Whether you're moving for work or you're coordinating a move for an employee (or several employees), planning an employee relocation can be challenging. Our Complete Guide to Employee Relocation will answer all your biggest questions about relocating employees, from what costs are covered in a relocation package and what employee relocation companies can do to help to how to ask for a relocation package.
Questions to ask both current and potential employers, whether you are relocating for your current job or relocating for a new one.
Ask these questions before committing to relocating for a new role.
What to ask if your current employer is asking you to move.
When you’re relocating for work (by choice or by necessity), it’s normal to have some questions for your employer. It’s also normal to think you should have questions but not know what to ask!
If you’ve never had to move for work before, there are few things you should always ask your employer about before committing to the relocation. In this section of the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation, we’ll take a look at:
- General relocation questions to ask under any circumstances
- Relocation questions to ask a new employer
- Relocation questions to ask your current employer
General Questions To Ask An Employer Before Relocating For Work
Whether you are relocating for your current employer or relocating for a new role at an entirely new company, these are good questions to ask both current or potential employers.
1. Do you offer a relocation package or cover relocation expenses?
Companies are not legally required to offer you a relocation package, but many businesses do because it helps them stay competitive and recruit or retain top talent.
Always ask about a relocation package and, if they offer one, find out what it includes. If they don’t offer one or if the one they offer is lacking services you think should be included, you should seriously consider negotiating for a better relocation package or requesting that they cover more of your expenses. After all, moving can be costly!
Learn more about requesting relocation assistance:
- How To Ask for Relocation Assistance for Your Current Position
- Relocating for a New Job: How To Ask for Relocation Assistance
- What Counts As Moving Expenses?
2. What's the cost of living in the area you’re moving to?
Your (potential) employer will likely have a good idea of how much you can expect to pay for living expenses, and may even be able to provide a breakdown of things like housing costs, utilities, groceries, transportation, and taxes for your new city.
Understanding what you can expect from your new cost of living can help you create a household budget, determine what relocation costs you think should be included, and even negotiate changes to your salary if your new cost of living will be significantly higher.
3. What is the timeframe for the move?
You may be able to negotiate for an earlier or later start date if the one proposed doesn’t work for your timeline. If the employer needs you to start work before you are able to relocate, you can ask for temporary remote work accommodations.
Relocation Questions To Ask A New Employer
If you’re considering accepting a position with a new employer in a different city or out-of-state, you should ask them the following questions before you commit:
1. What is the company culture like?
Getting a feel for the company culture in advance is helpful for both you and your potential employer, as it helps you both establish whether you will be a good fit. They should be able to give you a clear picture of what the company culture is like—or, better yet, fly you out for an interview so you can get a sense of the culture for yourself. Either way, if you get a good vibe, it may be the push you need to take the plunge to relocation. If not, it may be a sign to stay put.
2. Can I speak with someone from my team and/or someone who has relocated?
Speaking to someone who you will be working with in a similar role to yours can give you a better look at the company culture, as well as help you find out what you can expect from your day-to-day role, and help you determine if this employer is right for you.
Speaking to someone who relocated to work with your company can also give you some insight into how the relocation process works and what you can expect. They may also be able to give you an idea of what costs were covered, how the relocation package was structured, and the cost of living in your new town.
3. Will I have a mentor, point-person, or other supports?
Starting a new job in a new town can be exciting—and also incredibly stressful. You don’t know the city and you don’t have a community built up there yet, so having someone at work who can assist you with acclimating to the new workplace and provide support while you are adjusting is often invaluable. It’s also worth establishing whether or not you will have someone there who will help you with organizing the actual move, such as an employee relocation company.
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Relocation Questions To Ask Your Current Employer
If you’re considering relocating to a new city or state for your current employer you should ask them the following questions in addition to the general questions listed above.
1. What happens if I don’t accept this position?
Will your current position still exist, or is the role transitioning entirely to this new location? It’s important to find out whether or not declining the position will result in you being out of a job.
2. What will the commute to work be like?
If your entire office is relocating or you are being asked to move to a new office within the same city, you should find out how this impacts your commute. Will the new office be close to transit options? Is it in an area where you can ride your bike? Will it require a car? Is it significantly further than your current commute? If it significantly impacts your transit time or method, you may be able to negotiate for a remote work agreement or a raise to help cover increased transit costs.
The prospect of relocating for work can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. If your current or prospective employer doesn’t freely offer details, you should ask them questions about:
- Whether or not they offer a relocation package and what it includes
- What the cost of living is
- What is the start date
- What is the company culture
- Whether you can speak to someone from your team or someone who has relocated with the company previously
- Will you have access to a mentor, point-person, or other types of support
- What happens if you don’t accept the relocation offer
- How will the relocation impact your commute to work
Get more information about relocating for work in The Complete Guide to Employee Relocation.