According to Gallup, there are five essential elements to wellbeing. These five are at the core of Plus Relocation's Wellbeing program and they are:

  • Career Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing

I think it would be interesting to breakdown the entire expat experience using these five areas of focus to better understand the expat experience. 

But let's hone in on the last one, "physical wellbeing." It is an area that could (and does) dramatically impact the success of an expat assignment for the employee and the company. With so much invested in these assignments, maybe it is worth diving in further to consider those needs prior, during and maybe even after an international assignment and maybe not just for the assignee, but the entire family. 

While most every company has an international healthcare plan to support employees and make medical care (both routine and emergency) available and known. But how are assignments challenging or even improving the employee's regular health maintenance? What parts of the assignment experience are interrupting the employee's and family's physical wellbeing?

The Buddha once said, "To keep the body in good health is a duty otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."  

John F.Kennedy said,  "Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."  

So, I might be extrapolating a bit, but it seems to lead to the idea that by raising the physical wellbeing of each expat we would be then raising the ROI on your overall expatriate program. 

This article from Relocation Africa provides 10 fitness tips for expats in a new country. I know that basically no matter what time of day I get into my destination on an international trip, I have to get a workout in. Yeah, I am usually exhausted and not yet adjusted to a new time zone, but I have noticed that when I get a (even a short) exercise in, my internal clock resets and I more quickly adjust to my new environment. Taking a jog outside to see my surroundings is better than immediately going to sleep for me. I tend to sleep much better and have more energy when I have to get up on my new destination's schedule.

If you are an expat, or soon to be one, it is worth checking these tips out. If you support expats in any way, you might want to consider passing this article along. Regardless, these suggestions could ultimately improve the expat experience and raise the ROI of any or all international assignments. 

What do you do to get in the groove of your new destination time zone?