I was hired during Covid and the job requirement was to work onsite, but due to Covid everybody was working from Home, so after being hired I was working from Home as well. Now it's time to go back to office for everyone. But for me that means to relocate from a small town to a big city. I looked at rents and the schools but my actual salary can't afford them at least not if I want to keep the same minimum life I have. I love the job but I can't take all my family to a new job and city with a downgrade in term of their standard of life, I wouldn't even be able to meet both ends by myself.

So I want to know how to have this discussion with my manager, because I can't relocate or work semi-remote because the two locations are more than 800 miles apart. I knew I will go to relocate but I didn't expect the cost of living to be this different.

  • 2
    You don't have this conversation with your manager. You find another remote job. Companies will force onsite if they can.
    – David R
    Apr 12, 2022 at 14:07
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    @DavidR not if the company would prefer to keep a remote employee than hire someone new. Hiring is hard, especially now. This is exactly the kind of thing you need to talk to your manager about.
    – Seth R
    Apr 12, 2022 at 15:59
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    Talk to your boss. Lay everything out for him and see if the company can help cover your expenses. At the same time best start putting the resume out again.
    Apr 12, 2022 at 16:34
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    What would you have done if there wasn't covid?
    – Kilisi
    Apr 12, 2022 at 19:25
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    Sorry to hear about your situation. Have you started looking for a new job ? How long does your manager give you to move to the new city ? - You have 2 realistic options: (1) Move your family to the new city and temporarily downgrade their standard of living until you find a better job. (2) Stay in your current city and you may be fired from the current job but you will continue to look for a better job till you find one. Which option is better for you ? Apr 12, 2022 at 20:31

4 Answers 4


How to tell my boss i can't relocate anymore, after i accepted in the first place?

You just tell him.

Your boss may be sympathetic to your case and try to help you out. More likely, he will remind you that you were hired for an onsite role and he will let you know that you need to fulfil this role now that the temporary Covid changes are over.

I am not sure how much time you have until you are required to be in the office but I would start looking for a new job for the very high possibility that your company will not accommodate your desire to continue working remotely. For your next job, make sure that you understand and are willing to comply with the requirements (e.g. things like working onsite ) before accepting the offer. This is, of course, to avoid a similar situation in the future.

  • But the problem isn't moving from remote to onsite, the problem is being onsite. Things changed, the offer changed, it is now rejected.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 12, 2022 at 14:31
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    @gnasher729 The OP did state that "the job requirement was to work onsite" so while the situation may have changed, the initial agreement did not.
    – sf02
    Apr 12, 2022 at 14:36
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    Well, in that case he'll have to serve his notice... Which I believe is zero days in the USA. Just because you agreed to a bad deal doesn't mean you are stuck with it.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 12, 2022 at 15:23
  • So knowing my reasons. let's say you have to talk to my boss right now, what would you tell him? If you were on my shoes how would you go with the conversation with your boss?
    – Carlos
    Apr 13, 2022 at 14:27
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    @Carlos You tell him something like "Hey Boss when I accepted the offer it was much more feasible to move my family to the city as my salary was enough to cover the prices of goods, rent,...etc. In the current market, however, it would not be possible for me to relocate to the city as my salary is not sufficient to cover these expenses." You then either ask to remain working from home or ask for enough of a raise to move ( if that is a realistic option for you ). Either way you should start looking for new work because there is a great possibility that he will not accommodate you.
    – sf02
    Apr 13, 2022 at 15:05

Start looking for a new job. You accepted this one on false pretenses which is never good. And your explanation seems like just a rationalisation on why you should get special treatment or more money. This is becoming increasingly common as many people want to work from home after a taste of it. So there is a chance you will find yourself unemployed if you have this conversation.

You don't give a location, but in mine (perhaps many) depending on the job market you'd basically be sacking yourself.

  • it's not a false pretense because i didn't get a change in pay, i just liked the job and once again i didn't run all the simulation of how living in DC will be much higher than where i leave currently. working from home or not doesn't count much for me. the mean reason is that i can't afford to live with my family in DC currently
    – Carlos
    Apr 13, 2022 at 14:11
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    I think false pretense because when offered the job you knew you would eventually end up in DC and should have checked whether the salary would work there. If you did not, it's hard to raise the issue now without looking bad for accepting a job that you should/could have known wouldn't work.
    – cdkMoose
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:27
  • False pretence because you cannot do the job under the terms of work. Whether thats because you didn't check costs or something else makes no difference. Especially with something so basic. Saying now that you didn't know and took a job 800 miles away without any sort of basic checks is incredibly weak.
    – Kilisi
    Apr 14, 2022 at 1:29

You can also cite to items in the news, such as inflation, increases in housing price, etc. I am going through a similar situation. You can also offer some detail on why you have to support your family, and you can't afford to do that.


First thing is a conversation with your manager - where you don't talk about your problems relocating, but just say how much it will cost you every month if you have to go to the office instead of working remotely. For me, it was about £500 per month (and relocating to London ? I've seen one bedroom flats for over a million, so forget), not counting 2 1/2 hours time every day. For the same money in my pocket, the company would have had to pay out about £10,000 more per year with all taxes added.

So you make it clear that you won't come to the office every day, and definitely not for the same money. It seems they didn't have any problems with you working remotely, so they shouldn't have a problem now.

If the manager insists on you working onsite, you start looking at a remote position asap. Take into account how much money you will have effectively - so an offer for a bit less money but remote would still be a lot more in your pocket, and a nicer life all around. If they don't reconsider, you won't be the only person they lose.

  • 8
    "Hey boss. I know I accepted an job offer that required I work onsite, but I just want to make it clear I won't come to the office every day, and definitely not for the same money". Probably best to save that speech until you have found a new job. Apr 12, 2022 at 15:32
  • Not at all. Times have changed, if you haven't noticed.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 12, 2022 at 19:13
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    I have noticed. I've been working from home since before Covid. I still wouldn't be "making it clear" that I intend to breach the contract I willingly signed without a new job offer in hand. Ultimatums rarely end well. Apr 13, 2022 at 0:39

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