Global Mobility Pulse Survey

We asked over 300 business leaders across 37 countries, including 16 in Belgium, to weigh in on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on global mobility.

Around the world, governments have been responding to the rapid spread of COVID-19 by closing borders and restricting travel, impacting international mobility and causing challenges in managing different payroll, tax and social security laws across the globe.

Global mobility growth has ground to a halt

The COVID-19 outbreak has almost no effect on the number of employees currently working for companies abroad, as most can continue to work from home (63%). Like most other companies worldwide, however, global mobility leaders in Belgium are generally postponing new international assignments (81%). Belgian organisations are more open to assignees starting international assignments from home compared to other companies worldwide, at 69% compared to a global average of 42%. 

Of the Belgian companies we surveyed, 69% are allowing current mobile employees to temporarily return to their home countries, in line with what other international organisations are doing (63%). Like their global counterparts, Belgian firms are currently less likely to move to a third country or to extend assignments (6%). The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a shift in strategic mobility priorities, with a new focus on managing day-to-day operations, employee queries and assessing which projects should continue in the future. 





What impact do you think the outbreak will have on mobility at your company in the future?


We will return to business as usual as soon as possible with the same number of moves
%
We're likely to see a decrease in international moves
%
Don't know - not a current priority
%
This will have a fundamental impact on how we view workforce mobility and the need for international moves
%


Aside from knowing your people are safe and well, what are your top three priorities relevant to your mobile workforce, globally?


Understanding who your mobile employees are, and where they are
%
Understanding who has been impacted by the virus
%
Working on company-wide communications and planning
%
Developing principles on our support for mobile employees
%
Keeping up to date on regulatory changes and government announcements
%
Repatriating our mobile employees where needed
%
Reviewing plans for upcoming international moves
%
Understanding and managing the impact of remote working
%
Working with our 3rd party providers to support our business and mobile employees
%
Cost modelling and/or scenario planning
%

Global mobility: now and looking ahead

As an immediate response, Belgian companies are focusing on pinpointing  who their mobile employees are and where they’re located (56%), reviewing plans for upcoming international moves (31%) and working on communications and planning (38%). The implications of regulatory changes are also a top priority for many (31%).

When asked how COVID-19 will affect international mobility, over half of  Belgian respondents believe that business will return to normal with the same number of international moves (56%). Before the crisis hit, 66% of Belgian CEOs acknowledged that globalisation has helped improve the ease of moving capital, people, goods and information (PwC CEO survey 2018). 

Contact us

Sandrine Schaumont

Sandrine Schaumont

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 479 79 45 06

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