Employee relocation options under scrutiny

Employee relocation options under scrutiny

Some workers offered relocation might not accept the situation readily.  There are many factors that can affect an individual’s decision to go through with relocation when business relocation occurs.  In times of economic crisis losing a job is not a good option, but then again employees have to look at what they might suffer should they be affected by relocation.

Industry statistics are currently showing about 56% of employees who are asked to relocate will refuse.  They are worried about the economic impact it could have on their family, especially their spouse.  This is why a study has been conducted looking at ways to ease employee’s minds over the option of relocation in terms of making it easier for an employee to go with the office move.

A few of the factors that might decide an individual’s acceptance of relocation include:

  • Spouse has a position
  • Mortgage on home
  • One or more children in school
  • Savings
  • Relocation package

The five factors listed are typically what an employee will focus on when they are told that there will be an office move out of state.  An office move in state, unless it is to another city, will not require relocation for many of the workers.  It may require a longer commute, but most families are more willing to commute further than to face relocation for their jobs.

A spouse that is working and has the potential for growth in the company they are with may not want to leave their job behind, especially if a transfer is not possible.  Even if going down to one income is feasible, it may not be seen as worth the move.  It will all depend on the breadwinner in the family though.  According to the survey, employees stated that they are more willing to move with their business relocation if the spouse that is moving with the company earns the higher income and has the potential to earn even more if they remain with the company.

A home mortgage is the most difficult to deal with, since housing values are still below where they need to be for many homeowners.  Selling a home in a short sale or holding on to it is not something a lot of families can handle.  Employees stated that if they were given relocation packages that would help account for the home loss, such as getting full value for the home or getting assistance towards the mortgage they need to finish paying off, they would be more willing to move.

All of these factors have caveats in terms of what an employee will see as worthwhile; however, there is always the matter of whether the company undergoing relocation can actually afford to offer good terms to the employees for relocation or not.  Business relocation often means a significant loss for any company, even with potential growth and recouping of losses later on.  It means that most companies offer the bare minimum in relocation packages.