There are two major factors that are affecting how businesses operate. One is that things are truly global and a lot of work gets done by crossing borders. Many businesses rely on so many things coming from overseas that it would be nearly impossible to do business without international cooperation.
The other is that a lot of work can be done remotely these days. Many workers stayed home during the pandemic and are probably home for good and still working effectively.
Taking these factors into consideration means that there are a lot of opportunities to send employees abroad on extended business trips. They need face to face meetings in many cases with their international counterparts and at the same time can stick around so they can do much of their work remotely.
What does it take to send an employee overseas these days? In this article, we will go over several of the things that need to be done to successfully send an employee on an extended business trip overseas.
Take Care Of Health Insurance
One of the most important things to secure before the employee leaves on their trip is to make sure that they have the proper insurance. Chances are that your regular insurance policy that covers them when working locally is not sufficient for any overseas issues.
Since they will be on assignment for a while, it is important to choose a policy that covers regular medical treatments and not just emergency care. They should be able to get regular checkups and everything else they would use their insurance for if they had stayed back home.
A good one to look into is Atlas Travel insurance since it covers multiple countries in case your employee will be traveling around while on assignment. It also covers prescriptions and even travel insurance in case the trip has to be canceled.
If your employee is in a country that has inferior infrastructure than what they are used to then having medical evacuation insurance is also something to look into. If they have an illness or injury then they will be transported to the nearest country where they can receive modern care.
Have An International Assignment Policy
When you send somebody overseas you have a responsibility to have things extremely organized. Both for the comfort and well being of your employee and to ensure a successful trip.
The HR department of your company should have a system that streamlines the processes of getting the employees tax, health insurance and visa issues all taken care of without needing to burden them with the details. The employee should be able to focus on the task at hand and not get bogged down by bureaucracy before the trip.
Start out with a document that acts as a sort of checklist that goes through the entire process and covers all bases. Not only from a bureaucratic standpoint but also to outline how the employee should be treated and what they need to do to follow company protocols while abroad. This includes the company business philosophy and what is expected from a behavioral standpoint.
Everything should be explained as far as how housing will be provided, for example. In some cases the employee is given a temporary apartment until a suitable place is found. Do they have to look for the place themselves and pay for it out of an allowance? Or, does the company take on the entire process and pay for their housing directly with the homeowner?
Part of the policy should be having a contract that needs to be signed that explains the requirements on everybody’s part according to the policy standards.
One of the most important aspects of having a detailed IAP is to make it consistent. Everybody should know exactly what is expected and on the fly changes are not going to go over well.
Consider The Risks
Not all business travel is going to go smoothly. Even when the assignment brings somebody to a safe and stable country, being far from home can lead to issues. There could be some unrest that develops, or even a weather related catastrophe.
Also, be aware of what the risks are to the employee and have them addressed in the IAP. Your HR department will need to do some research into many of the aspects of the travel plan to account for certain things. Not only will the overall safety risk of the country need to be assessed, but also the neighborhood where they are staying and traveling through.
Part of the plan will need to be how to safely and quickly remove an employee from a dangerous situation that occurs while they are away. Risks can develop quickly so stay abreast of the situation as things happen rather than simply reacting.