Majority of British ex-pats working overseas now work flexibly, claims report

Sunburned Simon CowellThe majority of British expatriates who work overseas embrace flexible working arrangements, according to a survey commissioned by NatWest International Personal Banking. More than two thirds of those surveyed have exported their preferred working practices as well as themselves as they seek a better lifestyle and work-life balance overseas. Flexible working is most common for ex-pats in English speaking countries such as Australia (85 percent), New Zealand (79 percent), USA (78 percent) and Canada (76 percent).  However the survey of 1,800 ex-pats also reveals that flexible working is even prevalent for Brits working in other countries such as China (53 percent), UAE (48 percent) and Singapore (47 percent).

According to the report, all of the respondents claimed – unsurprisingly – that technology is important to their productivity with almost four in five (79 per cent) describing it as ‘essential’ and 92 per cent agreeing that technology such as video-conferencing makes their working lives easier by reducing their need to travel. Over nine in 10 (93 per cent) say they enjoy a better working life as a direct result of using technology, with 94 per cent claiming it improves efficiency in the workplace.  As we reported last week, flexible working in the UK is now almost universal so it’s interesting to see that Brits are exporting their working preferences with them as they move abroad, along with a lack of respect for the midday sun and a remote hankering for proper teabags and Marmite.

According to Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking: “It is clear that technology has transformed the working lives of British expats. It has made juggling different roles and responsibilities much more feasible as individuals who before had to balance being at the office all day with doing school runs, parents/teacher evenings and sports days can now fulfil both their professional and personal responsibilities simultaneously. The companies that can provide the tools and culture to enable individuals to make time for personal commitments during the working day, will reap the rewards when it comes to attracting and retaining the best employees.”