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Safety Remains Priority #1
All roundtable participants indicated the importance of keeping relocating employees safe and healthy throughout their move. While some employers have put all domestic relocations on hold as a result, those who have not are taking precautions that include:
Depending on their global security teams to monitor the progression of the outbreak and advise when and how to proceed.
Providing relocating employees with detailed travel safety guidelines.
Providing employees with care kits, which include masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products.
Allowing relocations to move forward, but requiring employees who fly to their new location to quarantine for two weeks before coming into the office.
Employers Are Curious about Our Safety Guidelines
Roundtable participants were not only eager to learn how fellow employers are protecting their transferees, but what safety initiatives UrbanBound has taken.
One of the first steps we took back in March was to create a multi-disciplinary task force to monitor all updates and guidelines provided by the CDC, WHO, and other COVID-19 authorities.
Using that information—and collaborating closely with our suppliers—we created a detailed COVID-19 relocation guide, which we provide to all relocating employees. The guide (which is continually updated) tells employees what to expect and helps them plan a safe, smooth relocation. We created an employer version of this guide as well, Managing Mobility During COVID-19, available on our website.
In addition, we just introduced two new services, which are available through specific providers in a number of U.S. locations. These include:
Contactless Moves – provided by one of our household goods providers (additional fees may apply)
Sanitizing Services – delivered in accordance with CDC guidelines, along with those of local jurisdictions. Quotations are available through our provider.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Remote Work Won’t Replace Relocation
While roundtable participants were quick to acknowledge that remote work has offered many advantages during the shutdown, they don’t believe it will permanently replace the need for relocations. There is too much value in onsite team collaborations.
Interestingly, one employer found that, while company turnover is very low, those who are resigning are typically new hires. Their theory: new employees don’t have the job expertise or emotional connection to work effectively from home.
It was also observed that, should remote work continue, managers will need to be trained on the art of managing effectively from afar—and that many employees would prefer to be onsite, where they can collaborate in person and also be seen.
COVID-19 Will Spark Changes to Relocation Programs
We asked our roundtable participants how they would change their relocation programs as a result of lessons learned from their COVID-19 experience. Our top three answers:
Create more flexibility – It was noted that more flexible policies would result in a reduced need for the exceptions that have become so prevalent now. Furthermore, with everything from home-buying tours to household goods surveys being conducted digitally, some processes are changing.
Lower costs (but provide a better experience) – Employers are looking for ways to save money without compromising service. It was suggested that reviewing customer feedback would be a good way to see where improvements should be made while protecting the employee experience.
Provide better emergency policies/benefits – COVID-19 has taught employers to prepare for the unthinkable. This means addressing emergency travel protocols and health insurance needs for employees held up in foreign countries. Employers want to do right by their employees, regardless of circumstance.
In closing, we relish the opportunity to bring clients and employers together to discuss their most pressing relocation issues, especially as we grapple with the challenges created by COVID-19. If your recent experiences have led you to question your current relocation management program, we’d welcome the chance to chat with you about it.
At UrbanBound, our tech-driven relocation management company is modernizing the way companies relocate employees. It offers ease and flexibility…reduces costs by more than 24%... and delivers an outstanding experience to employers and employees alike. For more insights, see what our clients say about us.