You are currently viewing About 95% of Singapore expats in senior positions feel burnt out, survey finds

About 95% of Singapore expats in senior positions feel burnt out, survey finds

Most expats experience symptoms of burnout. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – A majority of expats in Singapore in high-level positions are feeling burnt out from work, according to a report released on Thursday (June 23rd).

The report is based on US insurance company Cigna’s 360 Well-Being survey, in which 95% of expats surveyed in Singapore said they had symptoms of burnout, with 36% citing the cost of living as the main stressor.

Personal finances and having too much work are also among the top causes of stress, with 29% of expats citing them each.

The study surveyed 11,922 people between the ages of 18 and 65 in 15 expat destinations including mainland China, Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East and North America between April and May 2022.

According to the study, around 98% of expats surveyed worldwide experienced symptoms of burnout, while 90% are stressed and 89% said they were unable to disconnect from work.

As memories of the pandemic fade in many parts of the world, its lasting impact continues to be felt.

Around 73% of expats said they had spent time reassessing their life priorities since the start of the pandemic, and 76% said being close to family and friends is more important than before.

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Since the start of 2020, countries have imposed movement blocks that have pushed companies to switch to remote working for staff.

Pandemic-related travel restrictions have affected expatriate workers, with 87% of respondents reporting feeling helpless, trapped or defeated and 86% expressing feelings of being detached or alone in the world. The numbers are lower among non-expats, with 68% of locals saying they feel helpless and 64% feeling detached.

More than a third are also worried or unsure about their financial situation.

The expat lifestyle has changed

The exciting, rewarding and globally mobile lifestyle that epitomized the “expat dream” has changed and more and more people are now prioritizing lifestyle, family and friends when planning planning for future moves.

“Many expats have had their lifestyle completely disrupted by the experience of the pandemic, separated from family, friends and colleagues,” said Jason Sadler, president of Cigna International Markets. “The challenge now is to rethink the expat opportunity to reflect the experiences and new priorities of those living abroad.”

Meanwhile, around a third of expats in managerial positions in Singapore said they were likely to move or return home within the next two years.

Among the expats who do not occupy the first places, the first destination of relocation is Australia, with 30% wishing to go there, followed by Malaysia at 20% and New Zealand at 13%.

Around 36% of expats in Singapore are driven to move for a better lifestyle, 32% for better financial prospects, 30% for closer proximity to family, 20% for better weather and 18% for a better job. . prospects.

Overall, the survey also found that expats who have spent more than five years working abroad are also significantly less likely to choose to quit, with just 9% saying they are likely to return home. against a quarter of those who have been abroad for less. one year.

The Asia-Pacific region has a higher proportion of short-term expats than other markets. About 57% of expats in China, 47% in India and 40% in Singapore have been working abroad for less than a year.

The survey also revealed that young people were interested in working abroad, with up to 37% of respondents aged 18-34 interested in jobs abroad, compared to 13% for those over 50. .

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen people choose to take on roles closer to home, moving away from ‘long-haul’ expat destinations, towards more localized regional roles,” Michelle said. Leung, Human Resources Manager, Cigna International Markets.

“With restricted travel memories likely to remain for the foreseeable future, the focus on being able to travel and easily visit loved ones will likely continue,” she added.

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