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Relocation Remains a Viable Option as Global Workers Respond to the Pandemic

Research exploring global employee sentiment shows how employees are feeling about their future prospects, revealing that U.S. employees are still up for relocation, despite the challenges that may come with it.

Every region of the world has felt the drastic effects of the Coronavirus on multiple levels from the personal to the professional. Taking its toll on the global economy and the workforce, the pandemic continues to be a barrier for workers around the world. Research exploring global employee sentiment shows how employees are feeling about their future prospects, revealing that U.S. employees are still up for relocation, despite the challenges that may come with it.

COVID-19 and its Effect on Employee Sentiment Around the World

Between February and May 2020, DSJ Global surveyed employees from Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the United States and across sectors such as procurement, supply chain, logistics, and technical operations. While the majority of respondents came from APAC (55%), Germany also featured heavily (31%), while the Southeast and Northeast regions of the U.S. featured most prominently in respondents, who ranged from entry-level to senior executives.

The survey explored how employees were feeling about the global economy in the midst of COVID-19, with respondents indicating a general sense that the economy would worsen in the next twelve months. While 41% of respondents are eager to find new opportunities over the next six months, 2 in 5 (43%) feel negative about their future job prospects. Other reasons respondents gave as impetus to switch jobs were new opportunities and a higher salary, at 60% and 53%, respectively.

Despite the overall negative look on the economy, results from the survey showed that the APAC region is the most confident in both securing new employment and job security, followed by EMEA. These two regions also showed the most job satisfaction, with EMEA respondents even demonstrating more willingness to stay with their current employer (40%) than the entirety of global respondents (36%). The top 3 career motivators of both EMEA and U.S. respondents are needing a new challenge, progressing in one’s career, and a higher salary.

U.S. Workers Willing and Eager to Relocate for Work

Particularly for U.S. respondents, however, is the willingness to relocate for a job. For the right role, 69% of U.S. respondents would move to another region within the U.S. Those most willing to move came from the Great Lakes region and the Midwest, while on average the most popular moving destination was the Southeast region. COVID-19 has also been a major contributing factor to Americans’ willingness to relocate, indicated by surveys showing that 35% of Americans would move for this reason.

Relocating during a pandemic has its own unique challenges as indicated by the DSJ Global survey which found that among U.S. respondents willing to relocate, 49% said that finding a new home would be the most challenging. Additionally, while some employees are willing to relocate, they expect their employer to provide assistance. Three quarters (82%) expect some form of assistance, whether through moving expenses (60%), a lump sum (60%), or temporary living expenses (54%).

While the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of difficulty to workforce relocation, it remains crucial to evaluate each candidate’s individual needs to devise the most comprehensive package. Mobility professionals are no stranger to creating the best packages for employees relocating for work, balancing the moving, real estate, and travel costs that best serve the employee. While the pandemic has certainly slowed relocation down, this research shows that even in one region of the world, employees are still eager to make that move with mobility there to help.

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