Five global mobility and salary trends for 2021

Five global mobility and salary trends for 2021
21 Jan 2021

As we move towards the end of January there is potential for positive change ahead in 2021. As such, HR can expect a few shifts in focus for its workplace and employee priorities. ECA International has identified five key predictions for employee mobility and employee salaries in the year ahead, Human Resources Online summarises them below.

  • Virtual international assignments will remain commonplace in the absence of employee mobility
  • Virtual international assignments are likely to continue in 2021, in line with continued border restrictions in many locations. The upside is that it is not only more cost-effective than the traditional long-term assignment, it also allows a company to place a person with the requisite talent and skills in the host location, without a physical move.

  • Junior and mid-level employees may no longer be needed in their host countries
  • The ability of many repatriated employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made companies reevaluate how they will deploy and engage employees in the future.

    For companies operating in multiple locations within a region, this means that employees may remain at headquarters. Companies that operate globally may send their employees to regional hubs instead of in-market locations.

  • Oversight of the safety of corporate travel will significantly increase
  • While travel is expected to gradually open up in 2021, significant oversight is needed from HR teams to ensure that overseas assignees are certified to travel. HR teams will need to carefully select a list of trusted partners - such as airlines and hotels for business travellers - and review the applicability and efficacy of crisis response policies. They will also need to compile essential advice for employees to use when present in host locations, such as whether masks are required when out in public.

  • Housing costs will continue to fall as employee mobility declines
  • With employee mobility expected to remain low this year, housing rental costs for expatriates are likely to continue to fall in the coming months.

    While Singapore experienced a small increase in rental prices after five consecutive years of falling rent, the ECA research predicts that it is likely to be counteracted by tighter restrictions on work permits and COVID-19, which has tempered the demand for housing by overseas workers.

  • Rates of salary increases will rebound in 2021
  • According to the results of a survey carried out in late 2020, a majority of employers have expressed confidence in economic recovery in 2021 and therefore expect to increase the salaries of their employees. This can be attributed to an expectation that the number of companies implementing pay freezes in 2021 is expected to drop. (Link via original reporting)

    However, major economic recessions can have a significant long-term impact on salary growth rates so employees may not see the rates of annual salary return to pre-COVID-19 levels despite the expected rebound next year.

    Source: Human Resources Online

    As we move towards the end of January there is potential for positive change ahead in 2021. As such, HR can expect a few shifts in focus for its workplace and employee priorities. ECA International has identified five key predictions for employee mobility and employee salaries in the year ahead, Human Resources Online summarises them below.

  • Virtual international assignments will remain commonplace in the absence of employee mobility
  • Virtual international assignments are likely to continue in 2021, in line with continued border restrictions in many locations. The upside is that it is not only more cost-effective than the traditional long-term assignment, it also allows a company to place a person with the requisite talent and skills in the host location, without a physical move.

  • Junior and mid-level employees may no longer be needed in their host countries
  • The ability of many repatriated employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made companies reevaluate how they will deploy and engage employees in the future.

    For companies operating in multiple locations within a region, this means that employees may remain at headquarters. Companies that operate globally may send their employees to regional hubs instead of in-market locations.

  • Oversight of the safety of corporate travel will significantly increase
  • While travel is expected to gradually open up in 2021, significant oversight is needed from HR teams to ensure that overseas assignees are certified to travel. HR teams will need to carefully select a list of trusted partners - such as airlines and hotels for business travellers - and review the applicability and efficacy of crisis response policies. They will also need to compile essential advice for employees to use when present in host locations, such as whether masks are required when out in public.

  • Housing costs will continue to fall as employee mobility declines
  • With employee mobility expected to remain low this year, housing rental costs for expatriates are likely to continue to fall in the coming months.

    While Singapore experienced a small increase in rental prices after five consecutive years of falling rent, the ECA research predicts that it is likely to be counteracted by tighter restrictions on work permits and COVID-19, which has tempered the demand for housing by overseas workers.

  • Rates of salary increases will rebound in 2021
  • According to the results of a survey carried out in late 2020, a majority of employers have expressed confidence in economic recovery in 2021 and therefore expect to increase the salaries of their employees. This can be attributed to an expectation that the number of companies implementing pay freezes in 2021 is expected to drop. (Link via original reporting)

    However, major economic recessions can have a significant long-term impact on salary growth rates so employees may not see the rates of annual salary return to pre-COVID-19 levels despite the expected rebound next year.

    Source: Human Resources Online