The 4 Essentials To Know When Sending Employees To Work Abroad

The world is much smaller than it used to be in years passed. More and more companies are exploring new markets and seeking opportunities across the world.

These days, a company that doesn’t have an international presence to take advantage of different markets is at a competitive disadvantage. This often means that at some point, you may be sending an employee or a group of them off to another country.

Sending an employee abroad is a big step. It involves careful planning, understanding of legal rules, and being responsible for the well-being of them another country far from the home offices. You’ll have to figure out the logistics of them sending their stuff overseas and all the bureaucracy as well. In this article, we will go over several of the essentials you need to know before you send anybody to live abroad.

1 – Legal considerations

The first thing to sort out before sending an employee abroad is what the legal considerations are. The most obvious element is having a visa sorted out. This should be done on behalf of the employee. Have them get their information to you or the person in charge of doing the paperwork and handle the logistics of it so they can focus on their work.

Be aware of what the visa requirements are so that they are not likely to get denied. In some cases, you will need to get group health insurance if the country in question requires people to have health insurance before issuing the visas.

Taxes are another consideration that needs to be addressed ahead of time. There are important implications for both the employee and the company with regard to how taxes are collected and how much. Most countries have a tax agreement with the US so nobody is double taxed, but there is almost always some bureaucracy needed to overcome to make sure.

2 – Prepare them for a culture change

culture  explained

One of the biggest challenges in a relocation abroad will be for the employee to deal with a big cultural change. Culture shock is almost guaranteed even if they go to an English-speaking country since cultural norms will be quite different from what they are used to.

To ensure a smooth transition, cultural preparation is key. Before leaving, employees should have a basic understanding of the country’s customs, values, and way of life. This isn’t just about keeping them from making faux pas while abroad, but to help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Provide them with some classes so they know what to expect when they arrive.

3 – Relocation logistics

Moving to a new country involves more than just packing a suitcase and boarding a plane. These people you are asking to relocate are uprooting their lives for quite some time. This means that having a solid logistics plan is essential so the process of relocation goes smoothly.

For instance, the employee should have some form of housing to arrive at instead of a hotel room. Book them an apartment that they will feel comfortable in as it will be their home for a while. If they are responsible for finding their own accommodations then book a temporary apartment until they find one.

Pay to ship their household items so they can settle into their new home with familiar surroundings. They will likely want to ship their furniture so they don’t have to buy it there. Their car can also be shipped but you’ll need to make sure that all the paperwork is done accurately. Usually, a foreign car will need to be checked to make sure it conforms to the norms of the new country before it can be driven there.

4 – Employee support

It is crucial to understand that relocating to another country with a different language and cultural norms is overwhelming to your employee. It can also be very isolating and lonely. This means that giving them support is required to make sure their mental well-being doesn’t suffer.

It’s a good idea to have a program where a previous expat is there to help guide the newcomer and be there when they need help. This person can share insights that they learned which makes life easier so the transition is not so rocky. They can also be the one that gets the call when the newcomer has an issue that needs to be resolved. They can even be a sounding board for when the frustrations mount.

Check-in with the employee regularly and make sure that things are going well for them. Be sure to fix any concerns or problems right away and don’t forget about them or ignore them. Regular check-ins will help them feel valued and can help them overcome any hurdles before they become problems that cause them to regret their decision to move abroad.

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