Short-term moves have become a major trend in relocation over the last few years and will continue to increase through 2019.
According to our most recent Talent Management Trends Report, 62% of mobility managers say they use short-term and temporary assignments, while 94% say they expect short-term relocations to increase or remain the same over the next two years.
Like a permanent assignment, short-term assignees must pick and move to another city, state, or even country, but only for a limited span of time. From one-off projects, new business or branch openings, there are a number of reasons and benefits for sending an employee out of town for a short-term assignment.
Benefits of Short-Term Relocation Assignments
- A short-term assignment costs less than permanently relocating an employee.
Also cited in this year’s trend report, cost control is the top challenge for global relocation managers. Short-term relocation can be much more cost-effective than permanently relocating employees. In fact, it allows company initiatives to proceed without the costs of selling a house and asking members of an assignee’s family to leave their jobs and relocate too.
- A short-term move is less stressful on employees (and employers) than permanent moves.
Unlike long-term or permanent relocation assignments, employees typically will not move their families during a short-term assignment. This means not having to deal with the added challenges associated with housing, finding new schools and other common stressors during moving, all of which can help ensure a successful assignment.
- Short-term assignments are great opportunities for employees to grow.
A growing, engaged staff is critical to any organization. Short-term assignments give them the chance to learn additional skills and gain new perspectives. As an added bonus, those assignees also can share the knowledge they learned throughout the process with colleagues upon their return.
Most short-term assignments range between four and 12 months. When sending an employee to any out-of-town location for months at a time, hotels will become costly, and a short-term relocation plan can become a better alternative.
Setting Up your Employee up for a Successful Short-Term Move
While an employee’s relocation needs for a short-term assignment will vary, it’s important for companies and organizations to have a standard, but flexible, plan. Here are a few things employers should consider when creating a short-term relocation plan.
- Help employees find affordable short-term housing.
When assignments will span several months, a short-term rental agreement or corporate housing may be the best option. Find housing complexes and communities to act as your company’s preferred vendor, especially when you are anticipating frequent short-term assignments throughout your organization. Work with these potential vendors to either continuously rent housing units where they will allow tenants to rotate or work to create short term-housing agreements. Other alternatives can include extended-stay hotels or vacation rentals like Airbnb. This will eliminate the hassle of searching for new housing each time you relocate an employee.
- Be prepared to cover all expenses.
If an employee who’s temporarily relocating is leaving their home and family behind, the last thing they should worry about is covering two separate costs of living. Be sure to budget for expenses like utilities and parking fees, as well as fully furnishing their residence. If your company can’t afford to do so, at the very least, be sure to communicate what is included in your temporary relocation package and what is not. That way assignees can plan and budget accordingly.
- Offer benefits and incentives that will help employees adjust.
Some benefits that are offered could also be an incentive for employees to take on temporary assignments. Family separation is one of the most common challenges for employees on a short-term assignment. Consider covering the cost of trips back home or even sending family members to visit assignees.
- Create resources to help employees adjust.
There are several resources companies can offer to help alleviate the challenges around getting acclimated to a new city. Consider developing a move guide that includes top restaurants, breweries, events and other fun activities to familiarize them with the local scene. Along the same vein, develop a list of recommended medical practices such as primary care physicians and dentists, as well as other services like mechanics your employee might need.
- Choose the right moving company for your relocation needs.
Whether relocating into a permanent new home or a short-term residence, the right assistance can prevent these changes from becoming a stressful event. Moving companies that specialize in corporate relocation can create flexible and customized moving packages, and often offer online tools to support your corporate moving program.
If you have any questions about corporate relocation, don’t hesitate to contact us.