In a recent revelation, Towergate Health & Protection has unveiled startling statistics indicating that wellbeing issues are exerting a profound impact on the ability of overseas employees to function effectively in the workplace.

The data, released today, underscores the urgent need for comprehensive support systems that address the health and wellbeing of these employees.

The study drew from Towergate Health & Protection’s global employee assistance programme (EAP), a service that oversees the wellbeing of more than 6.5 million employees across the globe.

According to the findings, an alarming 26.4 percent of overseas employees grappling with wellbeing concerns reported severe or significant disruptions to their work performance.

Across various regions, the extent of this impact varied:

  • In Africa, a staggering 54.5 percent of employees who reached out to the service acknowledged that their capacity to function optimally at work was severely or significantly compromised by wellbeing issues.
  • In Europe, 28.3 percent of employees expressed that their work performance was similarly affected.
  • In the Asia Pacific region, 25.8 percent of employees reported that their work was substantially hampered by their wellbeing struggles.

Sarah Dennis, the Head of International at Towergate Health & Protection, highlighted the critical nature of the findings: “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.”

Workplace assessments

The evaluation of work impact is carried out using a specially tailored workplace assessment functioning scale. This assessment encompasses a range of factors including absenteeism, presenteeism, compromised performance, and diminished concentration. The degrees of impact on an individual’s ability to function effectively at work are classified, spanning from minimal or negligible to severe. Among those who sought assistance from the global EAP service, over a quarter (26.4%) were identified as experiencing significantly or severely compromised work performance.

The data further disclosed that several common issues hindered optimal productivity for overseas employees. Predominantly, these concerns included relationships, stress, anxiety, as well as challenges related to money management, housing, and legal matters. The importance of offering comprehensive support spanning these diverse areas is underscored, and global employee assistance programmes that provide access to a range of interventions—from psychosocial to legal and work-life services—are deemed essential.

What does the support include?

The scope of support extends not only to employees but also to managers and family members. This comprehensive approach is expected to yield positive outcomes, benefitting both the individuals and the overarching business structure.

In closing, Sarah Dennis asserted, “While the data highlights the detrimental effects of poor wellbeing on businesses, employers can find solace in the availability of solutions to mitigate these impacts. We strongly urge them to explore such support systems, tailored to address the unique challenges faced by overseas employees.”

As the corporate landscape evolves, recognising and addressing the holistic wellbeing of overseas employees has become imperative for sustaining business growth and success. Towergate Health & Protection’s insights serve as a clarion call for proactive measures to safeguard the health and productivity of a globally dispersed workforce.





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.