5 Corporate Relocation Trends to Keep an Eye On | Q4 2023

Employee Relocation Abstract globe focusing on North America illustration Ai generat

Here are 5 corporate relocation trends WHR Global is keeping an eye on for Q4 and beyond!

Global Housing Costs

Verdict: ↑ Varied ↓

Whether purchasing or renting around the world, global housing costs are expensive, but the past 12 months have been inconsistent. Within the corporate relocation industry, it’s important to keep an ear to the ground in key hubs of economic activity so organizations know when to adjust housing allowances, begin to offer mortgage support for homeowners, or improve the level of support. Below are examples of just a few key economic zones WHR is monitoring closely:


  • Germany: Year-over-year (YOY) property price decrease of -4%.
  • Japan: YOY property price increase of 5%.
  • Netherlands: YOY property price decrease of -9%.
  • Singapore: YOY property price increase of 7%.
  • Switzerland: YOY property price increase of 4%.
  • United Arab Emirates: YOY property price increase of 18%.

  • United States:
    • Homebuyers: average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increase from 6.02% (15-Sep-2022) to 7.18% (15-Sep-2023).
    • Boston, MA: median monthly rent increase of 3% YOY from $3,200 USD/month to $3,300 USD/month.
    • Los Angeles, CA: median monthly rent decrease of -8% YOY from $3,195 USD/month to $2,950 USD/month.
    • Houston, TX: median monthly rent remained stagnant with a 0% YOY difference from $1,794 USD/month to $1,795 USD/month.
    • New York, NY: median monthly rent increase of 5% YOY from $3,480 USD/month to $3,664 USD/month.
    • Miami, FL: median monthly rent decrease of -12% YOY from $3,800 USD/month to $3,350 USD/month.

Corporate Relocation in the Netherlands

Verdict: ↑ Trending Up ↑

Thanks to the European Union’s Right to Work and expat-friendly legislation such as the 30% facility, corporate relocation is positioned to trend upwards. For those unfamiliar, the Netherlands 30% facility allows employers to choose to pay their employees 30% of their annual salary tax-free (provided they meet certain baseline conditions). Expats also enjoy geopolitical stability, a consistently high quality of life, and expat-friendly banks such as ABN AMRO.

Netherlands Migration Statistics (2013-2022)

This chart shows immigration, emigration, and net immigration for the Netherlands from 2013-2022.

ESG Considerations in Corporate Relocation RFPs

Verdict: ↑ Trending Up ↑

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is becoming commonplace in most corporate relocation RFPs. As organizations focus on sustainability and ethical practices, these factors play a pivotal role in their vendor selection. ESG compliance aligns with a company’s values, reflecting positively on its brand image.

Choosing corporate relocation services providers committed to these principles demonstrates a commitment to social and environmental responsibility, appealing to both employees and stakeholders. Organizations should seek out corporate relocation serivces providers who value committed action plans such as EcoVadis certifications and Science-Based Targets.

EcoVadis helps organizations manage ESG risk and compliance, meet corporate sustainability goals, and drive impact at scale by guiding the sustainability performance improvement of corporations and their supply chains.

Science-Based Targets help organizations lead the way to a zero-carbon economy, boost innovation and drive sustainable growth by setting ambitious, science-based emissions reduction targets. 

Air Shipments in Corporate Relocation

Verdict: ↓ Slightly Trending Down ↓

As detailed in our article, “ESG in Global Mobility: Turning the Tide on Air Shipments,” there are significant ESG advantages to reducing or eliminating air shipments. Air shipments have long been the go-to choice for international relocations and corporate moves due to their speed and efficiency. However, the environmental impact of air cargo emissions cannot be overlooked. As a greener alternative, sea container shipments present a compelling case for global mobility programs to transition towards more eco-friendly transportation modes.

To compare typical CO2 emissions between modes of transport (measured in grams of CO2 per metric ton of goods shipped per mile): flights emit 500 grams of CO2/metric ton of cargo per kilometer of transportation. However, ships emit only between 10 to 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

Communicate the difference in CO2 emissions between air, road, and sea shipments. Your employees may self-select a more eco-friendly option (if feasible), sending fewer items in their air shipments or not utilizing them at all. Or, instead of an LDN air shipment container which has a weight capacity of 750 lbs, consider reducing this entitlement to a D air shipment container which has a weight capacity of approximately 500 lbs.

Implement programs such as Discard & Donate to reduce shipment sizes, thereby reducing organizational costs and CO2 emissions. Consider offering a cash allowance in lieu of the air shipment, or eliminate the air shipment option altogether.

Global Mobility ESG

Inclusive Language in Employee Relocation Policies

Verdict: ↑ Trending Up ↑

As discussed during various regional relocation council meetings, including WiERC & CRC Chicago, corporations can have a large positive or negative impact on their employees by how their policy language is written. Writing a definition for family size, as an example, can have large downstream impacts if a family member feels excluded.

Here are some of the considerations employers should take into account when defining family size in their relocation policies:

  • Is your definition for family size consistent across all HR policies?
  • Is your relocation policy inclusive of same-sex relationships?
  • Should dependent children be limited to 18-years-old and younger? Or should dependent children include those up to 21-years-old if they’re still attending school?
  • Should your relocation policy include or exclude elderly dependents? If elderly dependents are included, this could have immigration complications.
Family moving home


In summary, the corporate relocation landscape is undergoing significant shifts, and WHR Global is diligently monitoring these trends for Q4 and beyond. The global housing market presents a complex and varied picture, emphasizing the need for organizations to remain adaptable and responsive in adjusting housing allowances and support mechanisms. The Netherlands emerges as a promising destination for corporate relocation, thanks to favorable legislation and expat-friendly policies. Additionally, the rise of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) considerations in relocation requests for proposals (RFPs) underscores the growing importance of sustainability and ethical practices. Finally, the focus on inclusive language in employee relocation policies highlights the impact that thoughtful policy design can have on employees’ well-being and satisfaction. As the corporate relocation landscape evolves, staying informed and embracing these trends will be crucial for organizations seeking to navigate this dynamic environment successfully.

Solving Immigration Challenges in the APAC Region | Case Study


Overcome Immigration Challenges by Providing the Right Partner to Our Clients & their Employees in the APAC Region.


As a global Relocation Management Company (RMC), we provide our clients and their employees with many services, including immigration support. After the height of the Covid pandemic when APAC borders started reopening, a WHR Global (WHR) client was not happy with our current immigration partner. Changes in local authorities’ policies and requirements due to the pandemic were changing. Entry procedures were confusing. At times, there was a huge government backlog of cases due to border re-openings which resulted in delays and errors in government-issued documents. Some immigration providers were overwhelmed with the ever-changing immigration requirements.


When APAC borders began opening after the Covid lockdown, there were many challenges since every country had its own set of entry requirements. As an RMC, our #1 priority is to always take care of our clients and their employees, so it was extremely critical that WHR had the right immigration partner in place to provide support,

Chris Lagerman

Head of Global Sales, WHR Global


Based on weekly meetings WHR Client Services Managers were having with clients, we very quickly knew that our client’s needs and those of their employees were not being satisfactorily met by our current immigration partner. Red flags included the following issues:

Lack of Timely Responses & Not Accessible

Assignees were not receiving the assistance they needed, when they needed it from the immigration partner. At times, the employees were waiting several days just for an email response. Employees could not reach the immigration partner team members via phone. Employees were frustrated with the slow response, unavailability, and lack of
timely and regular updates.

The poor response caused delays since immigration requirements for some APAC countries were confusing & ever-changing as borders began opening. Clients cannot plan for the entire relocation process if there is any uncertainty in immigration timelines.

Timelines are crucial to relocate the employee and for the client to ascertain the employee’s official start date in the new location, and when to terminate employment in the current location. Some immigration processes were taking several weeks to complete even though the processes could have been completed in one week.

Administrative errors by the immigration partner caused additional delays. Immigration partner team members were not demonstrating the technical expertise needed to efficiently complete critical tasks.

Immigration partners provide a host of critically necessary support that our clients and their employees need including advising on key immigration changes, plus keeping employees legally compliant and stress-free so that employees can focus on business goals. Immigration services can include visa support, work authorization for foreign nationals, eligibility assessments, post-arrival registrations, residence permits, translation and legalization of documents, exit visas, re-entry permits, new entry, documentation requirements, and green cards for permanent transfers. Additionally, they provide work and study permission for family members, and documentation to prove family ties support.

Our global clients have a strong need to place skilled foreign nationals in roles throughout the APAC region, but it is important to be aware of regulations governing their foreign executives’ stay abroad, especially since documents required for a foreign national working in Asia vary from country to country. The right immigration partner will provide the needed support for success.

Additional Costs

Immigration delays can be costly, not just inconvenient. Consider a family of four relocating to another country and their immigration approval is delayed by 31 days. The chart below demonstrates this example. Their pack/load date, and their property handover date (rental or home sale), is fixed and cannot be changed. Now, instead of a 3-night hotel stay in their home country before their flight departs at $900 USD, they now have a 30-night stay at $6,000 USD. Meals for the 3-night stay would be $600 USD versus $6,000 USD for 30 days. Household goods (HHG) storage due to an immigration delay could equate to $2,000 USD. As shown in the chart below, the difference in organizational costs equates to an additional $12,500.

Costs Without Immigration Delays
Costs & Times Due to Immigration Delays
Incremental Costs for Immigration Delays as Compared to No Immigration Delays
January 1
February 1 (31-day delay)


Costs for a Family of 4

January 7

January 7


Immigration Approval

January 9
January 9


Pack & Load with Movers in Home Country (fixed date)
3 Nights for $900 USD
30 nights for $6,000 USD


Property Handover Date in Home Country (fixed date)
3 Days for $600 USD
30 days for $6,000 USD
Hotel in Home for Family of 4 in Home Country
January 10
February 7
Meals in Home Country
30 days for $2,000 USD
45 Days
45 days
HHG Storage
February 24
March 24
Temporary Housing in Host Country
March 1
April 1
Secure Long-Term Housing in Host Country
HHG Delivery in Host Country


Sourced a New Immigration Partner

Immigration partners provide a host of critically necessary support that our clients and their employees need including advising on key immigration challenges, plus keeping employees legally compliant and stress-free so that employees can focus on business goals. Immigration services can include visa support, work authorization for foreign nationals, eligibility assessments, post-arrival registrations, residence permits, translation and legalization of documents, exit visas, re-entry permits, new entry, documentation requirements, and green cards for permanent transfers. Additionally, they provide work and study permission for family members, and documentation to prove family ties support.

Immigration partners provide a host of critically necessary support that our clients and their employees need including advising on key immigration changes, plus keeping employees legally compliant and stress-free so that employees can focus on business goals. Immigration services can include visa support, work authorization for foreign nationals, eligibility assessments, post-arrival registrations, residence permits, translation and legalization of documents, exit visas, re-entry permits, new entry, documentation requirements, and green cards for permanent transfers. Additionally, they provide work and study permission for family members, and documentation to prove family ties support.

Whenever possible, we use local providers. We also go direct as opposed to using brokered services. By going direct and local, we can pass on cost savings to our clients and provide customized solutions by eliminating the middleman.


Continuous Supplier Network Management

We also use key metrics to manage our network. By using real-time feedback via service evaluations from employees plus a score carding process, WHR can monitor existing providers to ensure they are meeting our service metric requirements. We provide that same feedback back to our providers, (on-time service, cost, etc.) so that providers can course correct quickly. Plus, providers know that superior performance drives more business their way. If service is below our standard, we are empowered to resolve it by engaging other providers, as we are not bound by any preexisting relationships.


“When there is a service issue, we first try to educate our supply partner to acknowledge the issue, identify the root cause, and brainstorm together for a solution to fix it and prevent a recurrence. If this still does not work, we have a wide network of suppliers to tap for a suitable partner that will meet or better still, surpass our client’s expectations.”

Rowen Wong

Client Services Manager, APAC Region, WHR Global


The new immigration partner responds rapidly and makes each employee feel like they are a top priority. The partner acknowledges email receipts and provides an estimated time of when they will get back to employees. They also schedule regular calls with employees to walk through any outstanding documents, and they advise on the next steps. They provide employees with clear direction on what is needed & how quickly.

They offer 24/7 support, just like WHR does. Each employee is treated like a VIP. This is very important to WHR since we know that moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. It’s our goal to help ease that stress so that employees can focus on their new roles sooner.

Less stress equates to better employee engagement and retention for our clients.

When immigration challenges arise, WHR has a partner that stays ahead of the curve.


“WHR takes great pride in its 24/7/365 availability and high client and employee satisfaction ratings. That’s why it’s so important that we partner with suppliers that match our principles. As a solely and independently owned organization since our inception with no ownership or affiliations with any providers, we have the freedom to act as a fiduciary to our clients and only choose the best suppliers for each move.”

Heather Hess

Director of Global Operations, WHR Global

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Case Study – Zurich Temporary Housing

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Case Study – Fortune 500 Workday Interface

Ready to learn more about how we can help with your relocation services?

Temporary Housing Solution in Zürich, Switzerland | Case Study


Find Temporary Furnished Housing Solutions for Clients’ Employees in Zürich’s Tight Housing Market.


Due to an extremely competitive & stretched Zürich (Switzerland) housing market, WHR Global (WHR) was having difficulties finding temporary housing solutions for its clients’ employees. Two multi-national WHR clients – a 44-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company & an 86-billion-dollar food manufacturing company – provide temporary housing benefits (30–90-day stays) to their relocating employees while looking for permanent or long-term housing.

Since both clients’ offices are 30 minutes outside the Zürich city center – a 45-minute tram ride – it was challenging finding short-term, 2+ bedroom, pet-friendly units for employees close to their offices. The standard short-term housing vacancy rate in Zürich is approximately 0.8%, but the 2021-2022 vacancy rate is at an extremely competitive 0.15%.


“The global competition for short term and permanent housing has been unprecedented. It has thrown assignees into disarray, and if they are slow to act during a home search, the issues can compound.

Employees can’t register with local authorities, shipments can’t clear customs, and expensive temporary housing is extended again at a great cost to our clients.”

Chris Lagerman

Head of Global Sales, WHR Global

Ratio of Housing Prices to Income Since 2015

According to 2021 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD), the ratio of housing price to income has risen 18% in Switzerland since 2015. This ratio can be seen as a measure of affordability, with the base year 2015 (100).


OECD (2022), Housing prices (indicator).


WHR proactively partnered with a regional destination services provider and formulated a plan. The partner procured long-term, unfurnished housing and converted each unit to furnished temporary housing. Then, WHR brokered an agreement with its two clients to share costs and reduce overall risk. Each client would have the right of first refusal to a dedicated number of temporary housing units, and if the units were not reserved in time, they would be available to lease on the open market.

When combining both clients, approximately 50 employees needed temporary housing solutions annually in Zürich. WHR’s provider partner procured a mass quantity of unfurnished units upfront. As part of a comprehensive service offering, the partner also offered to provide furnishings, property management, local residency registration, unit cleaning, lease coordination, cable TV and internet registration, liability insurance coverage, and parking.


#1 Lower Assignee Stress & Higher Productivity

The dedicated pool of apartments brings shorter commutes, nicer accommodations, and guaranteed housing at an impactful moment during the employee’s relocation. Guaranteed temporary accommodations allow the employee to focus more energy on their home search, shipment, local registration, and new role in the organization. This also translates into higher employee engagement and more productive employees.

#2 Improved Recruitment & Retention

The war for talent is fierce and companies are struggling to fill open positions, particularly for highly-specialized positions with limited talent pools. Additionally, retaining good talent has become a great challenge for organizations as worker demand outweighs supply. Making an employee’s life simpler by letting someone else handle all the details, plus providing employees with attractive accommodations in a desirable location is improving recruitment and retention initiatives for clients.

#3 Clients’ Cost Savings

According to market research on Zürich temporary housing, 2 and 3-bedroom furnished apartments commonly range from 5,000 to 7,250 CHF (approximately $5,150 to $7,470 USD). With a dedicated pool of apartments, WHR expects its clients to save up to 26% per apartment booking. When extrapolated to 50 relocating employees, in total WHR expects to save its clients approximately 108,000 CHF annually (equivalent to $111,000 USD). In addition, the dedicated apartments and the right of first refusal ensure that WHR’s clients have guaranteed corporate housing from a trusted source, instead of employees sourcing options on Airbnb or another financially risky website.


According to global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, by 2030, “more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.”

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Case Study – APAC Immigration Challenges

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Case Study – Fortune 500 Workday Interface

Ready to learn more about how we can help with your relocation services?

Workday Interface Improves Payroll for Fortune 500 Company | Case Study


Build a custom Workday interface file to streamline a Fortune 500 Company’s payroll reporting. Additionally, design an intuitive benefits processing interface within WHR’s Mobility and HR team portal, empowering them to efficiently manage relocation payments. These payments will seamlessly integrate into Workday and be promptly disbursed through their payroll system.


HR and global mobility teams are responsible for quickly disbursing many types of benefits and allowances to a population of assignees. Across large organizations, it can be difficult to ensure employees are paid quickly and compliantly with all taxable benefits reported through company payroll; This is especially true for Fortune 50 companies such as a Fortune 500 Company which has 58,000 employees and annual revenue of $89 billion USD. These issues can be compounded due to the variety of benefits being processed and/or reported through payroll:

  1. Allowances paid through company payroll;
  2. Allowances paid through the relocation management company (WHR);
  3. Reimbursements paid from WHR to the employee;
  4. Invoices paid from WHR to a relocation supplier partner (e.g., movers, temporary housing, etc.).


“Now more than ever, our clients have a broad selection of Human Capital Management systems to choose from, including Workday. It’s critical for Relocation Management Companies such as WHR to create bespoke solutions where there may be barriers to true integrations.

This Workday interface solution enables HR and global mobility teams to process and report allowances quickly, compliantly, and with confidence to a global population of assignees.”

Sean Thrun

Strategic Initiatives Manager, WHR Global


49% of American workers will seek new employment after just two payroll mistakes, such as being paid late or incorrectly. (The Workforce Institute at Kronos)

The IRS has estimated that around one-third of employers make a payroll mistake in any given year, collecting nearly $7 billion in penalties for 2021. (US Internal Revenue Service)

In a study of companies across the US, Ernst & Young (EY) found that fixing a single payroll error cost companies, on average, $291 to remedy directly and indirectly. (Ernst & Young)


At no cost to theirs, the IT Department at WHR built a custom benefits processing screen within WHR’s Mobility & HR Team Portal. Each contact was given role-based access (e.g., Processor vs Approver). This important delegation of responsibilities prevents one individual from disbursing unauthorized funds to another employee. Once approved by two team members, these allowance payments flow to a Workday Interface screen, along with any additional relocation benefits which need to be reported for payroll.

At their preferred interval, their mobility team can click a button to automatically generate an interface file which can be imported to Workday. In addition to reporting taxable relocation benefits, this interface file instructs payments to the respective employees through company payroll. Examples include relocation allowances, three-year location cost differentials, travel allowances, and more.


Employees Paid Quickly & Compliantly

By approving relocation allowances through WHR’s benefits processing screen, the company now has greater control over their program and processes. They dictates when and how employees get paid, with custom logic to disburse different amounts by benefit tier, salary grade, location, and more. Plus, new hires can receive funds from WHR before they’re even onboarded to payroll. All payments are included in WHR’s reporting.

Sync Payroll Data Across Systems

By interfacing WHR’s system with Workday, there’s no room for payments to slip through the cracks. Since implementation, the company has not needed to file a W-2C, significantly improving employee satisfaction and creating promoters within their relocation program.

WHR mapped its system with their Workday data fields, empowering them to capture and report on any data point they would like at no additional cost.

Reallocate Time & Budget Elsewhere

WHR’s Workday interface solution is a relocation enablement tool; It allows companies to process benefits faster, report to payroll at the click of a button, eliminate the headache of filing W-2Cs, and reallocate time elsewhere.

Rather than paying $200/hour for custom development, the benefits processing screens and Workday interface was built for free. Instead of delaying the process through contract negotiations, they were able to redeploy their time and overhead expenses toward other HR projects and improvements.

Workday data mapping may include: clawback dates for repayment agreements, on-cycle and off-cycle payments, one-time or multiple payments (monthly, annually), employee ID, & any other requested fields.

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Case Study – Zurich Temporary Housing

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Case Study – APAC Immigration Challenges

Ready to learn more about how we can help with your relocation services?

The Benefits of Offering Employee Relocation Packages

The benefits of employee relocation packages play a pivotal role in talent acquisition but often don’t receive the attention they deserve. According to Google Trends, searches for “Relocation Package” have increased 300% from April of 2020 to June of 2023. This article delves into the transformative power of these packages, shedding light on how they enhance the talent pool and contribute to a company’s success.

According to McKinsey & Company interviews with more than 100 chief human resources officers and people leaders, HR leaders are most focused on innovating the employee experience journey to win the race for talent. The data is clear: moving is the 3rd most stressful event a person can go through in their lifetime after the death of a loved one and a divorce. Therefore, it’s imperative your organization offers sufficient employee relocation program benefits to ensure your employees and their families have a positive experience (and perception) of your organization.

Offering relocation packages to your employees will positively impact your recruiting efforts. What are some other benefits of offering comprehensive employee relocation program packages when hiring?

Benefits of Offering Employee Relocation Packages

Some of the benefits that employees expect include the following:

  • Relocation allowances
  • Temporary housing
  • Assistance buying and selling their home (in new and old locations)
  • Spousal/partner and family support
  • Household goods shipments
  • Visas and other immigration issues
  • Cultural assistance

Let’s make a point clear with job relocations; it’s not only the employees who have an advantage, but companies also find moves to be beneficial. It adds noticeable value to the company in several ways. Therefore, it is time we take a detailed look into how employee relocation program packages benefit an employer.

1. Candidate Pool Is Widened

Most companies are looking for a talented and diverse workforce, irrespective of the company size. At times, it can be quite challenging to find people within the same geographic location who have the proper skills and experience to give the company an edge over others in the industry. By expanding the search beyond the geographic location to a worldwide talent pool, you’ll have more candidates with the required skills and knowledge to select from.

2. Reducing The Vacancy

When you offer a robust relocation program package to talent, the international market for quality candidates will open for your company. This allows you to fill vacant positions faster and more efficiently. As a result, the entire enterprise can work expertly and effectively. Ensure you work with a relocation service, such as WHR Global, that can accommodate international relocation packages.

3. Helps Positive Company Brand Promotion

While many consider relocation assistance an employee benefit, it’s time to look at it from another perspective. Although a good relocation program package surely attracts candidates to a company, it also speaks about the enterprise. When a company says it cares about an employee’s transition and comfort with robust relocation plans and packages, it puts the company in a good light. The relocation benefit adds value to the enterprise and works as an excellent promotional feature, eventually attracting more international and domestic talent.

4. Improved Employee Retention 

A successful relocation package gives the employee a sense of commitment towards the company, knowing the company is taking care of them. Organizations can attract and retain talent by following these WHR Global six simple tips:

5. Knowledge Transfer  

When an existing employee goes to a new assignment as part of a relocation, they will transfer unique knowledge and skills to this new location. In this relocation example, interacting with new people will also increase culture, experience, and expertise that will help develop new perspectives for the company. This type of relocation example eventually helps to make the enterprise stronger, have an international approach, and enhance its functional capacity.

Overall, a good employee relocation package gives your company a competitive edge over others by easily securing the industry’s top talent. Hire an employee relocation management company, like WHR Global, to take care of your global mobility program. Your company will reap the benefits in the long run if you support your employees throughout their relocation process.