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NextGen Magazine


More Companies Willing to Move Employees to Get Them to Work in Offices

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Apr 17, 2023

More companies want their workers back in the office, and they’re willing to pay for it with relocation assistance, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Job postings in the United States that mention relocation benefits were up by nearly 75 percent as of February, when compared with the prior year, according to ZipRecruiter reported that job ads that offer relocation money have more recently doubled to 3.8 million.

Even large companies such as Colgate-Palmolive Co., Walmart Inc. and Chevron Corp have gotten into the act, paying employees to relocate them so that they live near the office and can work on site several times a week. Some employers have also paid to move remote hires made during the pandemic back on site, executives told the Journal. With remote work in decline, companies see the benefits to paying people to return to the office.

Relocation assistance can range from a lump sum of a few thousand dollars to full-service packages that cover packing and shipping household belongings and cars, to several months of paid rent in corporate housing, the Journal reported. The cost of moving a new hire ranges, on average, from $19,000 for a renter to $72,000 for a homeowner, according to ARC Relocation, which works with companies to relocate employees. The cost is more expensive for existing workers who move for new internal roles.

Worker relocation volumes and budgets increased last year by more than most companies were expecting, according to a survey by Atlas Van Lines Inc. Relocation budgets are predicted to rise again for hundreds of companies in 2023.

In-demand employees who are asked to relocate have leverage to negotiate to cover their costs in a market where remote jobs still exist, Alexandra Carter, director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School and author of a book on negotiation, told the Journal.

The money a company spends is considered part of an employee’s taxable income, regardless of the form of the assistance, she told the Journal. She said that it is worth asking the company to offset the tax liability by providing the additional money the employee would owe to the IRS.