Employees Can Now Live Anywhere: 4 Tips to Navigate Relocation
COVID-19 has completely transformed the workplace as we once knew it. A year into the pandemic, more companies are exploring ways to expand their work-from-home work policies to accommodate employees now and in the future. With the advent of remote work, employees now have more freedom and flexibility to live and work from anywhere they’d like. Whether they desire to lower their cost of living, live closer to loved ones, or start a life in their dream city, many employees are using these unprecedented times to relocate.
Of course, some professions will always be better suited for an office setting, which is why some staff members may also consider moving closer to their company’s headquarters for when the office reopens. However, the pandemic has presented new opportunities for employees to move, regardless of their motives.
Moving, especially amid a pandemic, isn’t always a seamless process though, which is why you will need to plan ahead. Knowing the resources available to you can help you ensure a smooth transition into a new working and living space. If you plan to relocate in the near future, here are four ways you can ease the experience:
- Seek Employer Support
Employers see their employees as valuable assets to the company, and most are willing to help you and your family through a relocation. If you’re interested in moving closer to your physical office, many employers offer job relocation packages that provide assistance with things like moving and storage costs, transportation, temporary housing, and home buying and selling. While there’s no obligation for your employer to offer financial help when moving closer to your company’s HQ, negotiating an assistance plan could be mutually beneficial.
Employer support may look a bit different for those moving for personal reasons during the pandemic. For instance, if you’re looking to work remotely in a city with a higher cost of living, your employer may not be willing to provide you with financial assistance. However, at the end of the day, both you and your employer want your relocation to go seamlessly, so you’re free to focus on your job. If you’re moving because remote work arrangements allow you to do so, you can still inquire about any non-financial resources like community guides or area-specific resources they may offer.
- Plan for the Move
Planning for your move can be one of the greatest sources of stress when relocating. You need to decide whether to buy or rent a home in your new city while also figuring out if or when to sell your current home. To time things right and best plan your finances, research the real estate market in both your current city and new neighborhood, as this will help you make informed decisions based on your needs. If you decide to sell your current home, you should do so before closing on a new home and ensure you’re actually ready to buy a new place.
Or, if you decide that you’d rather rent before committing to a specific neighborhood, you’ll have more time and freedom to explore the new area before settling down. By renting before you buy, you could also qualify for affordable home financing options like low-down payment FHA mortgage loans, which are great for moderate income earners but also require that you start your new employment and receive at least one paycheck.
- Consider Your Family’s Needs
Before relocating, be sure to consider your family’s needs since the move will impact them as well. Hold candid conversations with your spouse or partner to better understand how the move might impact their career, life, and personal relationships. If they will need to find a new job, you may want to consider moving to a city with a resilient job market, or ask your employer about job placement assistance or start researching job openings in your town as soon as possible. Communicating regularly and figuring out these details could help you alleviate stress and avoid tough conversations when it comes time to move.
If you already have children or are planning to in the near future, you will also need to consider your family and personal circumstances. It’s possible to move with kids at any age, but certain ages may be more challenging. While uprooting young kids may be easier, many parents are reluctant to or face more difficulty when relocating with teenagers who may already feel established socially. If you’re relocating with children, you should address any of their uncertainties pertaining to moving and involve them in the process as much as possible.
- Start Building Your Network
Settling into a new city can be daunting, especially when you don’t know many people. To help you adjust, it’s important to leverage any existing relationships you may have in your new community. Similar to how you network in professional settings, you can branch out and meet people through friends who already live in the area. Even if you’re starting fresh and don’t know anyone in the neighborhood, you can turn to your current network for any mutual connections. Most people, even if they’re a friend of a friend, understand the stress of moving and would be willing to help you get settled.
There are also ways you can start building relationships with locals even before you arrive. For instance, you could join Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or use online services like Nearify or Meetup to connect with locals. Some employers also offer virtual or in-person mentorship programs to help you feel more connected to your colleagues and community. The sooner you start building your network, the sooner you’ll feel grounded and comfortable in your new neighborhood. Then, once you’ve arrived in your new home, you can look into socially-distant activities to widen your social circle.
With so many candidates expecting work flexibility, the ability to attract candidates based on physical office space or location has waned. What should companies do today to attract top talent in a work from home climate? You should define your company’s differentiators.
At Artemis Consultants, we understand the importance of starting your career on the right foot. We can help counsel you through any stage of your professional pursuits to ensure you’re ready to grow and advance wherever you work.