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Wellbeing issues severely or significantly compromise the ability to function at work for over a quarter (26.4%) of overseas employees with wellbeing concerns, according to data released today by Towergate Health & Protection.

The figures are from one of Towergate Health & Protection’s leading global employee assistance programme (EAP) providers that looks after over 6.5 million employees worldwide.

  • 5% of employees in Africa who contacted the service said their ability to function at work was severely or significantly compromised by wellbeing issues.
  • 3% of employees in Europe said their ability to function at work was severely or significantly compromised.
  • 8% of employees in the Asia Pacific region said work was severely or significantly affected by their wellbeing.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Employers of staff overseas mustn’t underestimate how work can be impacted by employees’ health and wellbeing. These figures show that putting support in place is not just a nice-to-have, it’s fundamental for the business.”

Work impact is assessed at the time of intake and is based on a bespoke workplace assessment functioning scale. The assessment measures a range of outcomes including absenteeism, presenteeism, compromised performance and reduced concentration, with the impact on being able to function properly at work categorised from minimal/negligible to severe. Over a quarter (26.4%) of those contacting the global EAP service were categorised as having their ability to function at work significantly or severely compromised.

Most common issues

The data shows that some of the most common issues that impede optimal productivity for overseas employees are relationships, stress, and anxiety, but also money management, housing, and legal concerns.

Access to support needs to encompass all of these areas, such as via global employee assistance programmes that are holistic and can provide access to support for a range of interventions, from psychosocial to legal and work life services.

Specific support can also be extended to managers and family members too – widening the benefit to the business.

Sarah Dennis concludes: “While the data shows how detrimental poor wellbeing can be to a business, employers should take comfort from the fact that solutions are available to mitigate the impact, and we would encourage them to investigate such support which meets the specific needs that employees overseas face.”