April 3, 2024

Exploring 2024 Mobility Insights

Top 4 Takeaways

What do global mobility leaders want?

  1. More help securing accommodations – including temporary living – in their employees’ top destination locations
  2. Greater insights into how their policies and benefits compare with industry peers and current trends
  3. Ideas to help control relocation program costs while simultaneously building more choice into program benefits
  4. Technology solutions that are better integrated with their own, facilitating enhanced reporting, risk mitigation and decision- making through data

We asked global mobility leaders to share what was on their “wish list” for 2024. You might be surprised to learn what rose to the top.

We asked global mobility leaders to share what was on their “wish list” for 2024. You might be surprised to learn what rose to the top.

In January, we invited HR and global mobility leaders to ponder a few What-If scenarios, including:

  • If they could get more help or guidance around any of the more challenging areas of their responsibilities right now, which ones would they choose?
  • If they could customize their technology solutions, what improvements would they make?
  • If they could share the top three wishes they would like to see their mobility service partners grant them this year, what would they be?

To say that global economic and geopolitical conditions remain uncertain as we entered 2024 feels like an understatement, but significant labor and skill shortages persist, and companies still need to attract, recruit, hire and move talent. Here are some of the things global mobility leaders would find helpful as they work to achieve those goals.

Read on for a synopsis of what’s on their minds.

Where Support Would Be Most Valuable

First, we asked GM leaders to share which areas of responsibility they wish they had more guidance on or help fulfilling. The survey allowed users to select from a variety of topics, with participants free to indicate as many as they felt were applicable.

The list, in order of most frequently cited areas includes:

share guidance

Respondent Demographics

A snapshot of our respondents reveals

Global Programs Every participant is either moving employees across borders exclusively or engaged in both cross-border and domestic moves – none are engaged in domestic-only moves.
Variety of Industries Industry sectors vary widely, from accounting, insurance and other financial services, to oil and gas, chemicals, telecommunications, utilities, computer hardware/software and engineering and construction. 
94% < 2,000 Employees A large majority (94%) are mid-size to large organizations, with more than 2,000 employees.
Avg. Move Volumes:
1 - 10 Domestically
11 - 50 Globally
The most common average annual move volumes reported were between 1-10 domestically and between 11-50 globally, followed by those who move between 11-50 domestically and 51-100 globally each year.

What the Results Tell Us

It’s no secret that high housing costs for rentals and purchases, low inventories and varying degrees of safety and quality in temporary accommodations continue to plague mobility teams. Add in a growing consumer demand for options that meet sustainability goals and provide amenities to facilitate hybrid work arrangements and social connections, and the field is even more narrow. While signs are positive that new construction is catching up to demand and there are growing numbers of new entrants to the extended stay market, including certain hotel chains, it’s clearly a challenge that requires further attention and even more innovative solutions to meet in 2024.

It was somewhat surprising that the need to control costs and provide greater flexibility and choice came in at the number three and six positions, respectively. So much attention was paid to that delicate and challenging balancing act in 2023, we expected both priorities to continue to appear much higher on this year’s wish list.

However, the high-ranking of benchmarking clearly indicates that now is the time many organizations are examining their current policies with an eye toward updating or revising them, and they want to know how they stack up. Information about the approaches other organizations are taking within and beyond the same industries, as well as how general market trends overall are influencing policy design – is very much in demand.

We also have room to continue to work together to improve how we communicate about and educate key business stakeholders on the industry. More information on the strategic business value and ROI of talent mobility, and why and how certain global developments can impact the costs, timelines and overall experiences of employees and families on the move are highly valued.

Finally, ensuring full compliance with changing immigration, tax and social security regulations still clearly pose some challenges, particularly for companies engaging in extended business travel and permanent transfers.

How Does Technology Fit In?

We also asked what would appear on technology wish lists and found the results to be more evenly distributed. Again, respondents could select from a list, choosing as many topics as applicable.

My technology wish list includes:

technology wish list

These results align with the need to monitor and control costs as reported above. But what’s interesting here is that we still have room to improve how we’re tracking employee locations, work duties and compliance deadlines – activities we thought we’d gained much greater ground on following the pandemic.

For all the media hype of AI revolutionizing the workplace, it would seem a continued focus on the more fundamentals of tracking, reporting and seamlessly integrating platforms are the bigger priorities for GM professionals and their teams right now.

Open-Ended Wish List

Finally, we asked respondents to share in their own words what three wishes they would like to see granted from their current mobility service partners. Here we saw several common themes, including:

I wish my service providers would:

Provide more pro-active guidance on continuously improving our processes and operational efficiencies

Foster greater levels of true partnership, trust and reliability, including candidly challenging our decisions and thinking

Keep us more informed on industry trends and best practices seen with other clients both in and outside of our industry

Integrate more fully with our business and our team

Give us greater choices in destination services, particularly as related to accommodation needs

What’s Next?

Now is clearly a good time for mobility leaders and their partners to work together
to assess their current program and how it is contributing to business needs,
look for ways to more fully integrate from both the personnel and technology
standpoints, and further define opportunities for greater efficiencies. 

We heard that more data around mobility industry trends and best practices
continues to be helpful, not only to GM and HR leaders, but to equip them
with the tools they need to better educate their colleagues as well. 

Download “wish list” recap for 2024


Kristin White

Kristin White

Kristin brings nearly 30 years of experience in global workforce mobility, PR, marketing, editorial planning and communications to her role as a member of the thought leadership and content development teams. Before joining the company in 2020, she worked for many years at Worldwide ERC® in collaboration with cross-departmental teams and industry stakeholders to develop in-person and virtual event programming, digital and print content, and served as editor of Mobility magazine. Contact Kristin at kristin.white@sterlinglexicon.com.

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