Questions to think upon before work relocation

Jul 01, 2019
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Our career often ‘takes us places’. And while this sentence is usually used in the metaphorical sense, its literal sense is equally true for a lot of us. That’s because – be it a transfer or a promotion or a company expansion – companies send their employees to new geographical destinations all the time. When you are faced with relocation for work, there can be a thousand doubts and apprehensions crossing through your mind. Here are some issues that you need to tackle head on, and some questions you must ask straightaway, if your work is, so to speak, ‘taking you places’, too:

Will I get temporary accommodation assistance?

When you are relocating for work, there can be a gap or lag phase before you settle down and your family joins you. This interim or ‘stopgap’ period is one where you need to find a place to stay. It should, ideally, be close to your workplace so that you can avoid commute and maximize ‘work time’. However, finding the right stopgap address in a locality that you are totally new in – without any idea of local neighborhood cultures, public transport or roads and connectivity – can be tough, especially since you will also be pressed for time on the work front. If one cannot negotiate well, it can also become an expensive proposition. It is therefore important to ask your employer or client well in advance whether they will be helping you out in this area – be it finding the right address or fixing the right price for it.

Will you help my family settle down?

When your family finally joins you in your new address, there will be new needs to take care of. Kids will need the right school, Day Care Centre or Babysitters. Senior Citizens will need special attention and services. Pets will need walkers and pet-friendly zones. That apart, your household will need certain service providers to cover daily needs like groceries, electricity, plumbing, drivers, security and so on. You may also need help in transport like a car or a pool service. If you are relocating for work, it is important to clarify with your employer the nature of support you will receive from them in each of these areas.

Will I get assistance in figuring out the best location?

Perhaps the most important part in your relocation exercise is finding the right location for your residence. Not only does it need to be in a peaceful and ‘homely’ locality where your family will be able to find ‘like minded folks’ to connect with, it should also have good connectivity with other parts of town (which goes beyond your workplace and includes shopping, utilities such as  banks and post-office, culinary, leisure and entertainment avenues as well). Find out whether you will get help from your company in ‘homing into’ the best locational advantage for your new home.

What are the financial ‘adjustments’ I can expect to receive?

Moving to a new city or location – especially one that’s a level above your previous (which is the normal situation in a case of an ascending professional journey) – may involve a rise in living standards, and by extension, a rise in the cost of living. This is quite apart from the ‘one time’ cost of relocation that you will incur for shifting your co-ordinates. That apart, there may be new tax implications and complications to consider in your new zone of residence. To what extend will your employers or clients be ready to ‘ease’ your situation in these financial areas? Find out, before you shift.

Relocation can be a complex exercise, given its range and nature of uncertainties. It helps to prepare a list of questions you must ask your employer or client before you make your move. Once you have satisfactory answers to them, you are, as they say, good-to-go.

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