Survey: Costs Holding Up Many Relos

August 11, 2003 ( - Workers opted out of relocating to new parts of the country because of the pricey cost of living and expensive housing, according to a recent online survey by Prudential Relocation.

According to a news release, 64% of the respondents looked on the new location’s cost of living as the top barrier to moving there for work while another 55% cited the high cost of housing. A third of respondents said middle managers were the most reluctant to relocate.

Money issues weren’t the only relo obstacle, however. According to the survey, 46% indicated that family concerns are a main barrier. Some 34% cited their spouse’s career/employment as a relo block for them.

“People are staying home,” said Margery Marshall, president, Prudential Relocation in a statement. “Companies that need to transfer employees across the country and across the globe, are finding it increasingly difficult to get that talent to move. Business as usual doesn’t cut it anymore. There is a new normal and companies have to adapt to attract, retain and relocate the knowledgeable workers of the 21st century.”

Because of the relo problems, 41% said they’ve cut back on the number of relocations they initiate. Instead:

  • 42% of the respondent’s companies use short-term assignments in lieu of relocation
  • 35% allow employees to work from home
  • 32% offer telecommuting
  • 29% offer special financial incentives or bonuses
  • 28% pay for additional trips home
  • 28% provide pre-departure support services
  • 27% give spouses/partners career or employment help.

More than 170 human resources professionals responded to the April 2003 survey.