The number of people working on foreign assignments increased by 25 per cent over the past decade and the number is expected to grow by a further 50 per cent by 2020, according to research by PwC.
The study found that, whereas global organisations placed employees in an average of 13 locations in 1998, this had increased to 22 by 2009 and could reach 33 by 2020, The shift will lead to the emergence of new "capital" cities based on the size of their working-age populations and new income streams. Employers and governments will start to collaborate more to share costs and knowledge, and to remove barriers to mobility, while immigration rules may need to be relaxed for specific workers.
Not only will the number of people working outside their home nation rise; they will also work in more countries--creating challenges for compliance, remuneration and communication. More than half of the CEOs questioned in the study said that they were planning to reconsider their approach to global mobility as a result of the recession. But, if they are to realise the economic benefits of international assignments, businesses need to change the way these are managed and used, the research report warns.
"While we're not consigning existing international work models to history, governments and companies will have to work together to manage some...