Top Five Reasons Employees Hesitate to Relocate
Top Five Reasons Employees Hesitate to Relocate

Top Five Reasons Employees Hesitate to Relocate

Mobility Trends and Hot Topics

Published: May 22, 2023

Relocating employees often face various challenges and concerns when considering a move. Understanding these common hesitations can help employers better support their employees during the relocation process. Based on data from 2022, we’ve identified the top five reasons why employees are hesitant to accept relocation assignments.

#5: Undisclosed Personal Reasons

During a relocation, families may have sensitive personal reasons that they hesitate to disclose. As part of our commitment to supporting relocating employees, NEI's Account Executives are trained to observe and listen for subtle cues. By being attentive, we can address specific needs, such as accommodating a newborn with extraordinary medical requirements.

To help employees meet the needs of undisclosed concerns, many companies offer their employees more choice in selecting benefits that best fit their needs by using technology like NEI's iSelect tool or providing a “You” Allowance to access additional funds for needs unique to their situation. These types of actions bring peace of mind to relocating families and ensure smooth transitions.

#4: Unfamiliarity with the Destination Location

Moving to a new area can be daunting, as families leave behind the comfort of their old home, family, and friends. Studies show that three out of four Americans express regrets after relocating, with acclimating to a new community being a significant stressor.

At NEI, we recognize the importance of personalization and strive to match relocating employees with real estate agents or service partners who understand their situation and can help minimize their concerns. Our city search tool allows your employees to explore their new location and connect with identified essential services, such as information about schools, shopping, parks, or community events.

#3: Financial Considerations

Financial concerns are a common worry for relocating families. Rising housing costs and fluctuating interest rates pose challenges when purchasing a new home. If they are moving to a higher cost-of-living location, the concerns increase. NEI works closely with relocating families to help them thoroughly understand the available relocation benefits the company is providing to ease financial burdens.

We consult with our clients extensively in developing competitive benefits that lead to greater transferee satisfaction while minimizing corporate expense. Our Client Relations Managers partner with our clients for whatever they need, such as running cost-of-living analyses (COLA), advising them on various ways to support homeowners during challenging real estate markets, or offering significant insights on any topics of concern to aid acceptance rates.

#2: Health and Safety

In an ever-changing world, health, safety, and security are paramount concerns for relocating families. One way that NEI helps to reassure them of the new location is to collaborate with local real estate agents or destination service partners for an area orientation. Advising them of the various neighborhood nuances and desired amenities is important prior to making any decisions. Obtaining this type of information helps relocating families feel confident they are making good decisions about relocating and where to settle. It prioritizes their sense of well-being so they can settle into their new environment with peace of mind.

#1: Spousal/Partner Acceptance

The support and acceptance of a spouse or partner significantly influences an employee's decision to accept a relocation assignment. NEI recognizes the importance of spousal acclimation and recommends that companies provide this type of support because one of the top reasons for a failed relocation or assignment is an unhappy spouse or partner.

For example, if the relocating family needs to maintain a dual income household, helping that person acquire a new position can be essential to a successful relocation and a productive employee. Additionally, NEI continues check-ins with relocating families for extended periods, up to six months or longer, if needed, to ensure a smooth transition and address any concerns.


At NEI, we understand that effectively relocating a family goes beyond finding them a new home. NEI founder, Chairman and former school psychologist, Kate Dodge emphasized, “The significance of supporting and grounding the family is critical during the relocation process. Our commitment to Service Exceeding Expectation means that we go above and beyond to ensure satisfaction from all parties involved.”

By placing proper focus on these top five concerns—undisclosed personal reasons, unfamiliarity with the destination location, financial considerations, health and safety, and spousal acceptance—companies can make each relocation a positive experience.

Should you like to discuss any of these topics further, please contact your NEI Representative.