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Global Workforce Mobility Trends In The Bay Area - A Personal Experience

22 Nov 2019 6:43 AM | Anonymous

Submitted by:  Avalon Transportation Company

Global Workforce Mobility Trends in the Bay Area - a Personal Experience

The word trend in this article’s title is somewhat misleading. This is because in today’s large market cap economy, the dispatchment of global workforce personnel is much more than a trend. In fact, for companies ranging from mid-to-large cap size, this is becoming a dominating business management process. In the 2013 Weichert Workforce Mobility (WWM) survey, a staggering 92% of surveyed companies indicated that workforce mobility was a crucial business policy that had a direct impact on their profit margins, and volumes of people moving and the number of companies expecting to see ‘the same or more’ gets larger every year.

To understand the importance of workforce mobility, we must consider the facts. Today, an increasing number of companies are transitioning to a Multinational Corporation (MNC) designation. This means that their workforce employs people in multiple countries and also that those people are mobile between countries. The expectation is that personnel can and will interface seamlessly with one another through the advent of high-speed collaboration technology such as Cloud Computing and Gig Speed Fiber Optics internet connections. Not only are companies hiring outside of their home country, a large portion of the company’s management structure is comprised of expatriates.

There are numerous benefits to a highly mobile global workforce. As companies expand their horizons over their domestic borders, they are able to access a plethora of diverse talent and varying skill sets. Due to differences in purchasing power parity and average incomes, global workforce mobility helps reduce operating costs. Additionally, a global workforce allows an improvement in productivity and access to resources.

While the benefits seem enticing, workforce mobility can prove to be challenging. Firstly, there are tax and legal restrictions when a company wants to hire or transfer employees overseas. Visas, tax compliance,  and other measures need to be in place to ensure proper workforce mobility transition. Another major challenge is that of relocation costs. A company’s expatriate employees need housing and transportation during their business travel. These costs, and tax equalization,  are the most expensive aspect of having a globally mobile workforce.

In the case of the San Jose-San Francisco Bay area, global workforce mobility is a critical business component of companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google that employ personnel and conduct product manufacturing in countries such as India, China, Mexico and elsewhere. While the tech giants have optimized their global mobility practices, many mid-cap companies often struggle to properly accommodate their mobile workforce. We have noticed that a significant portion of their management structure comprised of expatriates who would manage resources in foreign countries and then travel internationally to the home base in the Bay Area. Oftentimes, such employees require transportation and their companies compensate them for car rentals. However, the rental costs from most car rental companies tend to be very high over a multi-month  period.  I myself rented an intermediate size vehicle for 3 months and found the cost to be very high when compared to a monthly car lease over the same period.   On average, a customer can save 10-15% with a short-term car lease vs. a long-term rental.  The ‘short term’ lease concept is gaining ground in the US as an option, particularly in large and active markets; the concept is less common outside the US, in Europe for example, where well established and easy to use commuter transportation is a more viable option.

About Avalon:

Avalon is a premier, independent  car rental and leasing company based in San Jose, CA and Austin,TX, with a fleet of over 300 vehicles. Avalon provides affordable short- and long-term rental options for companies or individuals doing business or travelling to these locations. Options include a variety of vehicle types from midsize up to full size minivans and luxury cars to suit diverse business needs. Avalon provides short-term leasing and long-term rental  and chauffeured airport service to businesses and individuals alike.


1.     Global Workforce Mobility: The Latest Trends. March 11, 2013. IESE Business School.

2.     Avalon Transportation - Your Monthly Car Rental Solution. 2019. Avalon Transportation Service.

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