Employees working abroad? They need more than just a passport

Once upon a time, it was only the major corporates that ventured into global markets. But these days, many smaller organisations are operating internationally – and sending employees abroad to ‘test the waters’. Latest figures show that 75%[1] of companies expect their international assignments to increase or stay the same over the next two years.

Be prepared

While it’s true that an international assignment can bring many benefits for your employee and your organisation, it’s worth remembering that it also brings its own challenges:

Challenges for international workers

  • Adjusting to a new country and culture can be difficult. As a result, many workers return home early or don’t perform as well as expected.[2]
  • Many companies do not offer training or advice to employees heading abroad or give adequate support when it’s time to come home again.[3]
  • Even if you adjust to your new lifestyle, it may be more difficult for your family.[4]

Challenges for businesses

  • It’s hard to stay compliant. The regulations and legislation around foreign workers is changing all the time, as are the rules around visas.
  • You’ll need to ensure your benefits are up to scratch. For instance you may have to adhere to regulations such as the US’s Affordable Healthcare Act[5] or the new mandatory health insurance that will be implemented in Oman from January 2018.[6]
  • It’s not cheap to send employees abroad. On average, an overseas worker will cost up to three times as much as employees working in their own country.[7]

Planning for success

It seems that the key to a successful relocation is good preparation, support and planning. At Jelf, we work with many companies who have employees around the globe. We help them with the provision of benefits such as healthcare insurance to ensure they are compliant and follow local legislation.

To find out more about sending employees abroad and the countries they’re most likely to go to (and those they find the most challenging), take a look at our useful infographic, or contact your usual Jelf consultant.

employees working abroad infographic


[1] http://globalmobilitytrends.bgrs.com/#/data-highlights

[2] https://hbr.org/1999/03/the-right-way-to-manage-expats

[3] https://hbr.org/1999/03/the-right-way-to-manage-expats

[4] https://www.bgrs.com/insights-articles/six-key-tips-aligning-global-mobility-talent-management/

[5] http://globalmobilitytrends.bgrs.com/#/data-highlights

[6] http://omanobserver.om/mandatory-health-insurance-next-year/

7 https://hbr.org/1999/03/the-right-way-to-manage-expats