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New Year, New City? Workers And Managers Reveal Relocation Plans Amid Pandemic

— 51% of professionals would consider relocating, but only 25% would be willing to take a pay cut to do so, Robert Half research shows

— Nearly 4 in 10 companies are allowing workers to make a permanent move

— Robert Half details 3 workplace trends for 2021 and beyond

A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows relocation is a big consideration for professionals and employers right now. More than half of workers surveyed (51%) said they would consider moving to a different city if their company offered long-term remote arrangements, and another 4% have already made a move. A separate poll of human resources (HR) managers suggests many companies are open to the idea of an anywhere workforce: 50% of respondents reported their organization has allowed current staff to relocate temporarily, and another 38% noted their employer was supportive of permanent moves.

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Why Workers Want to Relocate
While the motivation to relocate may vary, common reasons cited by workers include a change of scenery (37%) and lower cost of living (22%). However, the research shows salary remains a priority for most professionals: 75% would not be willing to take a pay cut in their current job if they were to move.

“Pre-pandemic, job location was a big factor in where people chose to live,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “As many employees continue to work from home successfully, they’re considering how a move might improve their quality of life, particularly if they can keep their current salary.”

How Employers Are Addressing Pay
As employees set sights on moving to a new city, companies are having to reconsider how they approach pay. HR managers said they will determine salary for current staff who choose to relocate by:

  • The company’s office location: 74%
  • The employee’s new location: 23%
  • A decision hasn’t been made: 3%

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McDonald noted, “While some employees are making temporary moves, the anywhere workforce is here to stay. Adopting a flexible mindset will be critical for companies and professionals who want to thrive in a highly dynamic business environment.”

Robert Half identifies three staffing trends driven by the rise of the dispersed workforce:

  1. The talent pool will become an ocean. As organizations increasingly adopt a remote-first approach, they’re realizing the value of recruiting outside their city. Hiring managers can avoid wading through a flood of resumes and gain direct access to top candidates by partnering with a staffing firm.
  2. Investments are shifting. Companies are channeling more budget into technology that supports secure remote work and seamless collaboration, as well as employee health and well-being programs and benefits.
  3. Effective onboarding and offboarding are critical. While virtual onboarding has already replaced the in-person orientation process at many organizations, employers also need to reimagine how they handle employee exits from a distance.

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