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Moving offices? Here are the benefits to communicate

As more organizations look to move headquarters or offices from suburbs to metro cities, they are simultaneously struggling to retain their top talent. HR leaders within organizations need to pay extra attention to how relocation could negatively affect employee retention. There are several strategies employers can leverage to retain their employees during relocation, one being adding to their benefits package. Below are benefits companies relocating should consider offering to employees:  

Transit Benefits: 

Earlier this year, a law passed eliminating the mandate for employers to help employees cover the expense of commuting to and from work. Before this law, companies offered this benefit because they had to. After this law, some companies eliminated this benefit. But companies that got rid of this benefit and are relocating should consider adding it back. 

Many employees commutes will change as a result of relocation. Relocation will likely mean disruption for the way an employee gets to work. That change in cost is something that employers can help relocated employees deal with by offering transit benefits. Relocation benefits can include a program for employees to save pre-taxed dollars to be used toward the cost of public transportation, discounts for the cost of public transportation passes, benefits involving ride share services, a free company shuttle service, offering gas allowance and even providing a company car.  

Childcare Benefits: 

For staff with children, relocation can be a huge inconvenience. Working parents may need to put their child in daycare longer, find alternative caregiving arrangements or enroll children in after school programs. Employers can help by offering EAPs that connect working parents with qualified caregivers and help them pay for that care through dependent care savings accounts. Employers may even go as far as having back-up childcare available or on-site daycare programs. 

Relocation Assistance: 

Moving is expensive. And company relocation often means staff will need to changwhere they live in addition to where they work. Employers can offer a variety of benefits to assist employees moving their home residence. To help eliminate the stress of having to move, employers can offer services that connect employees with realtors that will help sell and buy their house, find qualified movers and even connect them with newcomer groups in new areas. Employers can also cover or contribute towards the cost of moving to limit employees personal expenses associated with relocation. Some even give employees time off before and after moving to reduce stress and help them get situated. Other benefits associated with relocation assistance can include helping an employee’s spouse find a new job, reimbursing an employee for trips home if they are relocating without their family, temporary housing, covering the difference in the short sale of a house and more. Human resources should communicate with employees during relocation to determine which benefits will help them the most. 

Remote Work and Flextime:   

Relocation can cause major changes to an employee’s schedule. A working parent, for example, may not be able to spend as much time with their child, bring their child to school or coach their sports team.  This is where remote work and flextime comes in. Remote work allows employees to work from home some days, and flextime gives them the luxury of choosing their hours. Remote work and flextime can help employees make the most of their time, which can be further compromised by relocation. Something else that is important during relocation is being understanding of unexpected emergencies that may come up. Emergencies can be things like children being sent home from school, transportation not working or needing to care for a family member. Employers can help by allowing employees the opportunities to work from home if such events arise.  

Human resources plays a critical role in helping employees during relocation. When a company relocates, one of the ways HR can attract and retain top talent through the move is by adding to their benefits plan.  

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