EHS Management

Employees Abroad May Not Feel Safe

Do you have employees who travel out of the country as part of their job duties? If so, you may be interested in the findings of a 2017 survey by Cigna Corporation. Research on the well-being of “globally mobile individuals” suggests that those working overseas generally perceive themselves as worse off compared to individuals who reside in their home country and have not taken overseas assignments.

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The survey of more than 2,000 individuals working outside of their birthplace looked at indicators including physical, social, family, and financial wellbeing.

While those who work abroad noted the opportunity to accumulate wealth, they also reported concern about illness, specifically cancer, accidents, and mental illness such as depression. More of the globally mobile workers were worried about diseases associated with alcohol consumption than other workers.

According to Cigna, a third of those questioned say they feel less safe than they did 24 months ago. The sense of insecurity was highest in the United States, with 42 percent saying they feel less safe, and in Africa, with 31 percent agreeing. Cigna, an insurance provider, concludes that a gap in health insurance may contribute to elevated levels of concern.

Cigna notes that 40 percent of the survey respondents do not have medical benefits offered by their companies, and 15 percent have no health coverage at all. Cigna concludes, “There is a clear need for employers to pay attention to the health and well-being of their globally mobile employees. This duty of care should extend outside of the office when employers are interacting with their families and the local community.”