The pros and cons of working abroad in the era of online working and social distancing

Moving to and living in a different country can be a great experience (both personally and professionally), but we all know it’s not without complication. When you’re a self-initiated expatriate the move can also be more stressful because you don’t have organisational support and some of the certainties that go with it.

Now imagine deciding to move countries in the middle of a global pandemic! Getting used to the way things are done in your new host-country – from finding a place to live and registering with the authorities to joining a gym, for example – is difficult enough in ‘normal’ circumstances. On top of that you need to adjust to the new working culture, learn to work with new colleagues, and succeed at your new job role. Add lockdowns, masks, possible partial remote work, and social distance to the mix and you have a very challenging situation indeed. How do you learn (or practice) a new language, including the nuances of non-verbal communication, when everyone is masked? How can you integrate into your new society with social distance and lockdowns?

In this interactive online workshop, we will discuss the challenges and frustrations, but also perhaps the advantages (if there are any!) of global mobility in pandemic times. To gain insights on this topic, we will talk to two brave self-initiated expatriates who decided to move country last year. Blanca is an Early Stage Researcher in the GLOMO project. She’s originally from Mexico and lived in Ireland for over 20 years before moving to Bamberg, Germany in August 2020. Brian is an Irish IT professional in his 50s who had never lived/worked abroad before. In July 2020, following his heart, he decided to pack all his stuff into a truck and move to Denmark.

We are looking forward to hearing Blanca’s and Brian’s stories, and learning about the challenges and rewards of global mobility in pandemic times. The discussion will be mediated by Emilija (Cranfield University), who’s also a researcher in the field of global mobility of employees.

This workshop is organised by researchers from the GLOMO research project. The GLOMO project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 765355.

If you are unable to join this event on Monday 13 December at 5:30pm (CET) but, wish to receive a recording of the event after it has taken place please complete the registration form and select the box to request recording. This will enable the team to email the link for the recording to you. If you plan to join the event please leave this box unselected

Who should attend

Audience interested in global mobility of employees, expatriation, repatriation, international experiences and cross-cultural topics.


Free to join. Event will be held via Zoom and participants will receive Zoom link with the invitation a day before the event and a reminder a few hours before the event.