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June 9, 2016

An industry in transit: Atlas' 2016 Corporate Relocation Survey

  • Corporate relocation
Corporate relocation is a growing industry with lots of exciting trends.

For nearly five decades, Atlas has turned to corporate decision-makers to analyze the state of the relocation market. By understanding changes in practices and policies, Atlas can better serve the demands of corporate relocation. For 2016, the 49th edition of the annual survey, Atlas reached out to 445 decision-makers, who gave valuable insight into a wide array of topics, including the state of budgets and the importance of spousal support. There's a wealth of data available, but here are just a few important revelations from Atlas' 2016 Corporate Relocation Survey:

"Relocation is a common occurrence in many firms."

Relocation is common
In all, 38 percent of responding companies with 5000 or more employees relocated at least 400 employees last year. Another 26 percent of businesses ended up relocating a handful of employees, if not quite as many as 400. Just three percent of all respondents didn't relocate at least one employee in 2015. This demonstrates that corporate relocation is a regular part of most midsized to large business practices and that companies regularly relocate significant numbers of their workforce.

Human resources is always moving
The vast majority of relocated employees - 89 percent - work in either human resources or the personnel department. Of those individuals being relocated, they represent a broad swath of industry. Forty-four percent are in the service field, with manufacturing/processing following with 25 percent. Other top scoring sectors include financial (13 percent), retail or wholesale (10 percent) and government or military workers (3 percent).

The international boom
Though relocation with the U.S. still does big business, 51 percent of responding companies are based internationally. This is an important distinction to make, as it demonstrates not only the range of movement for employees but the challenges many of these firms face. Moving out of country can be taxing for both the employee and the company. If this many international firms are engaged in regular relocations, then having proper support is crucial.

More firms are planning ahead
Speaking of support, 80 percent of companies - that includes international and domestic firms - have established formal relocation policies. This figure has risen over the years, and that's for the better. An agreement listing things like relocation benefits and overall eligibility is important. It creates realistic expectations for employers and management and ensures an orderly relocation process.

Rejection does happen
Not every employee automatically accepts a relocation offer, and rejection is actually quite common. Of those who did respond no, 55 percent explained that the reason was due to their partner or spouse's employment situation. While some rejections are unavoidable, in other cases they can be the company's fault. For instance, 41 percent of rejections were due to a lack of desire to move, while 15 percent stemmed from concerns over job security. This demonstrates the need for properly worded relocation offers and policies.

If nothing else, this survey proves how complicated corporate relocation can prove to be. That's why if you plan to shift employees quickly and efficiently, you need help in the relocation. For assistance with everything from logistics to the actual move, Atlas Van Lines can streamline the entire process.