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Challenges in the UK's work-life balance is seeing Brits move abroad in a pursuit of happiness, according to a new study from AXA PPP.

The research found that four in ten expats left the UK in search of a better balance between their professional and home lives, 17% for better career opportunities and just over 10% in search of better pay.

And despite half of respondents not having a job lined up before moving, they are still willing to make the move abroad in the hope of achieving their career goals.

A third of respondents (32%) said their career has advanced quicker due to working abroad, with only a fifth (22%) needing to learn the local language of their new country of residence to succeed.

Tom Wilkinson, managing director at AXA PPP International, said: “The jobs market in the UK is doing well with low levels of unemployment and businesses competing hard to attract the best talent. Good employees therefore currently have very strong bargaining power in terms of remuneration, working pattern and location. Our research shows that a sizeable portion of people were willing to move abroad without even having a job lined up, highlighting a confidence that they would be able to land a suitable job quickly, creating a new kind of competition for talent which employers should be aware of. They’re not just fighting against competitors in terms of benefits packages anymore, but location and the possibility of new adventures too.

“Therefore employers need to be investing time in reviewing how they manage global mobility to ensure they retain their best talent. Carefully developed career development and succession planning strategies could enable businesses to support those employees wishing to fulfil the ambition of working abroad at the same time as ensuring the business continues to benefit from their knowledge, skills and experience and deliver their business ambitions.”

Additionally, the AXA PPP International research highlighted that 90% of expat workers who worked with local colleagues found they were very accepting of their presence. Respondents cited that the most difficult transition to make was learning the local language (27%) and understanding the different management and workplace cultures (both 13%). That being said, just under a quarter (24%) said the transition was not difficult to make.

Mr Wilkinson said: “Global working is becoming a far more attractive offer – especially with technology enabling people to stay in touch easily with friends and family back home. For ambitious employees, the attraction of working abroad and the benefits shown by our research demonstrate this, and we expect this trend to continue. Our results have also revealed that half of the expats we polled said that they settled into their new environment without difficulty when they first moved abroad, with 56% saying that they are there to stay – something UK workers may wish to contemplate during these cold winter months.”