The changing mobility agenda in Asia-Pacific and beyond

Technology, flexibility, and humanity will be shaping mobility expectations and programmes in the year ahead, and beyond.
By: | June 3, 2019


The increasingly global nature of business is increasingly unavoidable.

In this landscape, workforce mobility is more important than ever – it has become a key strategy for attracting, developing, and retaining the best available talent.

The 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Survey found that out of more than 11,000 business and HR leaders, from some 124 countries, more than two-thirds (68%) felt that a mobile workforce would enable business and talent strategies. However, only 5% considered themselves to be “world class” in handling mobility across their workforces.

This is perhaps because disruption has shifted how organisations understand and approach workforce mobility. In 2019, that disruption will be taking multiple forms – from the international tensions caused by the USChina trade war, to the evolving expectations of millennials and Generation Z.

Against this complex backdrop, HRM Magazine Asia looks at three things HR leaders and teams need to know about mobility for this year and beyond.


Mobility is for everyone

Diversity and inclusion at the workplace hasn’t generally included discussions of mobility, but as the understanding and approach to it matures at the organisational level, employees are also expecting it to expand to better encompass the whole working experience.

In 2019, companies will need to be prepared to expand their mobility programmes to be more inclusive to families, women, and disabled workers, if they haven’t already done so.

“Asthe understanding and approach to diversity and inclusion matures at the organisational level, employees are also expecting it to expand to better encompass the whole working experience.

Further, it’s no longer enough to think about mobility as something that only impacts the upper echelons of the organisation. Businesses are now increasingly using mobility as a way to ensure their employees at all levels are globally-competitive.

Overseas stints offer potent opportunities to optimise individual potential and skill; not just for the leadership of today, but also the leadership of tomorrow.

Employees are increasingly aware of mobility as a tool for career progression, too: in a 2018 survey by Topia and Wakefield Research, more than 70% of the more than 1,000 respondents felt that relocating to a different office within the organisation would help advance their careers in the long-term, even if the assignment itself didn’t come with a pay raise or promotion.


Leveraging technology and data

Business trips, short stints, and longer overseas assignments are just some of the different mobility options available to organisations. But this year, the impetus is on organisations to enact flexible frameworks and infrastructures. These should allow employees to be mobilised according to their own personal needs and preferences, along with those of the business.

For instance, organisations are increasingly turning to the concept of extended business travel to keep costs down: a pulse survey by Cartus last year found that three-quarters of respondents expected their internal demographic of extended business travellers to increase over the next two years.

Crafting a more flexible mobility programme doesn’t necessarily have to make it more complex. Relocation experts offer tools and solutions that don’t just help employees to navigate their relocation journeys, but also organisations to track trends and costs. Such tools also enable far more effective communication between mobile workers and their employers.

In fact, technology has impacted all aspects of mobility. It has enabled the development of sleek and powerful platforms to make everything from freight and shipping, to accommodation and financial services, accessible at the click of a button. Even serviced apartment providers are getting into the game, with the aim of providing hi-tech end-to-end experiences.

In the pre-booking space, Ascott has partnered with online accommodation booking platforms market leaders such as Tujia and Fliggy. Post-booking, guests in Singapore are welcomed with pocket devices that allow them to enjoy wireless connectivity anytime, anywhere; while guests in Hong Kong are provided with smartphones equipped with unlimited mobile data.


Don’t forget the human touch

Of course, technology will make mobility more painless, but HR teams need to be careful to ensure it does not overshadow the importance of human interaction.

Even as there is greater understanding of workplace mental health issues, emotional and psychological support are vital in ensuring that mobile employees are able to adjust and thrive in their new environments.

Most importantly of all, mobility professionals and teams will need to evolve to keep up with these new expectations, and deliver advice and support that enables positive, future-ready mobility experiences for all.


Marketplace – Mobility and Relocation

Cartus has more than 60 years of demonstrated solutions and satisfied clients. Our Products and Services cover every phase of the relocation process, from selling a home, finding a new home, and shipping household goods, to settling in and adjusting to new communities around the world.

And our relocation services are as flexible as they are varied. Working as your partner, we can provide as little, or as much, support as you need to meet your mobility goals..

Far East Hospitality

Far East Hospitality is an established international hospitality owner and operator with a combined portfolio of more than 14,500 rooms under management across over 90 hotels and serviced residences in seven countries: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

It has a stable of nine unique and complementary brands: Oasia, Quincy, Rendezvous, Village, Far East Collection, Adina Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels, and TFE Hotels Collection, offering guests a greater diversity of choice and locations

Ascott Malaysia – Afiniti Suites

Somerset Medini is one of a premier collection of The Ascott Limited’s serviced residences in over 160 cities in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Whether as an individual or with a family in tow, Somerset Medini makes for an excellent choice in Johor Bahru, because the serviced residence is a stone’s throw away from established developments such as Puteri Harbour, Sunway Iskandar, Pinewood Iskandar, Gleneagles Hospital and Legoland Malaysia.

The strategic location makes Somerset Medini the place to live, study, work, and play.