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Podcast: Your Relocation Policy and COVID-19 06.11.2020 | Jennifer Connell

While the majority of the workforce adjusted to working from home, mobile employees also struggled with more uncertainty – Whether to continue in the assignment location, repatriate, or go to another location until a long term strategy became clearer.

As companies resume mobility, at least among critical moves, Weichert’s Advisory Services is responding to a record number of questions about what mobility will look like for the remainder of 2020 and the impact of the pandemic on relocation benefits.

In this episode of Weichert’s podcast, we discuss some of the common questions that we’re hearing from companies as they face issues outside their control, including mandatory quarantines, services deemed essential or non-essential, and availability of resources. In response, Weichert and its network of suppliers are embracing innovative approaches in providing benefits to employees.

While virtual solutions don’t take the place of face-to-face service delivery and are not recommended as a permanent replacement for full services, they can provide a short-term solution for employees who need to move. We’ve seen virtual solutions in the form of desktop appraisals, household good surveys and destination services. For employees in the early stages of an assignment, online language learning or cultural training will keep the employee and family engaged and will expedite the move when they are able to begin the assignment.

Companies are looking to the future and know that they may need to reduce costs, however, it’s still too early to fully explore the financial impact of COVID-19. Any reduction of benefits in an effort to contain costs may be met with Duty of Care concerns and organizations are cautious that a second wave of the pandemic is expected in the latter half of this year.

Rather, consider a temporary addendum to address benefit changes that can be adjusted when you have a clearer picture of the future.

When will companies continue to move people? There are already indications that organizations will resume business as some expect mobility to ramp up at a slow pace. Others anticipate a more staggered approach that is consistent with pent-up demand.

No matter what the future holds, there’s a saying that describes the agility of mobility programs, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

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Written by Jennifer Connell

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Jennifer Connell, SCRP, SGMS-T, is Vice President of Weichert’s Advisory Services group. She has over 25 years of experience in the workforce mobility and employee benefits industries and is a recipient of Worldwide ERC’s Distinguished Service Award. She has spoken on workforce mobility topics at industry conferences throughout North America and written for mobility- and HR-themed blogs and magazines worldwide.

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