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Workforce Mobility: A Guide For Businesses & Workforces

The way the working world functions has changed on a fundamental level as the world has become more united. Nowadays, workers are empowered and given tools and technology that allow them to work from all places and spaces, at any time and in any place, allowing for maintained efficiency and productivity. This type of work is dynamic, collaborative, and flexible, known as workforce mobility.

For employers and businesses looking to enhance workforce mobility, considering relocation and global mobility is a critical step. If you are a business considering this possibility to enhance your workforce, give IAS a call at +44 (0)333 305 9375 and learn how you can take the first steps towards workforce mobility today

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    What Is Workforce Mobility, And Why Is It So Important?

    Workforce mobility is a phrase that describes the ability of an employed workforce to move from one location to another location. It is a concept that falls under the broader workforce planning strategies of a company and integrates HR operations.

    In the modern era, remote work is very commonplace, and mobile workforces are more commonly seen and have become an integral part of company culture. Increasing numbers of companies implement HR mobility solutions, such as hiring professionals in mobility, to aid in managing the process.

    This is usually something that is enabled by technology, such as smartphones, mobile devices, laptops, and cloud-based software, enabling workers to communicate with colleagues and access workspaces and information from anywhere.

    Global mobility has become the new normal in workplaces, and businesses are starting to become more aware of the benefits of being more accepting of mobilising employees.

    There are several benefits to employee workplace mobility; they are as follows:

    • Try to attract and maintain top-tier global talent, as employees always value having the opportunity to gain new experiences and advance their careers.
    • Maintain business continuity even where there may be disruption, this can be done by offering more flexible working arrangements.
    • Improve the productivity of the company by enabling employees to work from anywhere, at any time, with options to send your employees to locations where they are most required.
    • Boost the experience of employees through the offering of a more ideal work-life balance for remote working employees.
    • Save the company, employees, and employer costs by reducing real estate expenses and saving on the costs of commuting.

    Employee Relocation Types


    There are some companies that manage employee relocations of employees internally, whereas some work with relocation management companies. Relocation management companies (RMCs) are often more efficient and can move employees with more support and aid in better experiences; however, this does cost a fee, and there can be complexities in implementing this into a management system.

    The benefits of relocation of employees are often chosen by employers and are put into place via pre-determined policies or packages that will offer support for mobility. However, this will depend on the level of move and type of move as well as the specific needs of the employee being located.

    Some of the types of relocation include the following four major options:

    Domestic Permanent Moves

    These types of moves are typically offered to new employees who may require support for a one-way move to one of the company’s office locations. However, this can also be offered for those who are making a one-way move to a field operations area.

    International Permanent Moves

    This type of move is generally offered to international employees who will be making the move to work at a domestic office. This can also be offered to present employees who will need to move permanently to international offices.

    Short-Term Assignments

    This type of move is available to current company employees who will be required to temporarily be moved elsewhere for the purpose of supporting company operations or talent development. This is usually offered for twelve months or less. Short-term assignments, otherwise known as STA’s, can be international or domestic, and as such, many companies will have separate policies for each different type.

    Long-Term Assignments

    Long-term assignments, otherwise known as LTAs, are an option for a company’s current employees who need to be moved for over twelve months but will eventually return to their original home location. An LTA can be domestic or international, and these types of moves are typically extended as businesses require change.

    Enhance workforce mobility by relocating employees today. Contact our experts for guidance.

    Strategies And Best Practises For Workforce Mobility


    The best strategies for workforce mobility are those that support the acquisition of talent, the development of leadership and talent, and aid in global operations. HR teams in companies should work alongside company management to craft and approve a specific talent strategy.

    Having a good strategy in place is key for the development of both global organisations and smaller organisations working in remote situations.

    Here are some top strategies for workforce mobility that should be considered:

    Clear Policies In Place

    Having clear policies in place is critical to the support and management of mobile workers. Having policies can outline the expectations in place for employers and employees alike and can cover technology use, work hours, and communication protocols.

    It is best to outline what makes an employee eligible for a mobility programme and ensure expectations are properly outlined to make sure that there are no misunderstandings well in advance.

    Make Use Of Available Technology

    Technology is pivotal in mobile work. Consider virtual meeting software, cloud-based work systems, and the use of mobile devices to allow workers to connect easily.

    Having this technology makes communication and collaboration easier for teams in separate locations and can facilitate information access and availability for all. Employers may also find this technology useful in the management of remote performance and can help in gaining insight into system effectiveness and team productivity.

    1:1 Meetings

    Mobile work does have its challenges, most commonly in the form of a lack of accountability and isolation. However, if a company can implement 1:1 meetings, this allows employees and managers to connect and discuss topics such as challenges, goals, and updates on progress.

    Employers can give feedback to their employees, and in turn, employees can raise concerns and ask questions. Having these meetings on a regular basis can help aid in collaboration and connection across a mobile workforce.

    Performance Reviews With A Developmental Focus

    In the working world these days, development and growth are critical. Performance reviews that are development-focused enable managers and employees alike to discuss performance, goals, and growth. In sharing feedback and assessing work that is based upon measurable goals instead of attendance, work quality becomes a priority.

    Having reviews such as this also allows for future development discussion and the ability to plan to enable remote workers to achieve goals better.

    How Can Employers Relocate Employees In The UK?

    To relocate employees, the employer must first have a sponsorship licence if they wish to bring international employees over to the United Kingdom.

    Employers also need to be aware that they need to integrate an aspect of the employee contract and agreement towards relocation and workforce mobility.

    Employers also require a global relocation policy. This will cover services available to relocated employees, with information contained about the process foreign employees need to abide by. This should contain information such as:

    • The organisation provided housing support information.
    • Information regarding required paperwork all relocated employees need to complete to qualify for relocation Including visas, travel documents, and work permits.
    • Support information is available for relocated employees, allowing them to become comfortable with the new location. This can include new office and environment familiarisation, language support, and more.

    The most common visa option used for this type of mobility is the UK Expansion Worker Visa, which is part of the Global Business Mobility programme and requires a Certificate of Sponsorship.

    Alternatively, a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa is also an option, but it also requires a Certificate of Sponsorship and has requirements regarding the type of work. Skilled Worker Visas and Scale-Up Worker Visas are also applicable, and both of these require a Certificate of Sponsorship.

    Elevate your business’s workforce mobility in the UK with the guidance of our legal experts. Contact us today

    How IAS Can Help

    Every option for a visa that enables workforce mobility requires a Certificate of Sponsorship. Employers will need to understand the process for getting a sponsorship to provide this to their mobile workers. Relocating employees is a complex process, and hiring a global workforce, while common, is still complex.

    For this reason, if you wish to provide growth opportunities to your mobile workers and expand your organisation, speaking to a legal advisor or lawyer at IAS can help you get started obtaining the resources you need to enable talent acquisition and employee mobility for your business. Give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375, or send us an email to get started today.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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