Last week The Guardian reported that nearly one third of British companies are either considering, or actively planning on, relocating their business operations abroad because of Brexit. What makes a successful international relocation for the thousands of people behind these headline-grabbing statistics?
The logistics involved in moving a significant part of a company’s workforce overseas are not inconsiderable. And it’s not just about finding business premises and securing visas. Nor simply a matter of weighing up the merits of storing furniture and belongings, versus packing and shipping.
The to-do list of a relocating employee will include all the million-and-one little details it takes to transplant your lifestyle from one city to another. This means knowing how to navigate local customs and practices, both in the workplace and at home. Should you tip a taxi driver? Is it the norm to buy a round for your new colleagues when socialising after work? How do you pay your utilities bill, set up a landline, or know when to put your bins out? Everything that is second nature at home becomes stressful and time-consuming when you are plunged into another city and a foreign culture.
For employees relocating with their families, their primary concern is usually how to solve practical matters that affect their children’s emotional well-being. How will they find childcare and a school where the kids will be happy? How can they start looking for a house if they don’t know whether it’s near a good nursery or school? And how do they even know how to evaluate these in an unfamiliar system?
Traditionally, relocation companies have focused on the bigger logistical picture rather than these ‘lifestyle’ elements, meaning that a lot tends to fall between the cracks. Increasingly employees are being given a relocation budget and expected to get on with organising things themselves. However, this level of autonomy can be highly stressful when in fact what you need is a bit of direction.
This is where Parental Choice’s global team of consultants are ideally placed to help. In addition to providing tailored childcare and school searches in cities across the EMEA and APAC regions, we can offer advice regarding the best neighbourhoods to live in, how to meet like-minded people, and all the on-the-ground know-how required to settle in to a new life in a foreign city. And if a child wants to carry on with ballet lessons or football training, we can figure out how they can do that too!
Research has shown that 40% of assignments fail (i.e. employees are repatriated without completing their goals) and that 70% of these failed assignments are down to the rest of the family being unhappy. At an average price tag of around £90,000 per international transfer getting “the small stuff” right really matters if an employee is to last the distance and work happily and effectively to their best of their ability.
Please contact Parental Choice today to find out how we can help. We have experience working with corporate HR teams and relocation companies as well as directly with individuals, and can offer a flexible range of packages to suit different circumstances.