More than a third of Spanish expats are less willing to move to another foreign country due to the pandemic
The pandemic has altered the interest of many employees in moving abroad for work reasons. In fact, the latest study carried out by health insurer Cigna, the “Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey”, devoted a block of its report to the analysis of global trends related to international mobility, that is that is to say to people who reside and work in a country other than their place of birth. According to the results of this survey, there is a clear tendency to return home. In the specific case of Spain, 35% of Spanish expatriates are more reluctant to move to another foreign country due to the pandemic and 21% wish to return to their country of origin.
The “Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey” study also reveals the main reasons why they do not consider it a good idea to move to other countries: financial anxiety (29%), difficulty adapting to a new environment and to build a local support network (24%) and the precariousness of employment generated by COVID-19 (23%) are the three main reasons for this change of regime.
These figures highlight the context in which the mobility of professionals to other countries of the world is situated. Although the need to have a workforce in different markets as a strategy for international expansion has not disappeared, the rules for international mobility at company level have changed and there is a need to evolve in policies. and expatriation strategies.
“The uncertainty of the change of residence, added to the distance from friends or family, implies an additional emotional load to which companies must respond if we want to continue betting on international mobility, especially at the present time. time. For this reason, among the many initiatives that can be implemented to promote relocation abroad is the implementation of comprehensive health programs. When a company takes an integral perspective of employee health care and takes care of all the factors that influence their well-being, they will perceive that the company cares about them and they will feel supported and protected everywhere in the world. world ”, he defended Eduardo Pitto, commercial director of Cigna Espaa.
Under this premise, the importance of companies ensuring the safety and well-being of all employees traveling abroad cannot be ignored, placing their integral health and well-being at the center of corporate culture. But what guidelines can they follow to achieve this and motivate their staff to move to another country in the midst of a health crisis? Health insurer Cigna presents four initiatives to achieve this according to each phase of international mobility:
Before expatriation: explore the specific issues of the employee concerned. When assigning a new country of residence to a worker, it is necessary to be very clear about their particular concerns and challenges. It must start from a global perspective: your personal situation, the vital moment you are going through, whether or not you have any family obligations, whether or not you are under financial stress … These are all variables to take into account. . account to obtain a photo of the employee’s welfare state and guide the conditions and remuneration of expatriation. During the international mission: identify possible areas for improvement in aspects related to physical and mental health. Beyond the issues related to the adoption of healthy lifestyles, it is important to assess the impact that international mobility can have on the overall health of expatriate workers, particularly in terms of stress and the strength of their ties. social or your ability to disconnect from my work. In this way, companies will be able to contemplate the level of adaptation of the worker to the country of destination and offer support in any questions they ask. To do this, it is very useful to carry out regular health and well-being assessments in the form of questionnaires, in order to be able to collect valuable information on the main areas for improvement. Repatriation: develop a panel with measurement indicators. One of the most important steps in promoting international mobility is to share with other employees the efficiency of traveling to other countries. For this reason, it is essential to communicate the success of the health and wellness interventions offered in each country where the company is present and the return on investment of said internationalization strategy once the employee returns.
In addition to these initiatives, it is important to always have defined the people who will be in charge of making the appropriate decisions, launching the various healthy initiatives or measuring the results and collecting the necessary information concerning the feedback. expatriate employees, achievement of objectives or level of participation. In turn, increased connectivity and the advancement of virtual health services are improving accessibility and ensuring that business help is available to the employees who need it, wherever they are in the world.