Should Assignees Be Working While Relocating? Flexibility is Key

The total flight duration from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco is 15 hours and 20 minutes. If one is used to being tethered to their laptops most of their working hours, the long arduous flight time would be pretty much idle time once the laptop’s battery conks out. Time lost would be productivity loss. Granted, the plane is not a workplace productivity area but in the 21st century, work has become more mobile than ever — and work happens even outside of offices.

Not many will admit to it, but haven’t we all felt some guilt from that pestering unanswered email or text message from the boss on a weekend?! Even one may be tempted to work while still relocating. And yet as much as want to, our daily lives distract us from doing so.

Working outside of an office setting already creates enough distraction, reducing an employee’s focus and engagement, and ultimately, productivity, when there could be other things one can do. But is it really ideal to work while still in the process of moving? There are ways to tackle this matter without causing delays in production, according to following tips from California Corporate Housing and TRC Global Mobility:

Give ample time to relocating employes

Keeping in mind that companies do have a business to run, it is still imperative that enough time is allotted to consider the needs of a relocating employee as he or she planning a domestic or international relocation. Insufficient time can increase stress levels for the employee and in turn, reduce productivity for the relocating employee.

Use mobility management tools

Mobility management tools can revolutionize the process of global relocation. One software can actually plot out the entire costs of one assignee’s transfer — and then compare it with another who lives in another country and will also move to the same country of employment.

The global mobility manager’s job becomes easier as these tools can put order and organization in the entire process of relocation. A process helps to keep the relocating employee schedule their work without the distraction afforded by relocation.  

Involve the spouse/partner and family

When the employee moves with his/her family, as a way to position the relocation for success, it is essential to include, the spouse/partner in the decision making process as well as the day to day dialogue after the move gets underway. 

It is up to the in-house corporate mobility contact as well as the relocation management company (RMC), if utilized, to determine the best way to communicate with and disseminate information to all applicable family members. 

Allowing the family to hear the employee relocation information first-hand and ask any questions will help reduce excess workday calls and emails, diminish the need to repeat information and ultimately keep the employee’s productivity on track during a corporate relocation.

Utilize calendars and timelines

Electronic calendars should be second nature to professionals everywhere. Global mobility managers need to make sure their assignees are using these digital organization tools to keep important details at the top of everyone’s mind, reducing productivity lost in case miscommunication happens.

Begin destination services 

California Corporate Housing assists assignees and global mobility professionals by selecting the proper home for their assignees. This allows for weekend travel and less time spent out of the office during the week.

Offer work flexibility 

By allowing the relocating employee to work remotely when necessary during the move, productivity is often maintained or even gained due to the potential of working both during and outside of normal business hours. 

There are often move-related activities that must be attended to at home both on the departure and destination ends of a relocation, thus by allowing flexible working arrangements, the anxiety of falling behind in one’s workload can be reduced dramatically.