The Complete Guide to Employee Relocation: For Employees

What To Expect When You’re Relocating for Work

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.

If you’ve never had to relocate for work before, you may be wondering what you can expect from the experience. In this section of the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation, we will take a look at what you can expect from the entire employee relocation experience, from the initial negotiation process and what resources and information your employer should provide to the start date at your new office, as well as what typical relocation packages include.

Let’s dive in.

1. What To Expect From Your Employer

Throughout the relocation process, there are certain things you should expect from your employer, including things that they are legally required to offer you:

  • A relocation offer that you can accept or decline (though declining does not necessarily mean you will remain employed if that position no longer exists in the current office)
  • Advanced notice of the relocation
  • A reasonable timeline for your move

Good employers will also offer:

  • An indication of how long you have to stay in the job after relocating
  • The reason why you are being relocated
  • A relocation package and a breakdown of what the relocation package includes

2. What To Expect During The Relocation Process

While relocations can look different depending on the job and distance, there is often a similar order to the steps in the relocation process:

  1. Receiving a notification or offer of relocation 
  2. Meeting to discuss and negotiate the relocation
  3. Planning the move, whether you’re working with a relocation services provider or managing it on your own
  4. Tying up loose ends at the old office/packing up your office
  5. Packing up your home
  6. Moving
  7. Unpacking and settling in
  8. Submitting your receipts for reimbursement (if this is how you are being compensated) 
  9. Starting at the new office

This may seem like a lot to take on all at once, but you may not need to tackle everything on this list on your own. Whether your employer offers relocation services through a partner or you seek out one on your own, you can get professional assistance with packing and settling in, move planning, labor, and more.

3. How Much Is A Typical Relocation Package?

A typical relocation package usually ranges between $2,000-$100,000 and can be distributed via:

  • Lump-sum: You receive your moving stipend upfront and are expected to pay for the services you need using that payment.  
  • Direct billing: The companies you use for your move bill your new company directly for their services.
  • Reimbursement: You pay for your moving costs upfront and submit your receipts to your company for reimbursement.

The average relocation package amount varies depending on things like profession, role, how long you’ve been in your current position, whether you own or rent, and whether or not you are a new hire.

According to ARC Relocation, the benchmark figures across industries are: 

  • Current employee: Homeowner $97,166
  • Current employee: Renter $24,216
  • New hire: Homeowner $72,627
  • New hire: Renter $19,309

Keep in mind that this average includes a wide number of professions, roles, and years of experience, so your own offer may not be as high. It’s a good idea to do some research into relocation packages specific to your profession and reach out to people within your field for more information.

If you are receiving a lump sum payment, the amount you receive may be lower. The average lump sum payment is around $7,200. According to Earth Relocation, for a lump sum amount, “you should expect typically between $1,000 and $7,500.”

4. What To Expect From A Typical Relocation Package

Relocation packages and the expenses they include can vary based on your experience level, field of employment, and the distance of the move. Common relocation packages include expenses like:

  • Moving and packing costs
  • Transportation for employee and their family 
  • Long and/or short-term housing 
  • Home selling and buying fees
  • Personal support
  • Spousal employment assistance
  • School location assistance

5. How Long Does It Take To Relocate For A Job?

It depends on the distance, but the average amount of time given between accepting the relocation and actually moving is typically 2-4 weeks. You may be able to negotiate more time, especially if the move is interstate or involves moving with kids. If the whole office is moving locations, there will likely be more lead time. 


Relocating for work can be a challenging prospect, fraught with new experiences and things you might not expect. Understanding what the process looks like and what you are entitled to can help make your move seem less intimidating (and maybe even more exciting).

When you’re relocating for work, you can expect:

  • A relocation offer
  • An indication of how long you have to remain at the job after relocating
  • A clearly outlined reason for the relocation
  • A relocation package appropriate to your experience level, position, and the distance of the move somewhere between $2,000-$100,000
  • To get at least 2-4 weeks for your move

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