-viewing services online and international movers conduct inventory survey virtually.
Expansion of Service Repertoire
Relocation businesses may also consider a change in their business strategy, and have expanded their repertoire of services. Since specialist immigration, moving and housing companies are finding it harder to thrive, it is important for relocation businesses to be able to “do it all”.
At times, these businesses might be required to act as a specialist, while at other times, they have to become a jack of all trades, and dabble in various different business models.
Digitisation doesn’t Happen Instantly
Though digitisation is imperative in this day and age, it takes work and doesn’t happen overnight.
Digital transformation initiatives succeed when they are incremental, cost-effective and sustainable. Therefore businesses need to focus on outcomes, deploying high-calibre talent and monitoring progress every step of the way.
In the relocation industry, companies can first begin by using virtual platforms and video calls to bring their home-viewing services online. Other methods include using AI chatbots and software to communicate with clients around the clock.
All these methods better enable companies to adapt to a post-Covid world.
How Moovaz Can Help
To kickstart your company’s digitisation process, you can partner with Moovaz to optimise your customer experience. With our proprietary technology, we strive to inspire freedom for our partners and clients. As a relocation platform, Moovaz is here to help you increase your business value, to help your business scale with ease.