A Guide to Successful Employee Relocation for Employers

There are many upsides to moving the physical location of your business; bigger premises, more scenic location, and maybe, just maybe, the rent is a little cheaper. However, even with a world of benefits for your company there are still some people that may not see the move in the most positive light. Your employees. They may now suffer longer commutes, the stress of a new workspace and many other issues as a result of the move.

So, what can you do to ensure that your employees are happy as possible when it comes to a relocation so you don’t end up losing them?

Communicate

The worst thing that you can do during a move is to not inform your employees of crucial details as they develop, after all moving is already stressful without the added worry of not knowing what is going on. Make sure that crucial information such as move-in dates, furniture relocation and even decoration choices are outlined in detail for everyone. Why? It makes them feel more informed and therefore more in control of the situation as it develops.

If you sense someone is particularly unhappy, then the best course of action is to offer a chat or email of support during the process. Find out what you can do for them to help make moving easier. The answer may not be simple or achievable, but sometimes even just asking in the first place can help to alleviate some of your employees worries. Communication is key in any workplace, but especially during times of immense change and upheaval.

Can an Employee Refuse Relocation?

This is an issue which, when faced with it, can put a spanner in the works of your moving process. Gaining a new location but losing a number of key employees, is it worth it? Can they refuse to move in the first place?

Relying on express or inferred terms in an employment contract, while binding, can lead to a lot of resentment when it comes to relocating employees. This could therefore lead to a breach in the contract and eventual dismissal. As such, it is advisable that you lay out the plan for relocation (with the help of a commercial property management team), reasons for the proposed move and other basic details in writing as a way of announcement to employees. This way, they have a good timeframe in which to make objections or concerns known.

Terms of Relocation

Once all employees have agreed, in principle, to move, you can then begin to set out appropriate terms and conditions for the move. Record this appropriately to ensure both yourself and your employee has such terms written down – preferably in the form of a new contract – to refer to when needed. This way you are not leaving key requirements to chance or good faith, this is especially essential when relocation is a considerable distance or even overseas.

Some essential things to get in writing includes:

  • Relocation Expenses: how much is your company willing to spend for relocation of employees over a large distance, particularly when it comes to the expenses of moving home, etc. Set this out clearly, from the beginning, in order to avoid a massive bill from an employee after said relocation has occurred.
  • Salary Currency: if moving your company overseas, you may now be operating with a new currency. As such, it is important that you set out the salary currency from day one so that your employees know how they will need to deal with their finances post-move.
  • Home Ownership: in some cases, your employees may own homes in the area you are relocating from. Setting a policy in place from the outset, as advised by professionals such as Roger Hannah & Co, in regards to their homes can help to remove confusion for these employees and help to set their mind at ease. This is especially important if the price of homes varies widely from the area you are moving from, as your employee may lose out and end up with an inferior home as a result. If you are willing to help or not, this must be outlined clearly in the your relocation policy.

Overall, relocating your business and employees could be a much more complicated process than you would, at first, have thought. But, in the long term the benefits to your company could potentially far outweigh the initial hassle and complications of a move. Be sure to research, understand your employees concerns and put in place the right policy before a move takes place in order to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. In doing so, you can start a whole new chapter of your business with peace of mind.

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