Expats cite health, well-being as greater priority in pandemic: survey

Among Canadian expatriates who said their future plans have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, 53 per cent said their health and well-being is now a greater priority, while 48 per cent cited family as the biggest priority, according to a new survey by Allianz Care.

The survey, which polled expats living in Canada, France, Singapore, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates, found 73 per cent also said the health and well-being of their family is now a crucial consideration in deciding whether to stay abroad or move back home.

When it comes to the reasons for originally moving abroad, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents said they moved abroad for personal development, while 40 per cent said they did so in search of a better work-life balance.

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Indeed, the pursuit of a good work-life balance was a key influencing factor for 70 per cent of expats in terms of deciding whether to stay abroad or move home. Among that group, 60 per cent said they have a better work-life balance living abroad than they did at home. That figure rose to 72 per cent in Canada and 71 per cent in the UAE, although 26 per cent of those living in Singapore found the work-life balance to be worse there.

“2020 has been a life-changing year for many of us across the world as we deal with the implications of COVID-19,” said Paula Covey, chief marketing officer for health at Allianz Partners, in a press release. “Massive lifestyle changes have been forced on us almost overnight, which in turn have forced us to reassess how we live our lives and reevaluate what’s truly important. The same is absolutely true for the expat community who are living and working across the globe. This comes across strongly in the increasing prioritization of health and family.”

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