Corporate Travel, Expats & Transporting Pets
We came across an interesting BBC Capital article the other day addressing the topic of sending employees abroad. According to the author's sources, many international assignments do not work out, and around 30% of these failed examples are due to an assignee's family being unable to find comfort and happiness as expats.
Understandably, employees and their families often have trouble transitioning smoothly into a new culture. Even when a focused effort is made to fit in through education, research, and assistance from the employer, it can take time to feel at home in a faraway place.
In our experience, this is exactly why many people choose to bring their pets along on an assignment (even one that's only a few months long):
Pets can comfort you when you're anxious and provide a sense of stability in a new and different place.
They can also help you meet people (dogs especially are excellent when it comes to breaking down social barriers) and explore new surroundings with more confidence.
Also, when an assignee is busy at work, often pets are who a "trailing spouse" will come to rely on for companionship.
Take a look at a few of our recent client updates for real life (and heartwarming) examples of how pets make a new house feel like home.
Pets also play a role in whether or not an assignee even accepts a relocation. According to Ashley Myers, Senior PetRelocation Corporate Account Manager, "When a transferee is considering a new position, often their first questions are about their pet: 'What are the requirements?' and 'Will there be quarantine?' are concerns we hear all the time, and the answers determine whether or not the transferee would like to pursue the move."
We've also seen many examples of pets making a huge difference when it comes to feeling happy abroad. Ashley continues, "Pets are seen more and more as family members, and it is not an option for many to leave them behind. As a pet owner myself, after a day at work I look forward to my welcoming committee to greet me when I get home!"
Our clients agree: 'Home is where your pets are'
If corporations and relocation companies want to increase the number of successful work transfers, it seems that helping employees bring their pets along should be just as high a priority as offering culture workshops and practical advice to these newfound expats.
What do you think? Does bringing your pet along on a work assignment make you more likely to find happiness in a new city?
Let us know if you have experience with your pets helping you transition abroad, and feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist about handling an upcoming relocation.