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What to Expect with Office and Talent Relocation?

Monday, September 12, 2022
A top-down view of a wooden table with co-workers sitting around it with laptops working together as a team

Talent relocation is often done as a way to expand the business to new places. Instead of hiring new employees to fulfill the roles in the new office, businesses would rather relocate the talent to the new location. This is done to ease the onboarding process for the new hires as well as for the new location to hit the ground running with employees that know how the business works. While the location is different the company is still the same, but maybe with a bit newer hires to fill in the gaps. However, what expectations can you as a business have when it comes to moving an office or talent from one place to another? Well, we will dive into that.

How Employees May Feel About Talent Relocation

 A boardroom meeting with a group of employees discussing employee relocation to a new city

When it comes to relocating talent or relocating an office you as the business owner should keep in mind how the people you are planning to move may feel about this change. While change is a normal aspect of life, often indicating growth both in a professional and personal sense; it can be tough for some people to handle.Therefore, you should speak to your employees before you suggest that they complete the relocation process, particularly to a new country.  

Some people may look forward to the idea of moving to a new environment such as a new city or a new country. Moving to a new job location could be exciting for them since they will be living somewhere new while still having their job in their pocket. But, for others, it may be a bit more of a challenge. This could be for different reasons with the major ones usually being families.

A man in a formal blue suit walking on an empty street on the way to a new workspace in a new city

As a business owner, you should make a plan on how to relocate talent, it’s not just the employee but their family that needs to be relocated. Speak to the employee about the whole process and break it down into detail so that they (and you) can know what to expect from employee relocation. Mention that they will be taken care of as much as the company can afford to. Keep the lines of communication open, while giving the employees enough time to prepare for the employee relocation process. As well as to wrap their heads around the new location they are about to enter.

Office Relocation

If your business is relocating from one office to another or from one building to another then this is slightly less of an issue when it comes to the emotions of the employees. However, you would have to get professionals with office moving services to safely relocate office equipment from the current building to the other.  

This equipment can include chairs, desks etc. and the electronics such as monitors, modems, cables, extension cables, keyboard etc. which should be packed well so as to not cause damage. These items are fairly pricey so it would be best to keep them intact during the transit.

How HR Must Step Up with Relocating Employees

A man in the open space office looking at his laptop about to put on his headphones and join a zoom meeting

Human resources (HR, as you know) does a lot around and in the office. However, when it comes to office and employee relocation then they need to pull up their sleeves even more and get to even more work. They are the ones who are often put in the position of organizing employee relocation programs. This is regardless of how big the move will be. Is it a move to a new building or a new city or a new country, HR is responsible for making sure that the employees and the office get to the new location.  

One of the major tasks that can come about from corporate or just office relocation is having a strategic focus where the process goes according to plan as much as possible. Also, while sticking to the finances for the relocation budget.

Other aspects that HR has to perform regarding the office relocation are as follows:

  • Policy management. This is a process that is done with the aid of the CEO (chief operating officer/s) as well as the internal business partners.
  • Finding the best employees to relocate by having a discussion with teams’ managers or team leads. 
  • Find relocation management companies (RMC) which are secure, verified and experienced. Or at least know what they are doing. 
  • And, to work with the legal department. This is so that the legal issues such as immigration questions or tax issues are cleared up as well as to be in order before the relocation process even starts. It will simply make everyone's life easier when they move to a new location. 
Smooth Long Distance Moves With Shyft

Expected Relocation Costs for Corporate Relocation

Two co-workers sitting next to each other in a meeting talking about employee relocation

Budget plays a huge role when it comes to the relocation process. It dictates how much a company can afford to aid the employees in their move. Furthermore, it is also a great way to motivate them to take on the move in the first place. That, and a bonus or a raise to sweeten the mix. However, part of the relocation costs should go towards hiring a relocation consultant to aid in the relocation budget preparation.  

Other aspects can also turn up when it comes to the costs of relocation. Such as the distance of the move, the number of people to be relocated (families included), and how many items are to be moved per individual or family unit. Furthermore, there is also the question of where the employees will live after the move is completed and before they find their forever home. How long will they have in the temporary accommodation?  

Plus, will the business help the employees’ spouses find work in the new city? What about schooling? Well, the latter does not necessarily have to be covered by the company, but having information about the schools and the location that the employees will be moving to can be a big help when it comes to influencing their decision to take on the move in the first place.  

The company is essentially making them move, so the sweeter the pot is made, the easier it can be to convince them to say “when is the moving day?”

What to Expect from Relocation Packages?

An interior of an office space where people are working

When HR is looking into the whole relocation process they should also do research on what certain Relocation Packages can offer their company. However, some of the items that they have to look out for are the following: 

  • A mover that can also cover packing and unpacking services. As well as have the right packing material for the job. 
  • The cost of the travel from one location to the other. This can be in terms of gas prices, airfare or even train tickets if need be. 
  • Type of temporary housing for when the employees first move into the new city before they find their own home. Keep in mind that temporary accommodation does not need to be a house or an apartment. It can be an Airbnb, a corporate home, or even a hotel room. A place with a room, bed, restroom, and to be able to eat something regardless if they have to cook it or not. 

As well as other items that HR has to look into to make sure that all the aspects of the relocation process are covered. Also, it is a great idea to make sure that the moving company and the relocation packages are legitimate ones, not scams.

What Else Moving Packages Can Cover

Exterior of a high-rise office building in the evening next to a busy highway

Other items that a verified and great moving package can also cover is an orientation trip for the employees. This is when the employees have a chance to visit the city before they move to it. It can give them a sense of what is to come after the move. Furthermore, it can also give them a chance to start their house hunting process. As well as to aid them in buying a new home after they have found one that is suitable for them in a new job location.  

While we are on the subject of housing another aspect that HR and moving packages should also be aware of is the costs of lease breaks. This is when the current lease of a rental needs to be broken so that the employee can have a fresh start in the new city. As well as not having to pay the lease for a place they are no longer living in.  

Another aspect that HR should be made aware of is spousal support on their end. This can mean helping the spouses find a job (as was mentioned easier) or even starting their own business. This is where research can be very helpful. And, tax gross-up is also another thing to keep in mind. Cities in different states, let alone in different countries, can have different costs of living. Therefore, the company may have to cover this difference in terms of salary or bonuses.

One of the Best Ways to Motivate Employees to Move- Average Relocation Lump Sum

Female co-workers sitting around a white table during a meeting about employee relocation to another town

One of the most common and best ways to get an employee hyped for the move would be the relocation lump sum method. This is when the employer can offer the employee a type of relocation bonus. It is to be paid as an incentive to get them to want to move. 

However, it is a one-deal thing as well as having a time limit. The latter is if the employee leaves the business before an agreed-upon amount of time, then the relocation bonus would have to be paid back to the employer by the employee. This can also be seen as a way to keep the employees working for the company in the new location for a bit of time.   

But, speak to the legal team about this so that you know the correct information as well as the process of going about all of this.  

The relocation lump sum amount can depend on what the employee requires after the whole relocation process to run as smoothly as possible. However, HR can estimate a budget for the potential lump sum to be paid.

Finding the Professional Movers

An HR in the office looking down at her mobile while researching the relocation packages

A business is made by its employees so it is no wonder that some companies would want to relocate their talent from one location to another along with the corporation. The latter could be done to move to a bigger area or to expand to another city. However, one thing that has to be well looked after is the employees. One of the ways to do this is by doing all the items that were already mentioned. As well as to make sure that the right moving company is hired for the job.  

The moving company not only has to have experience, and be legitimate, but it also has to know exactly what to do in terms of moving equipment and people. But, finding the right moving company can take HR a lot of time. Certainly, when there is a deadline where the new employees or office space has to be up and running by a certain date. 

Luckily there are services such as Shyft Employee Benefits which can aid the HR department in not only helping to find the right movers for the job but also taking on the entire task of organizing regardless if it is for the employees to relocate or for the company as a whole to make the move.