A black and white image showing a single person sat in the left-most of a row of four chairs silhouetted against a large window that overlooks an airport. The wing of an aeroplane extends from the right-hand side of the image almost as far as the person. The chairs are reflected in the shiny floor, with two rows running perpendicular to the row the person is sat on. On the right-hand side to the top of the image are the words “The Future of Global Mobility based on pandemic and pre-pandemic behaviours.” In the bottom left it says, “A potential paradigm shift in Global Mobility?” The RES Forum logo is to the bottom right.

Francine Smith, Senior Global Mobility Consultant, IPM Global


Global Mobility has undergone significant disruption in recent years. As we reflect on the new post-pandemic era, organizations will surely face further unprecedented challenges and opportunities. This piece considers a few of those trends shaping the future landscape of global mobility, and the need for agility, continuous innovation, and resilience among those who work in this field.

Whilst the rapid pace of technology is driving advances in remote working, virtual collaboration tools, artificial intelligence, and employee tracking, there is a renewed focus on the employee experience and how to maximise technology to achieve this. The rise of remote work both internationally and domestically, has blurred the lines between local and global workplaces, allowing professionals to contribute and collaborate from anywhere in the world. However, this shift has also led to a broader re-evaluation of the traditional expatriate model, with Talent taking a leading role in working with global mobility to influence and expand the demographics of those considered for global assignment, as well as the types of assignment offered. There has been an increase in the number of permanent transfers offered by employers as organisations evolve their programmes and find ways to reduce costs and move their employees to their chosen host locations on a permanent basis.

As global mobility becomes integral to organizational success at all levels, the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace will continue. Organizations are looking to prioritise inclusivity in their global mobility programs, ensuring equal opportunities for all employees regardless of nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or cultural background. Tailored support systems, mentorship, and inter-cultural training will be essential in creating environments where all employees and their accompanying families can thrive.

With global news very much in the headlines, the geo-political landscape surely also plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of global mobility. Increasingly complex international relations, trade tensions, and changing immigration policies have a direct impact on the movement of professionals across borders. Organizations must proactively adapt to these geopolitical shifts, developing agile strategies that mitigate risks and capitalise on emerging opportunities. Collaborative efforts between governments, businesses, and international organizations will be crucial in creating a conducive environment for global mobility to continue in the face of geopolitical instability.

However, what strikes me the most is how many organizations are now choosing to take a breath and look to see how others are responding to these challenges by seeking guidance on policy benchmarking, best practice, and consultancy to future-proof their global mobility programmes.  While maintaining cost efficiency of assignments is, typically, a business objective, balancing this with compliance and ensuring the inclusion of competitive assignment benefits is also important to making a successful assignment proposition.

IPM Global offers a fully managed, end to end assignment services programme, including global compensation, immigration and relocation services, as well as policy design and benchmarking. This allows them to concentrate on strategy and talent development, while delivering value through global mobility, knowing their colleagues and their legal and compliance obligations will be taken care of through the assignment.


RES Forum commentary

This is from the RES Forum’s commentary on a piece of research exploring a potential paradigm shift in Global Mobility. Written by GLOMO – Global Mobility of Employees, part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 project, the research shares the insight of senior GM professionals on the impact covid-19 has had on our industry.

Get your copy of the RES Forum’s companion paper, here: theresforum.com/annual-report


About IPM Global

IPM Global is a boutique professional services firm providing expertise and industry-leading solutions for the management of your cross-border workforce. Our focus is on high touch service, supported by leading edge technology, and developing long term client and supplier relationships (over more than 25 years). We work in an open and transparent way offering exceptional value for money. Our team has in depth knowledge and experience in all aspects of the Global Mobility function. We will support you in identifying and implementing your Strategic challenges, with innovative solutions that give you competitive advantage.