Cautious approach to overseas projects

More than half of US employers have imposed temporary restrictions on new
international assignments in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist

Research in the US by the Society for Human Resource Management and Cendant
Mobility shows that companies are considering alternative approaches to
international business, with 34 per cent looking at more short-term assignments
and 27 per cent telecommuting.

Fifty-two per cent of staff responsible for international assignments admit
their firms are taking action to deal with the issue, which includes increased
security, temporary restrictions and telecommuting. The study looked at how 218
firms are responding to the current economic downturn.

Kevin Kelleher, president of international assignment services company
Cendant Mobility, said, "The mode is evaluation, caution and readiness
like never before. There has been a renewed focus on employee safety and sharpened
attention to policies relating to crisis planning, and communication."

Forty-four per cent of respondents are worried about evacuation and
contingency plans and 22 per cent have doubts about the safety of air travel.

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