The survey of more than 22,000 expatriates from the world’s leading international bank reveals that career ambition is the number one reason why people take the plunge and settle abroad.
According to HSBC, Germany should be top of the list for ambitious globetrotters looking to further their careers in 2019. Germany has gone from strength to strength as a destination for foreign workers, overtaking neighbours Sweden and Switzerland to be crowned the best place in the world to work abroad for the first time.
Expats call out Germany’s productive work environment, great work/life balance and high levels of job security as some of the highlights of working there. Germany was closely followed by Bahrain and the UK in this year’s ranking. Details of these three countries, as well as the full top 10 from the 2019 ranking, can be found in the press release below.
The best places in the world to work:
- Germany (+1)
- Bahrain (+10)
- UK (+6)
- UAE (-)
- Switzerland (-2)
- Sweden (-)
- Singapore (-2)
- USA (+3)
- Canada (+1)
- Hong Kong
#1 Germany – Work to live not live to work
HSBC write that German businesses have clearly earned their reputation for efficiency. Expats rate it as the most productive workplace in the world – 65 per cent would describe it as productive. You won’t be expected to take the job home with you, however, as 70 per cent of foreign workers in Germany state that their work/life balance has improved. Some well-known German brands have even banned employees from reading emails on the weekend. As a result, respondents told HSBC that Germany has the second best working culture in the world, behind only Sweden.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of overseas workers in Germany also claim to have improved job security as a result of the move, the best in the world thanks to a highly regulated labour market. They also get the benefit of being able to turn to their Betriebsrat (worker council) if they need help, advice or support as they get settled into work.
#2 Bahrain – The best expat pay package
Rising 10 places up the rankings this year, Bahrain is attracting the world’s best and brightest with enviable pay packages. 77 per cent of foreign workers say their earning prospects are better in Bahrain than back at home, up from 62 per cent last year. Even more striking, the majority of foreigners that come to Bahrain for work receive an accommodation allowance (69 per cent), airfare allowance (68 per cent) and medical allowance (64 per cent), while one in four (23 per cent) can expect a bonus to help cover living expenses.
Taking the time to build face-to-face relationships is key to doing business in Bahrain, just one reason why it is the best place to go in the world to develop as a leader. The majority (59 per cent) of respondents in Bahrain say working in the country has helped them to become a better leader.
#3 United Kingdom – A melting pot for ambitious minds
Up six places in the rankings, internationally mobile citizens are raving about what working in the UK has to offer for both professional and personal development. Almost half of the people who move to the UK do so for their career. The average working expat in the UK sees gains across the board in work/life balance, career progression and earning prospects. The positive elements of working life in the UK also results in 58 per cent of foreign workers describing the working culture as better than in their home country.
Britain’s foreign workforce is young, educated and ambitious, more than two fifths (43 per cent) have a post graduate degree. Global talent has long powered the international melting pot of London and that does not appear to be slowing down. According to respondents, the UK is the best country in the world for those who want to learn new skills and the 4th best to climb the career ladder, narrowly behind Hong Kong, USA and Singapore.
John Goddard, Head of HSBC Expat, commented:
“The new year can often be a catalyst for considering where you are and where you want to be, particularly when it comes to your career. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ but if you’re looking for career inspiration, it may be worth going beyond the borders of your home country to find the place where you can thrive at work.
“Whether you are taking a calculated risk to secure the job of your dreams or moving to accept a big promotion, working abroad can have serious consequences for your finances. Knowing where to keep your savings, how to transfer money and protect against currency fluctuations is vital. Once you have the logistics in order, you can focus on seeking out new experiences, gaining new skills and learning more about your new environment.”