Expat Burn Out Signals a 'Huge Challenge' for Employers


2022/6/23 19:02



HONG KONG, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire=KYODO JBN/ --


- Cigna 360 Global Well-Being Survey of 11,922 people worldwide reveals expat

stress has reached an all-time high, with almost all respondents feeling

symptoms of burnout

- Lifestyle is now more important than finances for those planning to move

overseas, a quarter plan to move to access better healthcare

- Top destination for existing expats to relocate to is Canada, with Australia

and the U.S. tied second



The vast majority of expats are burned out, stressed and reevaluating life and

work priorities for more flexibility or to be closer to family and friends,

according to a report based on the eighth edition of the Cigna 360 Well-Being



The report released today, Burned Out Overseas – The State of Expat Life 2022

(https://www.cignaglobal.com/360-global-well-being/expat-life-2022), found 90%

of expats are stressed and 98% have experienced symptoms of burnout - likely

driven by feeling unable to switch off from work. Expats are experiencing an

overwhelming sense of isolation, with 87% reporting feeling helpless, trapped

or defeated and 86% feeling detached or alone. Meanwhile, more than a third

(38%) are also concerned or uncertain about their financial situation.

Contributing to these findings is a mix of lifestyle, opportunity and work

culture factors. The study found 73% of current expats, and 75% of those who

plan to move overseas in the next two years, have spent more time reevaluating

their life priorities since the pandemic. Lifestyle now replaces finances as

the top priority for those planning to move overseas.


Jason Sadler, President, Cigna International Markets, said employers face a

real challenge in meeting this lifestyle shift and rethinking the expat value

proposition. "Employers may face huge challenges in filling overseas

assignments in the future. The exciting, rewarding, globally mobile lifestyle

that used to sum-up the 'expat dream' has changed and more people are now

prioritizing lifestyle, family and friends when planning moves."


Healthcare has become a priority for all groups, with 23% of existing expats

considering moving to gain access to better healthcare. Work life balance is

also critical, with more than a quarter of aspiring expats saying flexible

hours are critical and 16% saying they want the ability to work from any

location in the world.


"From now on, it's likely that organizations will need to reevaluate how they

structure expat assignments. Personal and family needs are now at the forefront

of decision-making, and this may impact the benefits expats prioritize when

selecting roles," added Sadler.


The survey also found Canada is the top destination for existing expats to move

to, with 11% wanting to relocate there. Australia and the U.S. tied in second

place. The significant majority of those living in Europe and Australia are

confident they will remain living overseas, but the same cannot be said for

Asia, with only 5% of those in India and 16% of those in Mainland China

confident they will stay.


Expat age profiles are also changing, with senior employees now more likely to

want to return or remain in their home countries while younger staff seek out

overseas moves. Only 13% of those over the age of 50 say they want to move

overseas, compared to 37% of those aged 18 to 24, and 34% of those aged 25 to



Looking ahead, Dr. Stella George, Chief Medical Officer, Cigna International

Markets, said the expat age demographic is expected to change.


"The past couple of years during the pandemic have been especially challenging

for existing and long-term expats," said Dr. George. "So, while many will be

moving closer to home, many ambitious younger professionals will also start

taking advantage of the opportunities that overseas postings offer, such as

quick promotion, flexible working and other incentives. These benefits are

especially attractive to people earlier in their careers."


About the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey


The eight edition of the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey was conducted by Cigna

International Markets, in partnership with Kantar, a leading data, insights,

and consulting company. More than 11,900 people from Australia, Belgium,

Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain,

Switzerland, The Netherlands, UAE, UK and USA were surveyed for the research in

May this year. It examined five key components – family, financial, physical,

social, and work – to uncover the latest trends and challenges for the health

and well-being of expats.


Online sampling used respondents recruited from panels that undergo rigorous

quality control and the panel composition is representative of the adult

population in each of the surveyed markets.


About Cigna


Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to

improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna

delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care

through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that

advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively

by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, Evernorth companies

or their affiliates, and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such

products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as

medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits,

and other related products. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30

countries and jurisdictions and has more than 175 million customer

relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links

to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com


Source: Cigna