An AIRINC’er is coming to town!

    Dec 19, 2022 @ 02:40 PM / by Mira Pathak

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    An AIRINC’er is coming to town!

    On a recent DE&I team call, my colleague Yaira Soriano, one of AIRINC’s internal cost of living researchers, mentioned her next trip would take place in Switzerland and Germany, specifically in Cologne where I now have my 'home office'. Yaira and I quickly established we absolutely had to meet up! Although AIRINC has physical offices in different countries, AIRINC offers a flexible work arrangement where employees can work remotely and from home as much as they choose, so it is important to keep up personal relationships and create new ones too. AIRINCers make it work across borders, which is wonderful in our global company. 

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    You may wonder why I don’t assist in connecting with German housing sources and collecting goods and services prices if I am based here. The main reason is that it would not be easy at all! As a Client Solutions Manager, my job does not require any raw data or price collection. Rather, I work with finished products and customize them to my clients’ needs. On the other hand, Yaira and our team of researchers have a job which requires extremely specific skills and training for remote and onsite research trips. On these “surveys”, as they are called internally, researchers are responsible for the collection of all data inputs, knowing what items to look for and compare, and documenting it for later analysis, all in the effort to collect the most realistic and accurate cost of living at each location. With great commitment and adaptability, researchers travel the globe each year to do their job to the best of their ability.  

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    I often hear, “I would love to have that job”, when explaining the researcher role to others. And depending on your personal situation, you may indeed love this role. I asked Yaira what she enjoys the most from her role and her perspective as a researcher. Yaira mentioned her favorite part is visiting multiple locations and experiencing each one in her own balanced way. While she and the rest of the research team speak multiple languages, they are rarely sent to the same location twice. This ensures many things, including not falling into patterns between a location and researcher. Despite speaking four languages, Yaira often does not speak the local language yet is able to adapt. For this quarter, Yaira favored surveying Germany since she has visited once before and wanted to visit the country more in depth while focused on work. This is an example of how AIRINC is keen in not only helping clients deliver a positive employee experience, but also offer one to our staff as well.  

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    Decades ago, sending staff around the world was the only way to collect the costs of goods and services across the world, but modern technology has helped us improve this process and our focus on sustainability. By adapting to this new technological and post-COVID world, we modernized and refined our data collection process to achieve a balance between onsite travel and leveraging the technology and resources we have remotely. It’s extremely important for AIRINC to use the same methods of data collection everywhere—this is how we ensure that we maintain the same high quality data collection standards and provide the best data in the market. 

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    “Do you always feel safe when you travel alone?” I asked Yaira. While her response was incredibly positive, she admitted it truly depends on location. Being a young adult traveling alone, it is imperative for her to always be alert and mindful of her surroundings, although walking around Cologne felt very natural and safe for her.  

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    Which German city she visited on this trip did she think would come out the most expensive? She didn’t want to give a guess just yet, as her administrative process of data entry was not finished yet. So, let’s keep our eyes open for our new survey results which will be published in January after our rigorous analysis process. We publish data for over 80 German cities, so watch this space to see where your location lands! If you’re sending staff between different German cities on domestic moves, which are less common in Germany than other countries, then we can provide you with national city comparisons within a country. 

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    Did she like Germany? I was, of course, curious to find out at the end, and I was pleased to hear that she found people very friendly and helpful and she loved Cologne too. Well, who wouldn’t? The Christmas markets were open, and Cologne is at its prettiest this time of year. 

    Blog created by Mira Pathak and Yaira Soriano.

    AIRINC in Cologne

    Yaira (left) and Mira (right).

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    Topics: Housing, AIRINC Insider, Cost of Living Surveys, Surveying the World, Global Mobility, Germany, Research

    Mira Pathak

    Written by Mira Pathak

    Mira has been working in Global Mobility since 2006. Originally from Germany, she was based in London for the majority of her working life. She joined AIRINC’s London office in 2018 as a client solutions manager specifically for the German market and relocated back there in early 2019 to support clients on the ground.