Office work

Essential programs for employees relocation

The pandemic has transformed the workplace, forcing businesses to embrace remote working solutions to survive. According to the European Commission, 35% to 40% of employees have reportedly worked from home most of the time during the pandemic. Similar figures appear across the world in developed economies, including the USA and Australia. While the remote trend is showing no sign of slowing down, businesses are not prepared to sustain long-term operations and processes remotely. Many companies accept that their team may want to carry on working from home. According to a McKinsey survey, remote work will continue in a hybrid form in a post-pandemic world, with employees working from home a few days a week. 

What does this mean for employees who were hired on a remote basis during the pandemic? Most are likely to be requested to come to the office during the week. However, remote hiring processes did not consider locations. Employees who have been part of a company for several months now need to relocate. We can expect a surge in relocation stress at a global level. It’s in the companies’ interest to develop relocation programs that can support and retain their employees. 

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Offer full moving programs

A lot of businesses offer a relocation package, which typically includes monetary compensation. Yet, the package fails to acknowledge the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies relocation. Employees experience high anxiety during the process, as well as fear about making life in a new and unknown location. Therefore, relocation programs can alleviate stress by reaching out to plan each step with employees. Businesses can help organise shipping belongings and moving a vehicle to the new home. It can be a nice touch to provide storage options and temporary accommodation to help team members find their marks in a new location. 

Consider the long-term mental health toll

Relocation anxiety doesn’t disappear once all the belongings are unpacked safely in a new home. On the contrary, employees who choose to relocate make a conscious decision to leave behind their social circle and routine. Companies need to focus on mental health as a long-term process for relocated teams. A well-rounded wellness program serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it addresses tension and pressure inside the workplace, encouraging mindfulness, meditative exercises and individual tailoring options. Secondly, the program also has to make a crucial point, namely demonstrating that the office routine delivers superior self-care in comparison with the remote working environment. 

Team-building and social programs

Relocation puts employees at risk by damaging their social links and habits. Corporate relocation programs must provide and replace social support. Invitations to corporate social events are a no-brainer. Yet, businesses can also help establish a link with the local community both inside and outside the office. A knowledgeable team member can act as a local guide for new-comers, for instance. The induction program must include elements of everyday life as well as business-relevant information and people. Little gestures such as sharing local events and news can help employees integrate quickly and smoothly into their new community. 

The post-pandemic world is likely to see many businesses struggle to bring their employees back into the office. Remote workers, and especially remote talents, may not be willing to leave the comfort and peace of the home office. The choice that companies have to face is whether they are willing to encourage relocation or lose valuable staff in the process. 

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