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When it comes to work and life balance, there can be challenges that come from working and living overseas – both on career and in families.

Recently, Bloomberg released information about top locations for US companies who are shifting their place of incorporation overseas.

US Corporate expats overseas

As Strati Georgopoulos stated, “Dublin has become the modern destination of choice for US corporate expatriates. Ireland has an attractive corporate tax rate of just 12.5%, as well as a highly skilled English-speaking workforce. By comparison, France has a corporate tax rate of 33.3% while the UK’s stands at 21%. As a result, a whole host of tech companies, pharmaceutical giants and management consultancies have shifted their HQ from the US to the emerald isle, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Where applicable, I think it’s great that companies take advantage of building an international team. Building a team around the world can lead to developing awesome talent, not to mention employees get more exposure to people from different parts of the world.

But, when you’re dealing with an international workforce, that leads to other challenges for your employees. Challenges might include:

  • Employees typically must work across multiple time zones, which may lead to working odd hours and impacting personal and family time.
  • Moving families away from their known environments, including schools, friends, doctors, extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Employees need to travel for long periods of time when working and living overseas.

So, when you’re considering to encourage an employee to work overseas for your company, have them think through all the ramifications of moving to that part of the world. Here is a list of topics for the employee to consider:

  1. Medical needs of employee and all family members moving overseas.
  2. Academic pursuits.
  3. Current housing situation.
  4. Housing arrangements overseas.
  5. Storing and protecting special belongings.
  6. Extracurricular activities of any family member.
  7. If the family can’t move with the employee, consider the impact on their relationships.
  8. Evaluate the travel schedule of the employee and impact on family.
  9. Dietary concerns.
  10. Distance from extended family and close friends.
  11. Cultural differences.
  12. Length of employment overseas.
  13. Language barriers.

I’m sure the list could go on and on. But, I want to list a few topics to help get the conversation started. If employees don’t think through the impact on their family, moving them overseas could be devastating to their family and personal lives.

Personally, I think it’s a great opportunity for families to move overseas. For example, the opportunities to explore other places of the world is wonderful for all members of the family.

I asked a couple of my friends who have lived over seas for awhile and the overall biggest success for them is the ability for their family to bond together and experience cultures that they would’ve never experienced had they continued to live state-side.

Maybe experiencing other culture’s is not important to you, that’s totally understandable. But, if you’re going to move overseas, I recommend that you get really clear about your reasons for wanting to live away from your home turf!

For you managers, make sure your employees are clear about why they’re willing to go overseas… and don’t make it about money. Money always leads to issues.

Have fun and bon voyage, my friends!