Companies Paying for Employee to Relocate, End Remote Work: Report

  • Companies are bringing back relocation assistance to employees, per The Wall Street Journal.
  • Moving workers can cost companies up to $97,000 per employee.
  • The benefits are one way employers are hoping to bring workers back to the office and end remote work.

Companies are desperate to get workers back into the office — and some may be willing to spend tens of thousands on relocation benefits to do just that, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Businesses like Chevron and Walmart now require some new hires to go into the office after the pandemic forced many companies to adopt remote-work policies, according to the Journal. In turn, companies are willing to pay employees to relocate.

Hiring platform ZipRecruiter noted there were 3.8 million recent job listings that mentioned relocation assistance, while fewer than 2 million job postings mentioned the perk in 2020, the Journal reported. 75% of job listings on Indeed now mention relocation benefits, per the Journal.

But it’s not coming cheap. Moving a new hire can cost $19,000 for a renter and up to $72,000 for a homeowner, ARC Relocation, a service that helps companies relocate workers, told the Journal. It’s even more expensive for companies to relocate current employees — from $24,000 for a renter to $97,000 for a home owner.

“We have seen a significant rise in clients since companies began to mandate remote workers to return to the office,” William Mulholland, the owner of ARC Relocation, told Insider.

The biggest cost, Mulholland said, comes from realtors who are hired to help employees buy and sell their homes. A realtor’s commission for an average home, he said, is $21,000.

Relocation assistance can also subsidize the cost of packing and shipping household possessions, as well as several months of rent for company housing, per the Journal.

Hyalker L. Amaral, a marketing professional based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, decided to take a job at a pharmaceutical company in the Chicago area in part because the company offered an onboarding bonus large enough to pay for his move. Relocating “isn’t a cheap endeavor,” Amaral told the Journal.

Appian, a cloud computing company based in Virginia, paid 109 remote workers who joined the company over the last three years to relocate to Virginia, the Journal reported. One worker told the Journal that he was satisfied with the offer.

“We’re still believers in in-person work,” Matt Calkins, the CEO of Appian, told the Journal.

Appian did not respond to Insider’s immediate request for comment.

Relocation assistance is just one way companies are hoping to get workers back into the office.

Earlier this month, JPMorgan execs told senior managers they would pursue “corrective action” if they didn’t go to the office at least three days a week. In March, Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, told employees that “the office is not optional” less than a year after he told employees at Tesla to find new jobs if they refused to return.

But many remote employees aren’t happy with the mandates. In March, Amazon, for example, rejected an internal petition signed by around 30,000 employees to protest the company’s new return-to-office mandate. Some worry that going back to the office could make them less productive and hurt their work-life balance.

“It’s already an ugly war, and it’s unfortunate,” Abbie Shipp, a professor at Texas Christian University’s business school, told Insider.