an office abroad

The world is becoming more connected every day. As it seems to get smaller, there are companies looking to grow. Many choose to look into international markets to fulfill that growth. 

Expanding a business is not easy even when done domestically. Setting up an office abroad comes with a whole host of extra challenges to contend with. To ensure a smooth transition, it is a good idea to send the right employees to get things off the ground. 

To make sure they are set up for success, there needs to be some preparation done beforehand. In this article, we will go over how you can handle the international move for your employees. 

Take care of their health insurance

Staying healthy when traveling is quite a challenge. And moving to another country raises the risk of getting ill since the employee’s immune system is not used to some of the pathogens present in the new environment. 

Every country handles its health care system differently. Health insurance in Canada is vastly different than it is in the US, for instance. It’s up to the company to understand the requirements and set the employee up with the proper insurance based on the destination country’s requirements. 

Health insurance is considered a benefit for employees in the US, but in most other countries it is a right that comes with many services covered by default. This usually only applies to citizens or residents of the country. If the employee will be paying taxes locally as a tax resident of the country then they may be covered by the local healthcare system. 

In some cases, the country’s system may not be adequate which requires the employee to be given private insurance to cover them. This should also include travel insurance to cover any problems during the voyage there. 

Take care of all visas

The company sending an employee to an office abroad is the one responsible for making sure all the visas and legalities are taken care of. Not just for the employee, but also for their family members. The employee is going to be focused on the task at hand and needs to be free from the burden of securing a visa.

This takes time and should be done as soon as the employee is chosen at least a few months before the actual move. The type of visa depends on the country but also if the transfer is to another branch of the same company or if they are going to another company. 

Arrange moving services

To make the transition easier for the employee, the company should take on the responsibility of securing the services of an international moving company. This will need to be coordinated with the employee to guarantee that it goes smoothly.

This will need to be started three to four months before the move since shipping containers need to be reserved on the ship in advance. The employee should be allowed to bring any household items they would like including furniture.

An alternative is to pay for the service and let the employee handle the details since they will be involved in the process. 

Hire a local fixer

It is important to have a local person ready to set up the necessary arrangements for the employee when they arrive. They should be there to arrange for an apartment or at least lodging for the time required to find a permanent place. 

In addition to this, they should make sure the housing is set up with utilities like heat and electricity as well as internet and phone services. 

They will be the person that is responsible for making the transition for the employee as smooth as possible. Upon arrival, the fixer should be there to help them navigate the city and help if there is a problem with the housing or other issues. There will likely be language and cultural hurdles that make life difficult for the employee and a fixer goes a long way to ironing out those types of issues. 

Make it enticing

Sending an employee overseas for the foreseeable future is a lot to ask of them. The offer to go should be full of incentives that make it hard for them to pass up. This should include extra pay and bonuses so it doesn’t end up being a financial burden for them. After all, if it is not a permanent relocation they will likely be keeping their house in the US with all the relevant expenses. 

Integration courses paid for by the company will also help the decision. Language courses and integration exercises allow the employee to understand they won’t feel isolated when they get there. 

If the country in question has questionable safety then private security and secure home should also be granted. 

Business photo created by senivpetro –