Changing your work place, moving to another city or region is always a huge challenge. You have to find a new apartment, school for your children, discover this new place. Why do we decide to challenge ourselves in such ways? Does looking for a better job motivate us to take this effort? Are we looking for high quality of life? We decided to find out what are the main reasons that attract employees to Pomerania Voivodeship. We made a survey among the employees of Business Services Sector who decided to move to Tri-City*.
Let’s move to another city. The easiest way is to move to a place you know, have your favourite spots and friends you know from university times. The surveyed employees that had studied before in Tri-City distinguished this as the main reason of relocation to Gdansk, Sopot or Gdynia – 40% of the respondents. Perhaps nobody will be surprised by the fact that 32% of the respondents had started a job in Tri-City, secured their financial stability and only then decided to move. However, another 28% of the respondents have showed more complex motivations. For nearly 1/5 of the respondents one of the most important factors were relatives – 18% moved to Tri-City because they wanted to stay with their girlfriend or boyfriend. The spontaneous decision to relocate were indicated by 5% of the respondents, they just wanted to live in a new place, change the environment and 1% were looking for a place with cleaner air. Other opinions reflected emotional aspects of the removal. Our respondents confessed that they “fell in love with Tri-City” or “were on holidays and decided to stay”. These opinions, though in the minority, are an important signal which proves that motivation for a change is not always connected with economic reasons. This relatively not-so-small percentage of spontaneous decisions may reflect contemporary trends among the younger generation who are often searching for new challenges, trying to ‘taste’ life and work in many different corners of the world.
Work or environment – which factors are more important?
To clarify the reasons for removal we listed 14 factors that are directly connected with work and life. This time our respondents had to rate the most important ones using a 5-point scale. It turned out that for 76% of the surveyed employees the most important factors were the ones connected with life. Among the most significant ones were the following: personal development in the workplace (4,32 points), stable job prospects (4,29 points) and work-life balance (4,11 points). It is worth mentioning that high remuneration was on the 4th place in the ranking (4,09 points). Other factors were connected directly to Tri-City characteristics such as: good prospects of labour market development (4,01 points) and high quality of life (3,85 points). Other interesting observation is the high position of factors in the ranking related to private life (3,56 points). This may reflect how often the decision to migrate is a complex and multi-layered process that not only affects us personally but also the whole family.
Among other factors that had less impact were employee benefits (3,63 points) and renowned brand of the company (3,63 points). Surprisingly, the factor which usually has a great influence on our decisions – the recommendations from friends and relatives, did not matter much when it comes to migration decisions (2,68 points). It seems that neither low costs of living in Tri-City (2,94 points) nor prestige or image of the city (2,99 points) did not play the leading role.
From the employer’s point of view, these data are extremely valuable for setting the employment strategy – employees value most possibilities of development, stability while employee benefits and company’s prestige are secondary matters. At the same time, the respondents pointed out that factors related to the place of employment such as quality of life or prospects for labour market development were also of less important when deciding to move. However, it is important to note that 25% of the surveyed employees mentioned their own motives for relocation. This clearly showed the different reasons for relocation and we discovered that the city of migration was very important for 1/4 of the respondents. They said that natural conditions of the Pomerania province, its close proximity of the seaside, forests and lakes were the most important. Many respondents mentioned also clean air, pollution-free air and the Tri-City image as a big, modern and rapidly growing agglomeration with many domestic and international connections.
Understanding the reasons, motivation and expectations of the employees is the foundation for building the strategy of development not only of the city itself but also of the whole region or voivodeship. It seems that factors related to work have greater impact. The environment of city or region plays in this case a complementary role. Natural factors attract more like the above-mentioned high quality of life of its residents. However, we cannot forget that if we want employees to consider changing the workplace or relocating, we must take care of the positive stimulus from both sides – the attractive work opportunities combined with the attractive place to live. In this case, the role of cities and regions creating their image as a good place to work and live and raising awareness of the opportunities offered by the local labour market could not be overestimated.
*The survey “Pomeranian labour market in a context of employee relocation. Challenges and opportunities” was prepared by the Center for Social Research and Analysis commissioned by the Pomeranian Development Agency Co. The main objective of the research was to determine what are the main reasons that attract employees to Pomerania Voivodeship. The survey was addressed to two groups – employees from IT and BPO/SSC sector in Tri-City (367 people) and students of Pomerania universities (635 people). The survey was conducted from November to December 2016.