While the HSBC’s 2017, Expat Explorer survey reveals the most popular reasons given for relocating to a new country such as ‘to fulfil a sense of adventure’, ‘to increase a quality of life related to health or climate’ and places financial reasons further away (15%), it paints at the same time the less pleasant side of expatriation.
Many of the expats go through a financial shock after relocating because they can’t maintain the standard of living they had in the home country. Whereas a move e.g. to Vietnam, Mexico or Columbia brings an increase of the purchasing power, a relocation to Italy, Israel or Greece may turn out reversed. As for Switzerland, accordingly to the HSBC’s survey, about 72% of the participants admitted having greater level of disposable income due to their move.
Despite very generous compensation packages provided by some multinationals, the money isn’t always enough to keep the relocated employees happy. There might be different reasons for that. The feeling of ‘not to fitting in’ in the new environment due to cultural differences is one of them. It points out once again the importance of a good relocation programme raising up the cultural awareness in order to develop cultural competences of the employees and enable them to work in a multicultural setting and to build relationships with the local population.
If it sounds familiar to you and you want to find out more about the findings of HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey, please follow the link.