What is a commuter assignment?
Commuter assignments are those where the employee works in the host country and travels back to their home country approximately once per week. Commuter assignments can be split into two types: multiple workplace and personal choice.
1. Multiple workplace commuter
2. Personal choice commuter
The pros and cons of a commuter assignment
Pro: Seeing family and friends more often
Pro: Accepting the assignment is less of a life-changing risk decision
Deciding to go on a long-term assignment abroad without knowing when you can visit home is a really tough decision to make. When you bring a family into the equation you have to think about things like moving children to different schools, separating your family from their social circles and potentially needing your partner to put their career on hold which could lead to trailing spouse syndrome.
Knowing that you can come home every weekend can help to make this decision process a lot easier with less effects on those who you love.
Pro: Chance of career progression that might not be available at home
Con: Cost of travel and environmental impact
Con: Complications and extra admin work for taxes and immigration
Con: Bad work life balance
You would think that traveling home on the weekends would lead to an increased work life balance but in reality many expats are exhausted from the journey when they arrive home and spend most of their free time traveling, resting and preparing to travel again. This can lead to strained relationships at home. Similarly, if you’ve been traveling and socialising all weekend you are too tired to connect or socialise with team members which can lead to strained relationships in the workplace.
Commuter assignments are on the rise with the ECA predicting a 60% increase of global mobility in international companies. However, if you’re considering being a commuting expat you must weigh up the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you.
Whichever way you decide to work abroad, look after your health and wellbeing with international health insurance from Allianz Care.