The Impact of COVID-19 on Mobility & Employee Relocation Throughout 2021

The Impact of COVID-19 on Mobility & Employee Relocation Throughout 2021

Dec 11, 2020

Parent company of Allied Van Lines, SIRVA Worldwide Relocation & Moving, is conducting research into how COVID-19 will impact organizations across the globe. Their latest survey, compiling statistics from respondents during Q4 of 2020, provides insight into how 2021 will look, in terms of mobility, due to the impact of COVID-19.

Insights include:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on work from home policies.
  • The effect of the pandemic on move volumes and mobility programs.
  • Virtual assignments and other alternative relocation types in consideration.

How Will COVID-19 Impact Mobility Programs?

Mobility programs are used by many organizations to promote employees from within and demonstrate their commitment to individual career development. Mobility programs offer exciting opportunities to employees interested in relocating for new learning experiences. They also allow organizations to use their best resources – their talented employees – where they see fit.

SIRVA asked survey respondents how long they predict it will take their organization to move back to pre-2020 relocation volumes.

  • 43% of respondents were “unsure”
  • 13.8% answered “6 months”
  • 14.9% answered “12 months”
  • 6.4% believe it will be 24 months
  • 5.3% predict over 24 months
  • And 6.4% guess “never”

How Will COVID-19 Impact Work from Home Policies?

Many organizations are still considering the benefits of temporary work from home programs throughout 2021, instead of requiring physical relocation.

  • 40% of respondents were unsure whether they would implement a temporary work from home program in lieu of physical relocation.
  • 40% said yes, they will be implementing a temporary work from home solution.
  • 20% said no, they will not consider a temporary work from home solution instead of physical relocation.

Will Organizations Choose to Hire Locally In Lieu of Relocation?

Hiring local employees instead of asking existing employees to relocate is a consideration for the majority of organizations. For others, it is not in the cards, and for many, the potential for this solution is still unknown. When asked if their organization is considering or implementing practices to hire resources locally in lieu of relocation, respondents answered as follows:

  • 40% answered “Yes”
  • 33% answered “Unsure”
  • 27% answered “No”

Will Work From Home Employees Who Opt to Relocate Receive Relocation Benefits?

Relocation benefits can incentivize employees to relocate to advance their careers and help meet company goals. When asked if employees working from home would receive relocation benefits should they relocate, the following answers were received:

  • 63% answered “Unsure”
  • 23% answered “Yes”
  • 14% answered “No”

While the majority are still trying to figure out how to meet the demands of 2021, 23% are interested in moving forward as best they can by offering relocation benefits to employees currently working from home.


The results of the Q4 2020 survey suggest relocation and work from home decisions are still in the making, even as 2021 draws ever closer. How to implement a work from home policy and whether to do so remain questions at the top of mind for many organization leaders.

To learn more download SIRVA’s COVID-19 Impact Market Survey results, or contact Atlas Transfer and Storage Co. to discuss how best to navigate employee relocation during these unprecedented times.

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