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I am working for a company which is based out of a different city, I have moved to the city and it has been 2 months and more since I have moved here. I am not able to adjust to this new place and want to move back to my old place and my company has a branch in my old place too, I can work from that office in person. One of my friend has got the change of location, but she has asked for it even before the join date and was not given any relocation bonus. I was given the relocation bonus. Is it ethical for me to now ask to change my location?

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  • If you're concerned about the ethics of taking the relocation bonus that was useless, you can simply ask if you can pay it back. If I was your boss, I would decline to take you up on that offer however. Mar 6 at 11:24
  • It is certainly ethical to make the request. It is also ethical for them to say no, and to dismiss you for cause if you are unwilling to work at the assigned site, if that's where they need you
    – keshlam
    Mar 6 at 14:11

3 Answers 3

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I wouldn't say it is unethical to ask to move back to your original location. You tried to make the adjustments and could not. That is perfectly normal, not everybody will be able to adjust.

Go ahead and ask your manager. If they accept, be prepared to have to pay back your relocation bonus.

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  • Thank you, for encouraging me Mar 5 at 16:52
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    It is perfectly fine to ask but OP should also be prepared that the answer by the manager might be no.
    – quarague
    Mar 6 at 18:16
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Why are you "not able to adjust"? Two months is not a lot of time to adjust to a move. It's pretty normal to miss things about the previous location or to still be finding your footing in the new city. Are you certain that this is a permanent failure to adjust rather than it just taking longer than you were expecting to get comfortable in your new routines?

Presumably, there was a reason the company preferred you working in the city you are currently in rather than the city you were originally in. That's why they paid your relocation. Giving up after a relatively short period of time and trying to go back to an area the company doesn't prefer is going to be a hit to your reputation. And a hit to your pocketbook-- you'd almost certainly need to repay the relocation money plus pay to move yourself again.

If there is some unforeseeable circumstance that is forcing you to reconsider-- a parent suddenly falling ill and needing assistance in the original city, developing a medical condition in a city where there is no specialist to treat it, etc.-- then it makes sense to present that to your boss. If it is merely that you moved at the height of winter/ summer/ monsoon season/ etc. and it is harder adjust to the heat/ cold/ rain than you were expecting when you took the offer, I'd urge you to reconsider. Give yourself time to adjust. If you've given it a year or two and still feel the same way, you'll have a lot more credibility with your boss to support moving back without being seen as flaky.

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Unethical? No - but it could lead to a negative perception of you.

Moving cities is a big change - so either you didn't do your proper due-diligence (makes you look bad), you are indecisive (makes you look bad) or you lack commitment (makes you look bad).

There are some scenarios where the sudden wish to change back could be justified in a positive light for example:

"I moved here, but then my elderly mother suffered medical issue and I want to be closer to her to help her"

However, whilst it's not unethical to ask - I would suggest that you want to take a moment to consider how this will be percieved.

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  • -1: Don't suggest people lie about the reasons. It will only makes things worse when they find out you lied. Having a "makes you look bad" reason (if people will even think that!) for moving back is so much better than making up a reason which makes you look like a liar and totally untrustworthy when found out. Mar 6 at 11:07
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    @MarkRotteveel It doesn't sound like a suggestion to lie. It sounds like an example of a circumstance (different from that of the OP) where it wouldn't reflect poorly on the employee.
    – Theodore
    Mar 6 at 16:35
  • @Theodore Maybe you're right, I hadn't considered that interpretation. Mar 6 at 17:32
  • @MarkRotteveel - Theodore is correct, was giving an example where something unexpected and serious happened that would justify a sudden change of decision. Mar 6 at 19:39

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