This Type of Relocation Support is Missed Most by Global Employees

The Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition, a report based on one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on expat life, reveals that there is a clear distinction between the types of relocation support that companies offer and the kinds of support that expats would like to receive. Membership in an expat organization is the least commonly provided type of support, with only 8% of respondents who moved abroad for either their own or their partner’s work having received it. In contrast, 64% of respondents indicated that they did not receive this type off support although they would have liked to. Of those respondents whose employer provided membership in an expat organization as a component of their relocation support, only 13% reported that they did not find this valuable.

The desire to be part of an expat organization could be linked to the needs of all expat types — whether foreign assignees, international hires, or relocating spouses — for interaction with others. One of the survey respondents, an Italian foreign assignee living in France, said: “I hoped to create a richer network of people, but it’s hard to find new friends while working and not being 20 years old anymore”.

These findings could suggest that the ‘softer’ aspects of relocation support, such as membership in an expat organization and opportunities to interact with others beyond work and daily routine, are not being adequately addressed by employers.

''Employers underestimate the need for social integration and the fact that it is part of their responsibility to make sure their expat employees manage to feel at home and welcome abroad'', says Theresa Häfner, Head of Business Solutions at InterNations.

Meeting these needs could make for happier expats, both in their personal lives and in the workplace. It represents an important component of relocation support for companies to consider.

Read the Expat Insider 2018 Business EditionExpat Insider is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad (18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the 2018 survey — 10% of respondents were foreign assignees, 19% were international hires, and 8% were relocating spouses). 

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