International Expansion Blog

Achieving a balance in the area of family leave is critical for multinationals. HR leaders should ask themselves: How can we develop family friendly leave policies that comply with local labor laws and customs, and encourage a healthy work-life balance, all while ensuring that our growing business remains financially sustainable?

Countries around the world are grappling with change as work increasingly goes mobile. While workers in the US — particularly millennials — are clamoring for a more flexible workplace, the picture abroad is murkier, with some countries moving in the opposite direction. Companies that plan to send employees overseas need to be aware of the differences and prepare workers for organizations that view white-collar working hours in a very different light from their counterparts in the US.

In an agreement announced between unions and employers, covered workers are now guaranteed 11 consecutive hours of uninterrupted time off — that is, time in which they can not only be out of the office but also free from the demands of work devices. Employers will be responsible for allowing employees to disconnect and for developing a means by which they can disconnect.

For American and European retailers in a still-struggling economy, the imperative to grow can be as hard to fulfill as it is hard to ignore. Cash-strapped shoppers are still not opening their wallets, as evidenced by the drop in U.S. retail sales last year. As a result, more and more retailers of all shapes and sizes are going abroad to sustain their growth. And it’s a wide-open playing field.

If you’ve expanded into a foreign country, you’ve experienced the transition to a whole new set of laws and business regulations. Foreign laws governing business practices are frequently difficult to adjust to and sometimes quite frustrating. But once in a while, foreign business laws can also be downright surreal. Here are four favorites we’ve come across. We think you might learn something even from these head-scratchers.