Expatriates and Family, how to manage it?duguech
The process of expatriation affects not only the employee but also their family. The worker adapts to the change easier because the work environment facilitates interaction with the new environment, but for their partner and children, it can be more complicated. The family is not always in favour of the move, or the arrival in a new country where they struggle to adapt.
Managing these familial relations in the process of expatriation cannot be taken lightly as indicated by the “Global Mobility trends survey 2015”. The study shows that “those who work abroad in general have three qualities: they are men (81%) middle aged (59% are between 35 and 54-years old) and have a family (73%).”
What can business do?
The expatriation process is a positive experience if all the family members live it like an opportunity to grow and expand their horizons. This can be facilitated by the business by providing solutions to basic necessities such as meals and accommodations, schooling, language, and transportation. Yet success is guaranteed if, in addition to solutions to basic necessities, the business also provides means for intercultural formation and self-realization.
When the family moves to marvellous places, but with an unstable social or political situation, worries about the collective wellbeing come to the surface possibly frustrating the expatriation process.
To facilitate the process, the company should amplify its focus on the capacity of its employees. It is not enough to provide training regarding their future work environment. Providing tools that will alleviate the culture shock for the entire family is also necessary.
Offering fundamental support to the expatriated workers who have familial responsibilities, such as Intercultural Training and psychological services or coaching, should be provided by the company.
What can you do?
The worker and their family should accept that if they decide to move, they should do so with enthusiasm, open to the change. Enjoy the new location, sign up for courses and group activities that will help build those first relationships to adapt.
Loneliness is one of the biggest conflicts that an expatriate faces in the first period of their transfer, to face it with the family is very different. Be grateful for the opportunity to live the experience as a family, it will help in the moments of nostalgia. However, one is going to have to accept it as part of the experience.
Children are also expatriates
The adapting of children in a new environment is easier if they are taken into account in the process. With these small tips, you can make sure that your children feel more comfortable with the new destination:
- Explain with enthusiasm that the decision to move is from a desire to progress and create better wellbeing.
- Read guides and consult maps about the destination.
- If the traditions of the destination country are very different, make sure to maintain family traditions at home.
- Extracurricular activities, sports clubs, and parent groups help facilitate contact between children of the same age.
- Keep in touch with family members and friends using the internet frequently.
What are other elements would you recommend facilitating the expatriation process for the family and, above all, for the children?
This information does not constitute legal advice, solely serving informative purposes. In the case of needing professional legal services in the areas of Global Immigration and Mobility, contact our firm.
*It should be noted that the norms of any of the countries listed and the procedures suggested might change at any time without notice.