CORPORATE RELOCATION SURVEY 2023See the full CORPORATE RELOCATION SURVEY 2023
ATLAS® IS IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Atlas® is pleased to bring you our 56th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey, the industry's first and longest-running investigation into corporate relocation policies and practices.
As we have done every year since 1968, we consider the demographic, geopolitical, and economic shifts affecting our industry. We analyze the findings and uncover the trends to understand the evolving challenges more clearly—and learn how we, as relocation professionals, can answer them.
Survey results come from responses by 584 decision-makers, with a responsibility for relocation, and employed by a company that has either relocated employees during the past two years or plans to relocate employees this year. Nineteen industries are represented, making regional, national, and international relocations.
Overview AND Insights
RELOCATION VOLUME + BUDGETS
Relocation volumes and budgets increased in 2022 and are expected to increase in 2023 for around half of all companies. However, many companies have guarded expectations about the global economy moving into 2023 as low workforce participation remains a major challenge. Overall, it appears that the impact of the pandemic has lessened even as the pressures of a poor global economy take hold. Despite economic recovery, companies may experience more economic instability or downturn in 2023.
FACTORS IMPACTING RELOCATION: EMPLOYERS
Economic conditions were the main external impact on companies in 2022. Companies reported an improved global economy and better financial performance in 2022, compared to 2021 and 2020. It appears that the acute impacts of the pandemic have eased. However, companies appear to be reserved about the state of the global economy in 2023 as longer-lasting trends persist including inflation, rising interest rates, and fears of recession. Similarly, companies are dealing with a sharp increase in supply chain/logistics constraints and changing tax policy as well as political and regulatory environments.
FACTORS IMPACTING RELOCATION: EMPLOYEES
While the pandemic has become normalized, employee health and safety concerns are 2022’s main driver for declined relocations. It is likely that employees are looking beyond only infectious diseases, and considering global or local conflict, and even climate threats in their decision to relocate. The pandemic also produced several demographic trends that created family issues/ties that might make relocation impossible, including a departure of many parents from the workforce, increased reliance on multigenerational support, and the retirement of baby boomers. Inflation and the real estate market are also making cost of living a key consideration for workers.
Quit rates are high, with employees experiencing newfound autonomy, including a propensity to job-hop and an increasing preference for the work/life balance hat hybrid and remote work can facilitate. By understanding the drivers behind The Great Resignation and the behavior of skilled workers who desire healthy work/life balance and enriching company culture, companies should be sure to highlight these offerings as a part of relocating new hires. This includes competitive salaries.
EMPLOYEE MOBILITY AND CHANGING WORKPLACES
Relocation volumes and budgets are increasing for most companies, driven in part by workplace policies mandating a return to onsite/in-office attendance. Fully remote work is on the decline, and employees overwhelmingly prefer remote or hybrid office models. Voluntary relocation is a growing trend for employees who are increasingly demonstrating a prioritization of work/life balance and personal fulfillment, in addition to viewing employment as means to an end. While competitive wages do matter, workplace culture is also taking precedence.
As companies develop workplace management policies, and take employees’ changing attitudes into consideration, newfound desires for remote work, work/life balance, voluntary relocation, and flexibility are unlikely to shift, and critical to employee recruitment and retention.
Flexible policies became more prevalent and customizable in 2022 to address individualized needs of employees. Use of lump-sum benefits have increased in 2022, as well. This comes during a year in which companies, on average, reduced the number of non-standard incentives offered to relocating employees, and reported an increase in outsourcing of relocation services. While lump sums and flexible policies can allow for employees to fulfill all their needs, they may still need guidance in how to streamline relocation.
The most critical support for employees is around partner/spousal support, childcare, and housing. Assistance policies should address these roadblocks. As lump sum and flexible relocation policies managed by employees and relocation management teams become more normalized, education is necessary.