Employers Dangle Carrots To Get Employees Back in the Office

By: Kaydee Ambas · April 21, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sticks vs. Carrots

During the pandemic, workers got used to the flexibility of remote work, which allowed them to take care of their kids, work out, or run other errands. In fact, employees got so used to this freedom that employers have struggled to convince workers to return to the office ever since.

At first, a few companies such as Apple (AAPL) and General Motors (GM) used the proverbial stick to get people back, utilizing strict “return to office” mandates and punishments for those who didn’t comply. But this was met with backlash and even resignations.

Since then, employers have started leaning more on carrots to entice employees to return, including bonuses, paying for relocation expenses, and more.

The Cost of Relocation

As of February, the number of job listings offering relocation benefits was up 75% year-over-year, according to Indeed (RCRUY).

Companies are eager to get the best talent in the building — physically, not figuratively — and they’re willing to shell out money to make that happen. A few notable companies offering to pay for employee relocation include Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Walmart (WMT).

On average, it can cost anywhere from $19,000 to $72,000 for a company to move a new employee, with the price typically airing lower for renters and higher for homeowners. And when it comes to relocating existing employees to new internal roles, the cost gets even higher — up to $97,000 for a homeowner.

Time To Relocate?

Employees that show a willingness to relocate and come into the office are often seen as more valuable to employers. This in turn gives the workers more leverage to ask for signing bonuses to help cover the costs of relocation. These bonuses can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to full-service packages that cover packing, shipping, and even paid rent in corporate housing.

If you’re interested in moving to a new city anyway, it might be worth looking into companies hiring in that area — even if you already have stable remote work. Who knows? You might be able to land a job and move for free.

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