As we progress into a new decade, it’s becoming clear that businesses are increasingly striving towards increasing their international markets. Indeed, global mobility looks likely to become one of the key HR trends of 2020, with an ever-intensifying focus on transforming ordinary enterprises into worldwide institutions.

No longer are companies content to limit themselves to a single pool of consumers nor a single nationality of worker. Instead, they’re turning their gazes outward and allowing themselves to dip into an international labour pool while also growing their audience.

While global mobility is a trend in itself, we’re also seeing certain patterns emerging within this area specifically, from international commuting to AI and increased inclusivity, and because of this, it’s important for businesses who want to benefit from global mobility to have an understanding of these.

Driving change in 2020, it’s a good idea for businesses and business owners to familiarise themselves with these concepts and how they could advantage their companies as the world of commerce becomes ever more international.

Shifting priorities

While global mobility is a notion that all employers should be embracing and that many employees view in a favourable light, it’s important to understand the toll it can take on those it affects. Indeed, while many professionals appreciate the opportunity to travel around the world with work, priorities are shifting, and there is an increasing focus on the importance of family relationships and self-care too.

As a result, many employees are demonstrating a preference for shorter assignments – ones that allow them to safeguard their mental health, recharge their batteries, and spend more time with their loved ones.

This trend is particularly prevalent among younger millennials, who are now beginning to step into more senior corporate positions. Often children of divorce themselves, many have a more family-focused view than their predecessors, with a 2016 study indicating that millennial mothers spend almost an hour more a day with their children than the previous generation. Millennial fathers, too, are more family-oriented, spending roughly an hour a day with their children compared to only 16 minutes for baby boomer dads.

This means that not only will there be a trend for shorter assignments moving forward, but that those who commute internationally are likely to expect greater flexibility with regards to their working hours e.g. that they’ll show a preference toward a shorter working week that gives them more free time to spend with their loved ones.

Big data analytics and AI will enter the mainstream

Another big trend that’s likely to emerge is the increasing use of disruptive technologies such as AI and big data analytics. While these have made headlines for the last few years now, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll soon become the norm in the global mobility sector.

Experts suggest that global mobility professionals will begin using them as a way of streamlining management processes and communicating with a workforce that will be scattered across the globe, in order to minimise the number of hours expended on admin tasks, compliance issues, and so on.

An increased emphasis on diversity and inclusivity

In keeping with the theme of making their businesses more internationally minded, it’s also assumed that a greater emphasis will be placed on inclusivity and diversity – a seemingly natural but nonetheless positive consequence of dipping into a global talent pool.

While there has been a move toward this for many years, it’s argued that the concept is currently celebrated more in theory than in practice – something that’s likely to change as we move forward into 2020 and beyond.

Interestingly, studies have indicated that not only do increased inclusivity and diversity reap social benefits, but that they’re a business-savvy decision too. Indeed, research conducted in 2018 by Boston Consulting Group indicated that companies with a diverse leadership team not only recorded better business innovation results, but roughly 20 per cent more revenue than their more conservative counterparts.

With global mobility offering an opportunity to dip into a much-more diverse talent pool, this is a perfect time for employers to embrace this concept and marry increased global mobility with a more representative and – according to research – successful workforce.

Isn’t it time you considered how to implement these trends in your business? With a new decade on the horizon and everything to strive toward, there has never been a better time to embrace such changes.