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The relocation process creates considerable distractions and dissonances that reduce employee concentration and engagement and ultimately their productivity. The more complex the move and the larger the family reserves, the more productivity will be affected.

How can companies managing global mobility help employees stay more engaged and productive during a domestic or international relocation?

From the perspective of the company there are different actions that can be taken to help reduce the problem of decreased productivity when carrying out the relocation of employees. Here are a few.

Allow sufficient time to consider relocating employees

It is of utmost importance that sufficient time is allocated to consider the needs of all family members when planning a national or international relocation. Insufficient time to accept/reject the transfer and then make the physical move can increase employee stress levels and in turn, reduce productivity during working hours.

Involve spouse/partner and family

For the move to be a success, it is essential to include the spouse/partner in the decision-making process as well as in the daily dialogue once the move is underway. Allowing the family to hear information about the employee’s relocation firsthand and ask any questions will help reduce excess calls and emails, decrease the need for repeat information, and ultimately maintain employee productivity during relocation.

Use calendars and schedules

Relocation service providers can help manage the stress of the relocating employee by continually updating their calendar and sending reminders that require an acceptance or rejection response. This keeps the important details on everyone’s mind and reduces lost productivity from having to meet last-minute deadlines.

Start target services as soon as possible

If destination services are part of the employee relocation package, it is worth starting them as soon as possible. Doing so can increase enthusiasm for the move, reduce family anxiety by allowing them to start orienting themselves in the new location, and put the move in an efficient pace.

Consider flexible working arrangements

By allowing the employee to work remotely when necessary during the move, it maintains and even increases productivity, due to the possibility of working inside and outside normal working hours. There are often move-related activities that need to be taken care of at home, so by allowing flexible working arrangements, the anxiety of falling behind in the workload can be drastically reduced.

Additional support services that can maintain or increase productivity during a corporate relocation:

Spouse/Partner Assistance – Considering that the spouse/partner may have to leave their job to relocate, businesses can recognise this important source of stress by providing assistance in finding work, career advice, help returning to school or support in getting involved in local charities or volunteering organisations.

Cross-cultural training – By providing cross-cultural training to the whole family, both the employee and the family are more likely to adapt to the new environment, and the employee is engaged and productive in their new roles.

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