Amy Haft, FEI Senior Account Manager

I relocated a year and a half ago from FEI’s operations center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Durham, North Carolina. For me, the motivation was clear: I wanted to be closer to family (and be in a warmer climate). I was also able to continue working remotely.

As I think about it, however, there are three primary reasons people may consider relocation:

  1. Their company is relocating or opening a branch office in another location.
  2. They have a desire to be with family.
  3. They are preparing to retire and and/or want to move to a warmer climate.

Although these are all positive reasons, the very idea of moving is daunting. Simply moving to a new home is very stressful, let alone moving to another state or across the country.

If you are an employer giving employees the option of moving, what support services should you consider offering to make the choice more palatable? What resources do employees need to make a successful move that will minimize feelings of being overwhelmed and distracted?

Here are some things to consider:

Does your organization have a written relocation policy? If it does, make sure impacted employees are aware of the services available to them. Many large employers have relationships with relocation companies that offer financial benefits such as covering moving expenses, temporary housing and closing costs.

Determine employees’ work-life needs. Will employees need help locating child care resources, or making alternative arrangements for the care of an elder loved one? Will employees need assistance in choosing a new school or other educational resources? Many employee assistance programs (EAPs) include work-life services which provide qualified referrals, search availability, features and costs for all of the above.

Legal and financial services. When I moved, I used my organization’s legal services through our EAP to get a new free simple will and update other documents such as health care power of attorney and durable power of attorney. I also accessed financial services through the EAP to locate certified financial planners in the area. If your organization has these services, make sure to remind employees of their availability.

Ability to adapt to a new environment. Moving is a major life event and the ability to adapt, like the ability to be resilient, varies among individuals. Even so, leaving friends, a familiar routine, co-workers and a wider support system behind can take a toll. Our identities are often tied not only to our professions, but also to our homes and gardens that represent a labor of love that brought pleasure to our lives for years. Establishing new connections and relationships; finding new medical professionals, a pharmacy, hair stylist, veterinarian, or financial institution; simply finding your way around – the list goes on, and can be overwhelming.

Or it could be a new adventure. An opportunity to meet new people, become part of another community and have new experiences.

With FEI’s relocation services, trained work-life professionals assist an organization’s employees by surveying their needs; providing detailed, qualified referrals to local resources; and searching availability, features and costs. Our EAP helps those who have recently relocated feel comfortable in their new environment, mitigating or reframing the anxiety and fears that may surface during this stressful time.

Who knows? A wonderful new life may just await.