Statement: Expatriates have less work-life balance abroad than at home

Moving abroad and becoming an expatriate pulls one out of his/her daily routines and the established work-life balance at home. The new environment, multiple stressors and challenges at work do not fit into the standard eight office hours per day anymore, and leave even less time for settling in with one’s personal side of life.

As a result, we would assume that expatriates have less work-life balance abroad than in their home country.

Fact or Fiction?

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7 thoughts on “Statement: Expatriates have less work-life balance abroad than at home

  1. I would actually want to make the opposite claim. As you mentioned, the move itself pulls people out of their daily routine in their home countries, giving them a chance to establish new routines.
    When accompanied by family, the move to another country also entails making sure that family members settle, and the time devoted to that task at the beginning of the period abroad, could actually create new habits and a new routine to follow.

  2. While I have not experienced this first-hand, I can understand where this is coming from. I would say that in the short term, the balance of things would definitely be thrown off. Everything is new, it will take a while to get into the groove of things. I guess I tend to believe, however, that eventually balance would be achieved. You get used to your situation no matter where you are, it just takes time.

  3. That depends on the person. Some expats fit in socially very easily and enjoy free time. I had 2 German employees and even though they were used to 6 weeks vacation, and not 2 weeks, they were able to fit in more free time and balance than most Americans.

  4. In my opinion, decides that after a few weeks. I think the first few weeks are very stressful. Then it settles down again. The work-life balance is then the same like in their native country.

  5. This assumption is not exactly true . I worked with a lot of French, US and Canadian expatriates, and, while it’s true it takes time for them and their families to get used to the way of life in that particular country they have been sent to work at, they normally would overcome that pretty quickly, and would eventually hate to leave their expatriate positions as they come with great benefits, positions/titles and money – something that would not necessarily be available to them in their home country. It’s always more of a shock for them to come back home after years of working abroad, only to realize that you are not all that important after all – just another executive (if he or she is lucky enough) at the corporate headquarters.

  6. i think this would depend on a person. some people would have a hard time adjusting in a new daily routine but that doesn’t mean they can’t. they would get there eventually with the help of time. while some people would easily adjust in that situation.

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