Among executives, expatriation is no longer popular

A few years ago, obtaining an expatriate position within a large company was popular because it meant a significant bonus as well as an allowance for housing and, often, the cost of (private) schooling. ) children, as well as a large number of material benefits, remembers Pilita Clark in the Financial Times. According to a global survey by the Boston Consulting Group, 78% of the 150,000 employees surveyed said they were ready to move abroad in 2018, but this proportion fell to 63% in 2023. In the meantime, the pandemic has profoundly redefined our relationship with work and, according to the co-author of the investigation, Orsolya Kovács-Ondrejkovic, “this could be because the world is becoming less open as work becomes more globalized”.

On the other hand, very generous expat packages have become rarer. “Corporate relocation experts tell me they are decreasing at many companies,” notes Pilita Clark. According to her, this is explained by “the rise of women in the professional world, who sometimes earn more than their partners”. Indeed, in these conditions, it becomes absurd to give up a second salary to emigrate, despite financial compensation. “especially if you also have to put up with the stifling air of Delhi or the crime rate of Tijuana”.

The pandemic has accentuated this lack of interest in expatriation. According to Caitlin Pyett, consultant at the Crown World Mobility group, who has worked in the relocation sector for almost thirty years, 2023 marked a turning point and her clients, across all sectors, were no longer able to convince their executives to go abroad.

“This was unexpected at a time when the pandemic had sparked an explosion of globe-trotting digital nomads, often in their 20s, who seemed to represent the future direction of work.”

This development actually concerns people in their forties who have changed their way of working during confinement. Moreover, “events such as Brexit and geopolitical conflicts have made physical mobility abroad more difficult, while the growth of teleworking has made it easier to stay at home”according to the British daily.

If the disenchantment with expatriation is explained, it is no less regrettable, explains Pilita Clark, because “moving to a new country for work can always be a wonderful thing, both for life and career, as anyone lucky enough to be able to do so will almost certainly discover”.

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