Aires’ first COVID-19 survey occurred before many of the current country travel bans and shutdown of many workplaces and non-essential stores were in place. Now that services are being impacted, we have released this second survey to update key data on new global authorizations and also to drill down on some key impacts on U.S. domestic activity. A common theme of the survey is that mobility managers are dealing with most situations on a case-by-case basis. Key findings from the survey are presented below.
U.S. DOMESTIC MOBILITY
The positive news:
- Most employers are allowing employees to work from home.
- Only 20% of respondents confirm that they’ve had an employee ask for their relocation or assignment to be cancelled, and in most cases, requests have been limited.
- One-quarter of respondents confirm moving employees out of temporary housing as scheduled into their new location.
- Half of respondents advise they are moving forward with their guaranteed buyout home sales as normal (as much as possible under current restrictions). One out of every five companies that offer guaranteed buyout home sale are finding it necessary to delay appraisals, and one out of every 10 have extended the acceptance period of the buyout offer.
Employees in the process of moving are most impacted:
- Two-thirds of survey respondents advise that their authorizations have slowed down. This does not mean things are coming to a halt, but many new authorizations are on hold.
- About three-fourths of respondents have had to delay start dates for domestic relocations or assignments. Nine out of 10 respondents have no timetable for how long they will be delayed.
- Many companies have suspended all non-essential air travel; mileage reimbursements have increased for those choosing to or able to drive instead of fly.
- Half of respondents confirm having to pay for extended temporary housing.
- One-fifth of companies report reimbursing additional expenses to employees in temporary housing resulting from quarantine or social distancing.
The situation for intern programs, just as with domestic mobility, is case-by-case. The good news is that three-fourths of survey respondents with intern programs confirm they have already identified some or all of their summer interns; however, most aren’t sure what the internships will look like if everyone is still working from home. Only 5% have cancelled their upcoming interns, and 11% have said they are suspending their programs, but most are either optimistic they can proceed in a few weeks as planned or are taking a “wait and see” approach. Interns working remotely may be a possibility.
In the global arena, not much has changed since our first survey. Participants still note they are returning employees and family members and allowing employees to work from home. There has been an increase in the number of respondents that have evacuated employees (leaving belongings in country but removing the employee from their host/work country).
Aires will continue to provide frequent updates and monitor client programs as the COVID-19 situation progresses. To view the full Pulse Survey, please visit this link.