HR facing up to pandemic mobility challenges

Many international companies' HR professionals have fundamentally reviewed their global relocation policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

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Conducted by the Canadian-based's Human Resources Research Institute and relocation services provider CapRelo, the survey found that 43% of companies said their global mobility policies had been updated over the past year to accommodate flexible working arrangements.Additionally, the research report, 'Creating a More Flexible Employee Mobility Experience' - which can be downloaded free at - found that 35% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their organisations were now offering employees more personalised and tailored relocation benefits.A third said their relocation policies had been updated to accommodate employee wellbeing and mental health, and a similar proportion had updated relocation initiatives to facilitate greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) through greater flexibility."However," the report added, "the plurality (37%) says that there has been no change in this area in the past 12 months." said that it was "promising" that so many organisations were keeping flexibility in mind when making updates to their relocation policies.
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The research analysed the initiatives that appeared to be contributing to the success of mobility programmes among companies rated as "proven leaders" in global mobility.Almost twice as many of these relocation leaders said their policies had been updated to accommodate employee wellbeing and mental health, and that return on investment was an effective way to assess the success of global mobility.These organisations were also found to be more likely than others to update a variety of relocation initiatives to facilitate greater DE&I, and to regard mobility as a positive opportunity.Debbie McGrath, CEO of, said, “Whether we like it or not, the pandemic has definitely ushered in a new era of resilience.“Companies have to be agile and flexible, especially when it comes to accommodating their employees and meeting their expectations, if they want business to thrive and not just survive.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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