• Mobility: Starting to emerge … carefully and differently


    As many countries move to less restrictive stages of their pandemic management strategies, businesses are focussing on their recovery from the effects of the outbreak. This will likely mean evaluating the recent past, rethinking priorities and embracing operational change. At the same time, everyone must remain vigilant in adhering to safety protocols whether it be in their social or professional lives.

    The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on so many families and our hearts go out to them all.  Front line workers deserve all the accolades given to them and more for their extraordinary and selfless work. Businesses, big and small, have also had to face significant challenges, from requiring their employees to work from home to having to shut down or significantly curtail operations.

    Those employees working off-site have had to adapt quickly to different rules of engagement and, in many cases, with the added stress of family responsibilities. Some of the positives, however, include less rushed mornings, no commuting, more casual attire for video calls (hopefully with pants on!), peeks inside colleagues’ homes through our computer screens, and meeting each other’s kids and pets (or hearing them in the background). Will this glimpse into each other’s private lives contribute to a kinder more compassionate working environment?

    If we focus on global mobility, as the intensity of the pandemic surged, many companies found themselves in full-time “emergency exceptions management” mode: what to do about upcoming and ongoing relocations and repatriations, keeping up with evolving country restrictions and border closings, dealing with scrambling suppliers and anxious families, etc.

    The pandemic will remain a threat until a vaccine is developed, but Canada and many other countries have reached a certain level of stability allowing organizations to reflect on how they managed during the first part of the year and “retrofit” for the future.

    Over the next few months, we will be issuing blogs addressing pandemic-related issues and challenges that may shape the future of global mobility. Expect to read on the following:

    – How well have suppliers adapted to the changing environment? Have they stepped up enough?

    – How should supplier management change or evolve from here? Is there a need to re-examine supplier networks given that some may have lost expertise and capacity due to financial stress?

    – What lessons have we learned from the off-site working arrangements? Will or should they continue beyond current requirements? How does this impact talent management and global mobility?

    – In this environment of high risk and uncertainty, how will companies meet their global mobility needs? What are the alternatives?

    – How should global mobility policies be modified in the wake of the pandemic?

    We will be issuing blogs on these subjects, interspersed with blogs on other ongoing mobility issues. So, let’s keep in touch; we’ll be providing lots of food for thought.

    In the meantime, BC’s Dr. Bonnie Henry, praised for her compassionate approach, says it best: “Be kind. Be calm. Be safe.”