Teleworking has paved the way for people who were ineligible for international positions

The health crisis resulting from the covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world in the last year has forced individuals and companies to change many of their most routine dynamics in the workplace, but it has also introduced new mechanisms that are here to stay. One of them is teleworking.

Far from what one might think, "remote work has also opened doors for people who were not eligible for international positions". Far from what one might think, "remote work has also opened doors for people who were not eligible for international positions". This was stated by the regional director for Southern Europe and North Africa for BBi Communication, Nina Heindrichs, during the streaming session on "International mobility of people, unlearning and relearning" held at the UPF Barcelona School of Management.

"There were many people, especially women, who could not embark on an international career because they had to combine work and therefore could not afford to travel, who have been able to boost their careers thanks to teleworking," added Heindrichs under the watchful eye of the other speakers.

Moderated by Mariano de las Heras, director of the Postgraduate Degree in Internationalization of HR and Global Mobility at UPF-BSM, the four panelists reflected on the new challenges presented by the mobility of talent through concepts such as teleworking, multiculturalism and diversity.

Mesa redonda movilidad internacional

International telecommuting

"In a short time, the role of the international teleworker will appear in the companies' catalog", predicted Pablo d'Angelo, international HR director of CaixaBank, who recalled that there are companies that "are already applying this profile".

While it is true that the panelists agreed with the application of the remote work model, the international HR director of CaixaBank insisted that these profiles must entail a "high level of time flexibility". "Companies, in turn, will have to rethink the evaluation criteria by looking not so much at the time spent, but at the quality of it" reflected d'Angelo, who referred to the importance of the digital disconnection.

"Coffee for everyone has not been effective and that is why it is necessary to opt for a combination of teleworking and face-to-face work".
Nina Heindrichs
BBi Communication

"Coffee for everyone has never been effective and that is why we have to opt for a combination of teleworking and face-to-face work", said Heindrichs, who encouraged companies to "meet the needs of both the business and their employees".

Although remote work has taken on a very relevant dimension in international mobility processes, the regional director of Southern Europe and North Africa for BBi Communication has insisted on the need to "keep the focus on the development of technical and digital skills as well as soft skills".

Pablo d'Angelo

Multiculturalism, more present than ever

"Okay, I'm going to a country, but.... To which part of the country?" wondered Montse Lopez, Southern Europe Relocation Manager for Santa Fe Relocation - the webinar's sponsoring company - as she pointed out that more and more "people need to be registered locally as well and be part of the community".  "The barriers are fading, but it's not the same to establish trust with a German than with a Portuguese," exemplified Heindrichs in turn.

"There are economies that are nourished by foreign talent", said López, who gave way to the consultant and former deputy director of security intelligence at Endesa, Juan Antonio del Pozo.  "The person in charge of expatriations is becoming more and more empowered," recognized del Pozo, who highlighted the value of HR Global Mobility, since "the management of uncertainty requires cautious and resilient professionals, who know that it is now time to take care of aspects that have been practically forgotten until now, such as the health of our expatriates".

"There are economies that are nourished by foreign talent"
Montse López
Santa Fe Relocation

In this regard, the consultant admitted that in the past, "many areas were outsourced and reviewed with periodic checks". "It's not that you forgot, but almost," he pointed out, and added: "Now you can't ignore the need to offer full medical insurance to expatriates." A comment that has led de las Heras to stress the importance of supplier management in current times.

In any case, in this VUCA environment, the speakers agreed on the need to "cater to diversity" - taking advantage of the commemoration of the European Diversity Day, to be held on May 21 - and encouraged the strengthening of the feeling of belonging and team building with expatriates, whether telematic or face-to-face.