Overseas Work Assignments More Popular Among Professionals

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 29 May, 2014

A high proportion of professionals are happy to work abroad, but the paperwork involved is being seen as an obstacle to mobility, according to a report Global Professionals on the Move from recruitment firm Hydrogen.

35 percent of respondents said that they would be willing to work abroad, more than double the percentage five years ago. 40 percent of those already working abroad said that they had experienced no barriers to relocating.

The report found that workers are being tempted abroad by improved career prospects and earning potential, along with the opportunity for new experiences. Language is now less of a barrier, with the exclusive use of English in many industries, and there is increasing openness to learning a language. On employers' side, the report explains that businesses are looking to develop "a mobile, internationally experienced workforce" that can lead market expansion and implement knowledge transfer to local workers.

Overall, 88 percent of those working abroad said that adapting to the host country's culture had not been a problem, although this figure may reflect a preference for host countries that are similar to the home country: the USA is the most preferred country destination, closely followed by the UK, and London is the top city destination. The study also suggests that companies may be becoming more flexible on issues such as family relocation and the cost of commuting back to the home country. However, Hydrogen's Denise McAnuity said that a " high percentage of international appointments fail to work [leading to] the professional return[ing] home early" due to family circumstances and problems adjusting to the local culture.

The survey also records increasing numbers who see visas and work permits as a restriction, up from 1 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2014. The report in particular notes the USA and Russia as places where it is difficult to get a visa, and notes that the UK and Australia are in the process of tightening their procedures. However, some countries, such as Canada and New Zealand, are simplifying this process.

Tags: Russia | Australia | United Kingdom | Canada | New Zealand | United States | Expats | Visas And Passports | Working Abroad | Work | Working Abroad | Lifestyle | Lifestyle | Working Abroad |


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