Covid hangover for Expat Lifestyle?

Covid hangover for Expat Lifestyle?

Business travellers have less appetite for an Expat Lifestyle than Pre-Covid

  • 1 in 7 would refuse a work placement abroad that they would have taken before
  • risk CONCERNS includE being able to get home in emergency
  • however, 1 in 5 business travellers say they would ‘love’ to live and work abroad

Business travellers have less appetite for the expat lifestyle than before the pandemic according to a survey. One in ten (10%) say that expats weren’t properly supported by organisations during the pandemic.

The Opinium survey of 500 UK business travellers, commissioned by World Travel Protection, finds that over one in ten (13%) say the pandemic has put them off the expat lifestyle. This is largely down to the risks involved (14%) in living abroad, and in particularly to not being able to get home to see friends and family if Covid-like restrictions were reintroduced (18%).

Over one in seven (16%) say they would refuse a work placement abroad, of three months or more, that they would have accepted pre-pandemic (under 34s [20%] twice as likely to say this than over 45s [10%]). Over one in five women (22%) also say they would refuse a work placement now, compared to 14% of men.

However, there are still plenty of business travellers (20%) who would ‘love’ to live and work abroad, rising to 29% of over 45s.

Over one in five (21%) also say it would benefit their career if they worked abroad, and 16% say they would have a better quality of life. Almost a fifth (18%) also say that’s it is easier for them to work from anywhere now.

Kate Fitzpatrick said: “Expats are very important to a lot of business structures, but it appears that the allure of working abroad has diminished as a consequence of the pandemic. Organisations will have to work hard to instil confidence and regain excitement about placements overseas. Safety and security will play a major role in this as employees will need to know that comprehensive procedures are in place, particularly when it comes to getting home in an emergency situation.”

*Opinium online survey conducted with 500 UK business travellers, who travel internationally for business at least once a year, between 12 – 19 May 2022.


About World Travel Protection

For 30 years, World Travel Protection (WTP) has taken care of corporate and leisure travellers across the globe by providing access to 24-hour emergency assistance.

In addition to support services for medical, travel, and security emergencies, WTP – part of the Zurich Insurance Group – educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with travelling abroad. Emergency assistance encompasses medical case management, evacuation & repatriation together with providing access to virtual care services (telehealth) and security intelligence.

A key foundational component of a leading assistance provider is its global network. WTP’s GlobalCare Network ensures our customers have access to over 20,000 providers worldwide. Millions of travellers place their trust in WTP each year for assistance across 200 countries. For more information, visit

World Travel Protection is a trading name of Cover-More Insurance Services Limited

About The Author


WORKSMARTPA – NEW IDEAS, NEW FRONTIERS The year 2021 sees our business celebrate 21 years of - a community supporting office professionals since our very first newsletter way back in May 2000. As we look forward to greet a new world of change beyond the pandemic, we are extremely excited to announce a new brand; a new look; and some new directions for our much loved, long-standing web site and communities to explore. It is time for change. To better reflect now what we do best for you, we have a new brand, web site and activities – a new name and web site that will be full of new ideas for a new business age and new working trends as we all seek to grow, expand and explore new frontiers.

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