Which are the challenges expat partners have to deal with when relocating? What are solutions that could help them? What should companies do to support expat families?
Studies, surveys and statistics help evaluate the size and the needs of this “niche” community which still today – despite of globalisation and the future of work (see also 2016 Global Mobility Trends by Brookfield Global Relocation Services) – remains often ignored or even mocked of. However, the challenges have real economical impacts for companies and economies – see for example Brookfield Global Relocation Services (2010) “65% of failing expat assignments are attributed to spouse or Partner dissatisfaction with the new location” – let alone the “emotional” effects on families.
Ernst & Young & NetExpat Relocating Partner Survey Report (April 2018) “the largest and most in-depth survey ever conducted on the relocating partner/spouse topic, with over 3,400 respondents and insightful corporate benchmark contributions, including brand new perspective on employees’ expectations, and current approaches to this key topic, both for domestic and international mobility”. Download your copy at http://ow.ly/G22L30jFRnq
Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition by Internations Business Solutions is based on the Expat Insider survey, one of the world’s most comprehensive expat surveys (20,259 expats from across the globe participated). It focuses specifically on three expat types: Foreign Assignees , International Hires and Relocating Spouses. The report provides insights into how these expats experience life abroad — from the relocation support they receive (and want) to how easily they settle in, the aspects making them happy (and unhappy), and their family setup. Download the complete report here, link: https://business.internations.org/expat-insider or zoom in on Relocating Spouses, link: https://business.internations.org/expat-insider/2019/download/relocating-spouses
“An Analysis of Dual Career and Integration Services” was created in the framework of the EURAXESS TOP III project (2015-2018, Gr No: 665934), funded by the EC under the Horizon 2020 programme under the task lead of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). The information gathered in the report has been submitted by a Dual Career and Integration Services Expert Group, encompassing of representatives from European institutions and universities from 6 countries; Austria, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland. The goal of this report is to analyse and map the landscape of DCIS in the 6 countries as well as exchange knowledge of best practice examples in order to develop and improve the services based on the needs of each institution. Click here to download An Analysis of Dual Career and Integration Services(from page 20 zooming in on Austria) or follow this link to access it: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/austria/news/analysis-dual-career-and-integration-services
The paper “Expatriated dual-career partners: hope and disillusionment” by Agnieszka Kierner (2018) illustrates how hope vanishes when career goals are not met during an international assignment.
Career Choice And The Accompanying Partner (click to download the pdf) by Louise Wiles and Evelyn Simpson, Thrivingabroad.com, 2012.
This study of 312 accompanying partners looked at a range of obstacles to working abroad and whether working led to more life satisfaction and assignment fulfillment. In addition to work permit issues, others obstacles included a lack of local networks and local language skills, personal choice to look after the children, and a lack of support from the partner’s employer. While some partners are happy not to work and find fulfillment in other aspects of the assignment, almost half are ambivalent or unfulfilled.
Life satisfaction and fulfillment is higher among partners who are working.