Fitting Mobility to Business Purpose

Male tailor fitting another man for a custom suit

In the past, we have used the analogy of the toolbox within mobility and referred to the variety of policies as the tools that we store in them and pull out to use for a specific work project, business initiative, or development opportunity. That analogy works pretty well, but in this post we are going to replace the old toolbox with a wardrobe and reassign policies as “outfits” rather than “tools.” In this environment, where cost, flexibility, and experience are the highest priorities, we need to get creative in leveraging our outfits to design the most fit-for-purpose mobility support. That lets us maximize mobility for business and talent situations.

In this analogy, it’s about “tailoring” the policy benefits to the employee and situation, just as a person’s wardrobe offers them the flexibility to dress themselves as they need and see fit for them and the specific situation. And we know that between personal situations and business needs, things are going to change at some point along the way. Many adjustments will need to be made on the fly.

In this article from GTN, they share that while we continue to explore “work structures” where Work From Anywhere and Virtual Assignments are still very much in the mix (and desired by employees), long-term assignments, short-term assignments, and permanent transfers each have attributes that warrant consideration when determining the most appropriate way to meet objectives for your company and employees. So they focus on the advantages and disadvantages of these options. After going through the pros and cons of LTAs, STAs and Intl Perm Transfers, they ask: “what is the best relocation type for your company”?

The answer to the question actually comes with a few more clarifying questions, such as:

  • Why is the employee moving? Is the move initiated by the individual or needed by the organization?
  • What are the organizational goals relating to the move? Is the timeline for the proposed relocation reasonable to achieve these objectives?
  • Do the employee’s career and personal goals align with the proposed scenario?
  • Does the scenario support the longer-term career development objectives for the employee—e.g., will there be ongoing support to make sure the investment in the employee is not lost due to not having an appropriate repatriation plan?
  • (and I add) Is the employee’s family moving with them or remaining at home?

Today, one size fit programs are not meeting the need to balance experience and cost. There are more flexible approaches to ensure that these are all win-win experiences for the employee, family, and company!


Based on these evolving trends, it may be easy for organizations to overlook the use of more traditional mobility arrangements to support their business growth and talent management goals. However, long-term assignments, short-term assignments, and permanent transfers each have attributes that warrant consideration when determining the most appropriate way to meet the objectives for your company and employees.

As mobility programs continue to evolve, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of traditional assignment types and permanent transfers. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of these options.



Bonus: Tax compliance is a big deal, which is why Plus is teaming up with Eric Loff from GTN to talk about tax risks, challenges, and how mobility programs are adapting. You can register now for the webinar on Feb 20.

Plus Spotlight: Global Tax with GTN

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