New research reveals that over half of UK workers are eager to work overseas, with many indicating that such opportunities would encourage them to remain in their current roles for a longer period.

The study, conducted by employee mobility platform Jobbatical, highlights a significant shift in employee preferences, particularly among Gen-Z and millennial workers.

The research found that two-thirds (66%) of UK workers aged 18-to-34 are keen for their employers to provide opportunities to work abroad. A similar proportion (67%) stated they would be more likely to accept a job from a company that offers such opportunities compared to one that does not.

Across all age groups, more than half (55%) expressed a desire to work from a different country. Despite this strong interest, less than a quarter (23%) of UK workers have actually moved abroad for work.

Jobbatical’s findings suggest that offering international work opportunities could significantly enhance staff retention. Half of the UK workers surveyed mentioned that the option to work overseas would make them more likely to stay in their role longer.

Key Factors Driving Interest in International Work

The study identified several key motivations for workers seeking international opportunities: a better quality of life, improved salary and benefits, and a better work-life balance. These factors are particularly appealing in a post-pandemic job market where businesses are struggling to find and retain talent. According to a report by recruiting firm Manpower, 75 percent of employers are still having difficulty filling roles, with mid-sized companies (1,000-5,000 employees) being the hardest hit.

Karoli Hindriks, CEO and co-founder of Jobbatical, emphasised the importance of global mobility programs for companies aiming to attract and retain top talent. “A decade ago, people were searching for the most exciting office perks, but today, the allure of international living and a better work-life balance is at the top of the wishlist for ambitious, high-quality talent,” she said.

A Shift in Employer Strategies

While companies like Apple, Blackrock, and Meta are moving away from remote and hybrid working, more progressive firms such as Airbnb are embracing remote roles that allow employees to work from anywhere in the world. However, the research shows that 41 percent of UK employees work for companies that do not offer any international work options. Among those who do receive travel-related perks, only 21 percent have the option to work from anywhere, 14 percent have international relocation opportunities, and 12 percent have access to global work exchanges.

Jobbatical’s research underscores the growing demand for international work opportunities and their potential impact on recruitment and retention. Hindriks concluded, “To attract and retain travel-curious talent, companies should consider integrating global mobility into their employee benefits. Simple initiatives like workcations, office exchange trips, or international company offsites can be effective. More complex offerings, such as global relocation support and long-term office exchanges, require thoughtful planning but can significantly enhance employee satisfaction and loyalty.”

In a competitive job market, companies that recognise and respond to these evolving employee preferences are likely to emerge as leaders in attracting and retaining talent. Global mobility, if implemented effectively, can enrich employees’ lives and foster greater loyalty to employers, creating a win-win scenario for both parties.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.