Shipping household goods is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to relocation. The costs of packing, storing, shipping and unloading furniture and other household items can be high, especially if workers are being relocated across the country or internationally. In addition, lost items and long shipping periods can be frustrating to workers who are trying to adjust to their new surroundings. As a solution and potentially more cost-effective option, some companies may want to explore the options of offering furnished properties or allowing transferees to rent furniture in the destination location rather than shipping the workers’ existing furnishings.
This option can be affordable for companies and ensure that workers arrive to a home that is already established and functional. Corporations should consider these factors and consult with their relocation company to make sure it is the best course of action:
1. How long is the assignment?
Transferees who are being sent on short-term assignments – six months to a year – might prefer to live in furnished corporate housing , rather than being forced to pack up all their belongings. This is particularly true for homeowners on short-term assignments who will be returning to their previous residence. For long-term assignments of several years, however, shipping workers’ belongings will most likely be a necessity.
2. How far is the new location?
In the case of global relocation assignments, companies might discuss with transferees whether they prefer to store their existing furniture and live in a furnished home or not. While common wisdom might suggest shipping the full contents of a home is the best idea, some workers may want a fresh start and limited shipping hassles. If this is the case, arriving to a foreign country to a furnished home may take some of the stress of moving off workers.
3. Are transferees relocating with families?
Renting furniture can be a convenient option for transferees depending on the length and type of their assignment; however, it may not be ideal if they have families. Some parents think their children will feel more at home and assimilate more quickly if they can bring their own furniture that carries memories from their previous residence.
4. What is the typical profile of the company’s transferees?
Examining the level of employee the company typically relocates can also provide insight into whether or not rental furniture or furnished housing could be a viable option. If in the case of a company that relocates mainly college graduate new hires, this may be an ideal scenario as they most likely will not have amassed much furniture or household items. However, if the transferee profile is a higher, senior-level executive, a fuller and more robust relocation package is a must.
Consulting with your relocation management firm on whether these options might make sense for your relocation program is always recommended.