Four megatrends shaping the future of global mobility

The world is changing at a pace never seen before. It might feel overwhelming at times, but with great change comes great opportunity. How ready is your organisation to cope with the change that is already happening, and what does this change mean for the future of work and the future of global mobility?

At our recent global mobility seminar, my colleague Iain McCluskey and I talked through some of the key megatrends that are shaping the future of work. I think these are already having a disruptive effect on organisations and the economy as a whole. I believe global mobility functions have a crucial role to play in helping organisations respond to these changes, driving out new cultures and behaviours across the organisation. Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities and challenges for global mobility functions to address:

Sustainability is no longer just a buzz word to be bolted onto an organisation’s annual report to tick the green agenda box. 43% of CEOs in our latest CEO survey told us resource scarcity and climate change was in their top three concerns. So you might consider different ways to factor this into your current mobility policies. Do you offer environmentally sustainable benefits such as electric cars, or swap home leave flights for an allowance to be spent on sustainable projects, for example?

A dramatic shift in economic power is underway. In 2015 the size of the middle class in Asia Pacific is expected to overtake Europe and North America combined. As part of the mobility function, you need to consider your organisation’s strategy around developing and sharing talent across emerging markets to address this shift in economic power. Have you developed a programme to develop the future CEOs of emerging markets, based in emerging markets?

The world’s population is expected to grow by 1bn people by 2025. A changing demographic means that, of that increase, 300m are predicted to be people aged 65 or over, so our workforces will be getting older. 63% of CEOs said they were concerned about the availability of key skills impacting on their organisation’s growth prospects. What steps has your organisation taken to address the ageing workforce? Flexible working arrangements are becoming the norm but have yet to really feature in mobility policies.

Technological breakthroughs mean that around half of US jobs are at risk of being computerised over the next two decades – a scary thought. Technological products and innovations are already making it possible for people to work from anywhere, so cross-border home-working will only increase. The company that can manage and promote this new way of working will attract and retain the best talent.

It feels that the time is right to take a step back, evaluate where your function is today and where you want to be in five years’ time. Global mobility has a huge role to play in ensuring that your organisation is attracting and retaining the best talent, leaving you in the best possible position to embrace the opportunities ahead.

No doubt there are other factors that will help to future proof your mobility function. We’d love to hear from you to learn from your experiences. You can leave your comments below, or drop me a line.

Louise Willey  | Senior Manager
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