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Moving the Modern Family 06.28.2017 | Laura Levenson

Weichert Moving the Modern Family

Today, we have a lot of Jetsons-style technology, literally at our fingertips. Who doesn’t love FaceTime, Google searches and the Roomba (Ok, maybe not the Roomba)?

To remain competitive and keep your rising mobile talent happy, it’s vital to acknowledge that the construct of family has also progressed. Let’s visit some of the major points that are part and parcel of 21st century mobility management.

What Makes A Family A Family

As technology has changed, so too has our definition of “family.” No longer defined by Dad, Mom and 2.2 children, families can be multigenerational, include domestic partners, be single parent in nature and even have members of a different species. Being sensitive to your mobile employee’s particular situation strengthens the corporate relationship, increasing the likelihood of a successful assignment.

Spousal/Partner Reluctance

When your mobile employee is not flying solo, it’s imperative to lend support and consideration to a spouse or partner who may be feeling less than thrilled about uprooting his or her life. Often, there is an entirely separate, established career to consider and offering career counseling assistance can help. The loss of a second income may be the kind of financial hit the family just can’t take and can influence whether or not your preferred assignee signs on.

Education

When it comes to children and education, there are even deeper issues and implications to negotiate. Today, many companies are adopting a shared philosophy when it comes to educational benefits for children on assignment. Whereas private tuition was historically a given benefit, new options include partial contributions from families whose children are already receiving private school education in the home country and consideration of local public or non-private schools. Language barriers an issue? Paying for private tutoring can bridge the gap. Fees for uniforms, books and extracurricular activities are often not included.

Redefining Home 

There’s an old adage that can be updated to fit the changing face of mobility and it is “If family members aren’t happy, the assignment won’t be happy.” There is a lot to consider when accepting an opportunity because it’s not just a career change, there’s a different home in a new locale in the mix. Finding the right community fit may be challenging and setting appropriate expectations is of vital importance. If the transferring family has been living in a large home in a suburb and driving themselves around, moving to a much smaller apartment in an international urban setting where taking public transportation is the norm may present difficulties for all involved. Providing guidance with respect to locations, amenities and culture goes a long way to addressing and reducing the stresses that inevitably occur when lifestyle is impacted.

Duty of Care

In these uncertain times, it’s mission critical to be able to locate employees in the event of an emergency . Duty of care has never been more important and companies that leave mobile employees ”untethered” are doing them a great disservice. One solution is the Weichert Global Organizer, that can help corporations easily track assignees and business travelers. Other ways of maintaining contact include

While the likes of George Jetson and Buck Rogers could solve most of their problems with the push of a button, mobile family relocation is not quite that simple. But with the proper navigation and an understanding of modern family dynamics, you can make it a seamless and rewarding experience for your employees and their loved ones.

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Written by Laura Levenson

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Laura Levenson is a Practice Leader in Weichert Workforce Mobility’s Advisory Services group. She has worked in management capacities for workforce mobility and Big Four firms, and is well-versed in bringing clarity to the most pressing global talent deployment challenges. She brings over 25 years of experience to her role and is a frequent speaker on the mobility conference circuit.

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