They say that to talk about the weather is to exhibit a narrow mind in the grand scheme of conversational topics. We here at Expat International disagree entirely. The weather has become such a hot topic over the last few years that to not talk about it or to simply disregard it as a factor of any kind would be folly. Global warming, natural disasters, agriculture, all are important for a number of reasons. In the case of relocation when sending employees on assignment the weather is a large factor. You might scoff and think, ‘Just pack accordingly to the weather’, and you would be right! But it is only the start for relocation companies when preparing an assignee for a move.
Let’s focus on the weather just a bit longer in regards to relocation. When a mobility company seeks to place an assignee in a location one of the first things that they take into consideration is climate. Yes, packing for the right weather is important; you wouldn’t pack a jumper for the Australian summer, but with the weather comes a myriad of other issues that must be address. Are you going over in the winter? Better pack some warm clothes and while you’re at it we should get you your shots so you don’t spend the first few weeks of your assignment with a cold. Where are you being located? Will you be close to your place of work? During Australian Summers if you are not accustomed to the heat and you have a fair distance to travel you might find traveling to work a discomfort. Same can be said for our winters (we understand that we don’t suffer from arctic temperatures but depending on where you are assigned we have a plethora of weather systems to think of. In Queensland and Northern Territories have wet and dry seasons whereas Melbourne can be bitterly cold or ridiculously hot) if your relocation company hasn’t taken into consideration the seasons in relations to where you will be working then what else might they have neglected to think of?
Comfort is one of the reasons large companies or organisations work with boutique mobility firms rather than global conglomerates. Local/national mobility companies have an in-depth knowledge of local and national information that Global ‘leaders’ might not have. You want a mobility company that will be concerned for the weather and will be concerned for a lot of other smaller non-issue issues. For instance, what do you know about Australia in general? Sure you can walk around whatever city you’re stationed in to see the sights as they come but what about if you want to check out some other states? Yes, google search will be there for you like it’s there for everyone but google isn’t going to tell you about fruit bans across state borders if you type in ‘things to see in Adelaide’. Google won’t let inform you of the different public transport services each city has if you want to know when the Sydney Opera House is open. Again, you can google these answers yourself but the question remains, would you? Chances are unlikely. What you need to look for when choosing your mobility company is one that actively works for you. You don’t want a mobility company to provide you with some cookie cutter plan that is distributed to all assignees no matter their circumstance. You want an in-depth and personalised service that is tailored to the needs of the employee and employers. Mobility firms that are locally/ nationally based should be able to provide a service that is not only comprehensive on a broader scale (Cross culture training, set up utilities, home search, school search and departure and arrival programs) but are also able to prepare the assignee for things that other don’t think of.
I think we can all agree that the weather can be a dry topic (excuse the pun) but that in no way means that it’s unimportant. It’s a big topic in science, politics and now mobility. Do not settle for a company that won’t talk to you about the weather. Look further than a cursory google search for companies that will assure you they are the ‘right fit’. There is a reason as to why larger companies are moving away from the bigger mobility corporations, they can see that it’s these boutique companies that not only know their country’s but can afford the time to get to know the hiring company, get to know the assignee and work with them to achieve their mobility goals and guide them throughout the process to ensure that they experience a smooth and easy transition. So next time you go looking for a mobility company to help you move don’t be afraid to ask them what the weathers like.