A new Opinium survey of 500 UK business travellers, commissioned by World Travel Protection, revealed that 13 per cent have less of an appetite for the expat lifestyle because of the pandemic.
One in ten said that expats were not properly supported by organisations throughout the pandemic. Other concerns were the risks involved in living abroad (14 per cent), and not being able to get home to see friends and family if Covid-like restrictions were reintroduced (18 per cent).
The attitudes of those willing to take work placements abroad has also shifted. Sixteen per cent would refuse a work placement abroad of three months or more that they would have accepted before the pandemic, with under-34s (20 per cent) twice as likely to say this than over-45s (10 per cent).
However, 20 per cent of business travellers would ‘love’ to live and work abroad. Twenty-one per cent think it would benefit their career, while 16 per cent said they would have a better quality of life. Eighteen per cent also noted that it is easier for them to work from anywhere now.
Regional Security Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 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.”