Resilience in Relocation: What’s your Roadmap?

Individually and collectively, the way we approach a post-COVID future will demand a full and honest assessment of our unique positions and perspectives. As it has been said before, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” Monolithic corporate systems have been upended by a massive digital transformation.

People around the world and across all job functions have demonstrated extraordinary creativity and resilience in (very quickly) adapting to new ways of work. It will likely be years before the new paradigms become the real “new normal,” but in the meantime, it is up to each corporation – and indeed every employee – to find their individual thresholds for risk, performance, and happiness.

Here, we will explore the unique opportunities that exist for HR, Talent, and Mobility to lend their perspective and leadership as we move forward.

Orient your organization

For the last several months, HR teams have taken on a vital almost supply-chain function within their organizations, managing everything from massive furloughs, to transitioning entire teams to home-based work environments, to policy and regulatory compliance, and being the glue between leadership and a company’s most valuable asset: its people.

As the primary conduit between candidates and management, HR and Talent are essentially a corporation’s first responders. They are the ear to the ground, both in terms of internal employee feedback as well as the broader employment marketplace.

The following are likely to be common threads in HR and mobility in the coming months:

  • The war for talent is likely to look very different than before, and will require different thinking around people’s expectations of how they will work and where they will work.
  • The talent pool will be larger than ever before, not just with job-seekers but with corporations prepared to accept work-from-home / abroad arrangements and the opportunity to recruit talent from almost anywhere.
  • More employees will be allowed to work remotely, meaning that the ability to locate talent globally will result in fewer relocations while the costs for onboarding talent will be significantly reduced by fewer relocations.
  • Having experienced some distinct advantages of working from home, employees will have different expectations from their employers and workplaces. Though not everyone will want to continue to work from home, some will want to continue, even part-time.

While the situation remains fluid for some time, having a sound relocation policy – one that is well informed by HR and Talent teams on strategic and operational levels – will be critical to future-proofing your organization for 2021. There are complex considerations around managing time zones, taxation, health and safety, benefits, as well as cost of living related salary adjustments – all of which need be prepared in advance of discussions with employees and candidates.

Building a mobility roadmap

Companies should take this opportunity to carefully consider their perspective on global mobility and its fit and function within their organization. It is essential to have a clear roadmap, and those who are able to provide the benefit of a strategically-positioned relocation team or support from a sound RMC partner will be in a far better position to prepare for the unknowns that still lie ahead.

Key considerations include:

  • Who owns the mobility function within your organization?
  • At what point are relocation options considered for employees?
  • What level of employee will have access to relocation options?

And most importantly:

  • Is mobility a strategic component of organizational planning or simply a functional output?

Conducting a mobility function audit for your organization can help uncover both potential pitfalls and opportunities. This is an extraordinary time to open up the conversation and explore all the ‘what-ifs’. Include mobility professionals in the strategic planning process – their value is in bringing expertise and insights as opposed to simply performing a function.

Coming out of the woods

For those who have relocated during the pandemic and in the foreseeable future, additional cost saving options are being embraced by employers and employees. These include incredibly low airline tickets, discounts on temporary housing (with the large inventory of empty units), as well as a hot real estate market which is driving quick and above list sales.

Successful employers will be seen as those who are prepared for honest conversations with staff, open to alternatives, have an employee-centered mindset (that goes far beyond gym memberships), and are authentically empathetic to personal needs and circumstances. There are many ways to help support employees as they settle into a new area – sometimes under quarantine – such as a thoughtful Welcome Basket with home essentials and other supplies. Remember that remaining authentic and caring can be demonstrated in ways big and small, and will continue to go a long way in what is likely to be an uncertain year.

Interested in more information? To discuss your organization’s mobility program needs, please contact Sue Harrington at

Relocation Coordinates International (RCI) delivers customized, cost-effective relocation solutions in the global marketplace that exceed client expectations. We offer a full suite of corporate mobility services, as well as pre-decision, destination, and departure services for domestic and international relocations.

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Our custom, full-service program offerings, coupled with years of industry knowledge and experience, makes Relocation Coordinates International (RCI) an ideal resource.

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