Challenges When Relocating Employees During COVID-19 and How to Overcome Them

Despite the major setbacks caused by COVID-19, you would think that most employees are hesitant to relocate. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A recent study by DSJ Global Survey found that 69% of US citizens are willing to relocate domestically if the role is right.

However, ensuring that this ordeal is smooth sailing is critical. 82% of that pie expects assistance from the employer. This could be in the form of a lump sum payment, moving expense, or temporary living expenses as they settle down in a new area.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the two main challenges people face when relocating during a pandemic and how to surpass them.

Housing Concerns as a Major Hindrance

Only a quarter of people that planned to buy or rent a home from March to July actually made the move. 42% of them cited that COVID-19 related restrictions such as the inability to tour new areas caused this setback.

Therefore, it’s crucial that your employees receive adequate support when it comes to house hunting. If they are moving with their families, being able to see the house before committing to it is very important. Young, single individuals with no dependants tend to be easier to relocate.

Real estate sale

It’s also much harder to sell their current home and this is a real hurdle to move. Companies with the budget may offer a home buyout option, but this isn’t feasible for small-mid sized businesses. If the move is urgent, outsourcing to a relocation specialist like may offer alternatives that can help your employees sell their current homes quickly.

While it’s true that offering employees a lump sum payment takes the job of relocation away from employees, studies have shown that this can contribute to a lot of productivity loss. It is advised that employers are proactive in helping their employees relocate.

You can assist your employees by arranging a few virtual tours with a dedicated real estate agent specializing in the area. Ask your employees about any preferences they have, such as proximity to special needs schools, day care centers, etc. This takes the stress of going over hundreds of listings off their backs.

Some states have also legalised online notarization, ensuring a safe real estate transaction.

Staying Safe Throughout the Move

Despite evidence indicating that it’s very safe to travel by air, it’s understandable if employees aren’t comfortable with being in a confined space with others throughout the long, seated hours.

If that’s the case, your employees might opt to drive the distance. Depending on where they are headed to, this can incur a lot of expenses. Besides reimbursing their gas, you should be prepared to reimbursed their hotel or lodging stay should they need to rest somewhere safe along the way.

Driving a car

It’s important to be clear on how you would go about this. Some employees may not have their own cars, so you might consider renting one for them from a trusted dealer that can retrieve it at the destination. Be sure that the car is properly sanitized before the keys are handed to your employee. Read up the dealer’s policy and SOP’s when it comes to interactions with customers.

To attract your employees into moving, you could even consider providing them with a car rental allowance as part of their employment benefits. This discourages them from taking the crowded public transport.

As a safety precaution, plan ahead so that the office isn’t crowded on packing day. Your employees should be wearing masks and not share packing essentials such as scissors, markers, and tape.

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