How Workplace Mobility Is Redefining the Employee Experience

Workplace mobility is fundamental to providing workers with the ultimate employee experience. Here’s how this function can improve your culture, retention, and growth.

Shannon Hodgen
Written by Shannon Hodgen
October 7, 2022
Need help onboarding international talent?
Try Deel

Key Takeaways

  1. Workplace mobility supports employee retention by providing workers with the flexibility and growth they desire
  2. Globally mobile teams experience higher diversity, which leads to more innovative, creative, and inclusive leaders
  3. Employees who are happy with their company’s location flexibility are twice as likely to recommend the company to a friend

What does the employee experience of the future look like? Well, that will depend on where your employees choose to work—and with workplace mobility, they’ll have plenty of options. 

Workplace mobility is redefining the employee experience by building on the freedom that comes with remote work and taking it global. This function gives employees flexibility in their work—something nine out of ten employees want—and empowers them to truly work from wherever: 

  • Wherever their company is expanding.
  • Wherever their family and friends are.
  • Wherever they do their best work.
  • Wherever their wanderlust takes them.

This article will give you a glimpse into the micro and macro transformations your team can undergo by embracing workplace mobility and help you determine if it’s the right way to enhance your employee experience.

What is workplace mobility?

Workplace mobility is a function that enables employees to relocate and work from around the world. Organizations of all sizes use workplace mobility to expand into new markets, develop their workers’ skills, and create a strong employee experience. The terms workplace mobility and global mobility are often used interchangeably.

You can increase workplace mobility within your organization by using visa mobility support services. At Deel, we handle the entire visa process in-house. We assess your employee’s eligibility, employ them through our EOR solution, and start the visa application process for you, taking the burden off your human resources team.

Employees stay engaged and invested

Including workplace mobility in your employee experience strategy can increase employee retention within your organization, as it gives employees what they want most: flexibility. Fifty-four percent of employees say that if they aren’t offered the flexibility they want in a job, they’re likely to quit.

Having the option to retain your engaged employees as they move abroad can also relieve stress for HR leaders and administrative teams. When companies can’t offer workplace mobility to their employees, they have to complete the time-consuming and costly process of recruitment and training, which can cost between $30,000 to $45,000 for an employee earning $60,000 per year.

The employee journey is more personalized 

According to research by Deloitte, only 24% of companies feel they excel at aligning their employees’ personal goals with the corporation’s purpose. Workplace mobility can change that, though, as workers can personalize their employee journey and create their ideal work environment by choosing where they work. 

Say an employee’s home base is in Eastern Canada and they want to live somewhere warm during the cooler months of the year. At the same time, their employer is seeking international expansion and has identified Portugal as a new potential market.

The employer can accomplish what over 75% of companies can’t and align their employee’s personal goals with their corporate purpose by giving the employee a fixed-term international assignment in Portugal, or maybe even Turkey. The employee achieves their personal goal of relocating to a warmer climate, and the employer achieves their corporate goal of international expansion.

Employees have more learning and development opportunities

In a 2019 Linkedin survey, 94% of respondents said they’d stay at a company for longer if it invested in their learning and development. As a stakeholder, you can align your workplace mobility programs with your talent strategy to expand learning and development opportunities abroad and create unlimited possibilities for growth throughout the employee lifecycle.

When employees are free to relocate, they can travel to new markets to share their knowledge with peers and learn new skills in return. But in companies that don’t embrace global mobility, workers’ movements are restricted and the transfer of knowledge is drastically limited. 

Employees can develop their cultural and social intelligence 

Workplace mobility provides employees with the unique opportunity to become more adaptable, better communicators, and more culturally intelligent. These skills are necessary when relocating to a new country, especially if there’s a language barrier or cultural differences. But employees rarely have the opportunity to develop them in traditional work environments. 

By honing these skills abroad, your workers can experience higher rates of employee satisfaction and apply what they’ve learned to improve their team’s workplace agility, business performance, and customer experiences.

Employees are more likely to recommend their company to others

Word-of-mouth recommendations and employee referrals are powerful recruiting tools. When employees boast about their team’s positive company culture and workplace experience on social media (like Glassdoor or Linkedin) or in person, others take notice.

Employees that are satisfied with their company’s time and location flexibility are twice as likely to recommend it to a friend. Globally-mobile employees can recommend anyone from their network to apply for an open position—regardless of their location—which expands the company’s talent pool.

Employees get the work-life balance they want

Today’s workforce prioritizes work-life balance over compensation when considering job offers. Workforce mobility allows employees to travel more often and enjoy their work environment on a deeper level, improving their work-life balance and well-being. Whether you offer workplace mobility en masse or on a case-by-case basis, you can use it as a competitive advantage to attract new employees and recruit new hires from overseas

Companies should also offer global employee benefits and perks to attract global talent, differentiate your company from the competition, and elevate the employee’s overall experience.

Employees can better respond to major life events

Significant life changes—such as a partner getting a job abroad or a family member back home falling ill—can cause an avalanche of stress for employees. They have to manage a potential relocation, request extended time off, or potentially find a new job. Workplace mobility allows employees to relocate as needed and minimizes their stress.

Employees become more confident, calm, and creative

Research from Columbia Business School has found that travel improves your sense of self, job performance, and stress levels. The opportunity to live and work abroad inspires personal and professional growth by exposing you to different cultures, which stimulates new ways of thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Remote employees, specifically, report greater creativity and innovative thinking as they face fewer distractions, work in more comfortable environments, and have more time alone.

More leaders promote diversity and inclusion

In our State of Global Hiring Report, we shared that the rate of global hiring is increasing across all regions. The uptick in global hiring and mobility has helped increase diversity in the workplace by bringing workers together from various backgrounds, countries, and cultures. By embracing workplace mobility and diversity, companies can see more inclusive business leaders who tend to experience higher productivity, innovation, and employee engagement on their teams.

How to introduce a workplace mobility initiative to your team

Workplace mobility holds the power to create great employee experiences for your team members and bring you closer to your ideal business outcomes. But before you start the international hiring process, you need to ensure compliance with international employment laws.

With Deel, you can hire workers in 150+ countries and use our Deel-owned entities in 80+ countries for a seamless process. We take care of everything for HR teams, from ensuring compliance with local laws and complex tax systems to managing global payroll.

Explore our global hiring guide to discover how you can easily hire remote team members and give them a positive employee experience, anywhere in the world.

Deel makes growing remote and international teams effortless. Ready to get started?






Legal experts