Assignment: The Global Work Environment
As of 2016, the U.S. State Department estimated that there are 8.7 million Americans who live and work outside of the United States (AARO, n.d.). However, according to research conducted by Saxer (2019), this number is probably much less, possibly closer to 5.1 million. While the number of people working outside might be in dispute, one thing is clear, there are many American citizens who live and work outside of the U.S. Some “expats” choose to do so for a “multitude of reasons, be they political, economic, professional, romantic” (Bortolot, 2020). Advancements in technology and the internet have made being an expat easier. Through the use of social media, video conferencing, banking apps, and entire online communities, many expatriates have the ability to conduct business anywhere in the world while remaining connected to family, friends, and colleagues.
While working and traveling abroad is not a new concept, for some employees becoming an expatriate can be a challenging endeavor and depending on their personality and situation, it might take a while to get settled into a new job. According to International Citizens (n.d.), expats may struggle with the language barrier and learning the ins and outs of a new culture. In addition to the challenges of a foreign housing market, expatriates can face complicated financial challenges including international taxes and benefits. U.S. citizens are also still required to file taxes at home as well. Companies that are well prepared for the global market and global employees can take many steps to help their employees adjust to being an expat.
Reflect on your own experience with another culture and the obstacles you may have encountered. Consider how you addressed these obstacles and what steps companies could take to prepare employees for an expatriate assignment.
1) Reflect on your own experiences and think of a time when you had to function in another culture.
2) What were the major obstacles that you faced?
3) How did you address them?
4) Explain how an organization might prepare and employee for a two-year expatriate assignment.
a) What steps would a company take?
b) What types of learning would need to be addressed in preparation for working globally?
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