2023 Global Relocation Trends

As 2022 comes to a close, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on what occurred and make plans for 2023. The past few years have been anything but easy, with significant shifts in economic and social factors. Global relocation teams have had to navigate

Domestic

Date 03 May, 2023

Reading time 14 min

content

Share this article

As 2022 comes to a close, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on what occurred and make plans for 2023. The past few years have been anything but easy, with significant shifts in economic and social factors. Global relocation teams have had to navigate newfound challenges to minimize business disruptions.

Looking forward to the next year, we can see some trends emerge, making it important to consider the impact on your business to properly plan and reduce risk.

Remote Work Is Here For Good

One of the biggest changes that occurred in the post-pandemic world was remote work. Before the pandemic, only around 4% of total available jobs were remote; however, as of 2022, the total percentage of remote workers in the US alone is 26%. The percentage of employees that work remotely is only expected to climb going into 2023.

HR and talent acquisition managers will most likely see an influx of requests for permanent remote roles. Inability to adapt and become flexible to remote demands risks losing talent altogether. To avoid this situation, many companies have tried to allow remote work whenever possible or implement temporary or hybrid policies to keep essential talent.

Going into 2023, many global companies will need to develop firm policies surrounding compensation for remote workers. In addition, fine-tuning remote policies will also be essential to reduce confusion surrounding work expectations. Remote work is here to stay. It’s time that global companies find ways to leverage this change in the workforce.

Struggles In Talent Acquisition And Retention Will Continue

The pandemic triggered the Great Resignation, with employees leaving jobs in record numbers. In 2021, 48 million people quit their jobs, with another 8.6 million as of March 2022. This growing issue isn’t just present in North America. In fact, this is a global issue, with 41% of the global workforce considering leaving their job and another 46% searching for work relocations.

Employees aren’t just searching for a new opportunity. Many have taken these shifts as an opportunity to retire, with research showing 47.29 million retirees in 2021 compared to 34.59 in 2010. This makes sense, given that studies highlight 10 million unfilled jobs with only 5.8 million unemployed people.

Going into the next year, companies will need to make employee concerns a top priority. If an employee is essential, certain benefits, like remote work or relocation assistance, should be open for negotiation. Instead of focusing solely on cost control, talent acquisition and retention departments will need to shift the narrative to employee satisfaction.

Global relocation is a part of improving long-term commitment. An employee that previously didn’t qualify for an overseas assignment might now be offered this opportunity to gain more experience and become a loyal employee. Analyzing current policies surrounding overseas assignment qualifications will be important to create flexibility and promote a welcoming environment.

Work Life Balance Continues To Be A Priority

Working hand-in-hand with remote work is work life balance. Although overseas assignments and relocation opportunities are steadily increasing, employees are requesting the entire family unit to be placed rather than just themselves. This requires more resources on the employer’s part such as working with a global relocation management company (RMC) to help the employee assimilate into the new country to learn the culture, work through the language barrier, find schools for children, and to transition effectively.

Before the pandemic, financial compensation was one of the top priorities when evaluating an overseas assignment. However, now assignees are looking for a stronger work-life balance that maximizes the experience they are receiving overseas. Companies must understand this trend going into 2023 to offer employees the right support services.

In addition, work life balance continues to be a priority at home. Workers are moving out of the traditional 9-5 role, with a 4-day work week at the top of the trending conversation list. 33 companies and 903 employees around the world trialed the 4-day work week, resulting in 97% of employees wanting to keep the structure.

The trial found that employee productivity was high, stress levels were reduced, and burnout was less likely. Improvements in both the mental and physical health of your employees promote a strong work-life balance and can help fill long-term positions both domestically and overseas.

The 4-day work week raises the question of management in global relocation. Certain countries may be more willing to adopt this schedule, whereas others are seen as being more traditional. HR managers will need to evaluate the cultural component of implementing global company policies.

For companies that are taking the traditional route, there are other options to improve work life balance, even with employees spread out around the globe. A hybrid method of work is gaining popularity. Employees can split their time between the office and at home, promoting flexibility to add to work-life balance. Nevertheless, a hybrid method can be difficult for people who need to be at the job location, such as those employed by biotech and manufacturing businesses.

 

Relocation Benefits Remain Important

To better attract and retain talent, HR mobility leaders must put flexibility first.  Incorporating a more customized approach to relocation programs with a focus on employee career development and the unique needs of the employee and family is critical.

According to the Worldwide ERC: US Domestic Permanent Transfers: Volume and Cost 2022 Report, move costs reached an all-time high in 2022, with homeowners seeing an average cost of $85,466 and renters at $33,532. Looking out at 2023, companies are predicting further increases of approximately 9%. What does this mean for your business? Companies need to consider offering a combination of benefit types.

Presently, 65% of employers who provide relocation services do so through structured programs whereas self-service options occur 33% of the time. As we get into 2023, it will be imperative that your business considers the cost-benefit trade-off of offering employee relocation assistance, especially with positions that require frequent relocation. This can be a differentiating factor between your business and a competitor when seeking to attract qualified talent.

Relocation Service Demand & Pricing Will Climb

Managing the successful placement of employees in a global environment can be tricky for some members of HR or talent acquisition teams. This is why we expect relocation services to grow in demand in 2023. From fully understanding cultural implications to serving as a strategic negotiation lever, working with an accredited relocation service might be what your business needs to improve the longevity of relocation placements. Maximizing employee experience while finding viable strategies for cost containment and increasing ROI can be done from a strong partnership with a dedicated RMC.

Furthermore, couple rapid inflation with a tight housing market and supply chain crisis your company can expect higher relocation costs. The global shortage of natural gas and labor have affected almost every aspect of the mobility process particularly in the household goods arena. Last minute relocations are now replaced with four to six week booking requirements. And, the labor price has shifted from hourly wages of approximately $15 – $20/hour for a few hours by workers to a going rate of $400 a day regardless of the size of the shipment and how long workers will be on the job.

Re-Evaluate Program Costs

Relocation budgets should be re-evaluated especially if they haven’t been in a while to see if they are realistic. Expecting the new employee to take on a larger financial burden from what was reality a few years ago is likely to have a negative influence on your ability to acquire new talent or experience failed relocations. Testing new policies, exploring new benefits, and generating management reports are great ways to see what is working and where adjustments need to be made.

Summary

Global relocation trends are important to understand going into 2023. Properly positioning your business to appeal to Millennials, Gen Z individuals, and qualified talent requires HR managers to analyze current procedures and find ways to innovate, adapt, and overcome. Worldwide ERC also reports that there was a 50% increase in domestic relocation in 2022, showing the growing number of employees that want to take advantage of new opportunities while still remaining with the same employer.

In summary, global companies should watch out for the following 5 trends going into 2023:

  1. Remote work is no longer an exclusive benefit; it’s an expected part of the work environment for talent entering the labor pool.
  2. Talent acquisition and retention will continue to plague companies trying to fill positions.
  3. Work life balance is a growing concern of employees, requiring flexibility on the employer’s part.
  4. Relocation benefits are a top consideration when accepting assignments.
  5. Relocation services will be in high demand, making it important to find the right RMC to work with.

Global relocation can be complex, which is why reaching out to our team at Relocation Coordinates International can be beneficial. We have successfully placed hundreds of candidates, ensuring clear communication throughout the process. Reach out today to learn more.

Request Consultation

Our custom, full-service program offerings, coupled with years of industry knowledge and experience, makes Relocation Coordinates International (RCI) an ideal resource.

If you would like to speak with one of our relocation specialists for a global mobility consultation or you have interest in our relocation services, please fill out the form below and let us know how we can help.