Club 100 “Zoom” into Action

Expat Academy Club 100 “Zoom” into Action With so many people to see, not so many places to go, it was really great to gather for the first, virtual Club 100 Network Huddle. I, for one, welcomed the structure and engagement – and if I’m going to be really honest, the excuse to rummage through the “work wardrobe” (top half anyway) and put on a bit of lipstick for the first time in weeks!

Happily, the wonders of technology and an inquisitive Network enabled us all to continue the relationship building and group discussions that would normally take place in person.  Delivered in two parts, we wanted to replicate the feel of a physical huddle by giving you technical updates from our Sponsors, put the spotlight on one of our Corporate members plus provide the opportunity for you to seek and share information with your peers.

Part One started with an overview from Newland Chase on the future of the UK immigration system including the impact of Brexit on EU nationals in the UK, the new points-based scheme and a look at compliance and current challenges around business visitors.  The rest of the session was dedicated to discussions in smaller break-out rooms, all cleverly enabled virtually and hosted by our fantastic Sponsors.  The member-led questions were largely centred around COVID-19 and how companies are managing their mobile population during the crisis, challenges encountered plus future planning for potential currency and COLA issues – but also, recovery!

The next day saw Part Two and an agenda kickstarted by PwC’s update on their study of how companies are responding to their globally mobile workforce in the current climate.  They honed in on plans for scheduled moves, assignees in situ and future strategy, whether that’s staying abreast of regulatory changes, communications and the big question…is it time to start thinking about bringing “the work to the people rather than the people to the work”?

Break-out rooms saw discussions move away from the C-word, taking a look at buddy programs plus the ideas of assigning mentors in the home location and repatriation buddies.  Then another change in gear came as the groups moved on to consider Asia policy alignment.

Short term business visitors is a subject never too far away from our agendas. With that, and the uptick in questions that many of you are receiving around stranded and remote workers, it was very useful to be guided by PwC through key areas of consideration. Since the issue of remote working is becoming bigger than ever, do take a look at the risks and example matrix that was shared and is now accessible via the Vault.

Thanks go to Kelly Gaught at Blue Prism for ending the session with an update on her organisation and its huge growth. Really interesting to hear about her areas of focus and all the great progress that has been made on process, visibility and education!

A few items to look out for: All presentations from our Sponsors can be found on the Vault; PwC will soon be offering some seminars on remote workers PLUS an invite to all in the Network to their virtual, social quiz.  Get those thinking caps on and glasses charged….


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