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Voices from the Road:
The Personal and Family Side of Short-Term International Assignments and Extended Business Travel
(Sponsored by Dwellworks)

In Phase I of this study, we surveyed 1461 employees on unaccompanied short-term international assignments and extended business travel. We measured aspects of both the work and family context of the assignment, and work and family outcomes. What were the financial implications for the employees? Did they feel well-supported by their HR departments? What support services (like cross-cultural or language training, or support to stay in touch with their families) did they receive? Did they feel they had any control over whether to take the assignment, how long it would last, or their trips home? How easy was it to live a healthy lifestyle? Were they worried about their families? Did their absence have a big impact on their view of marriage and on how their household ran? Besides the challenges, did the assignment provide any advantages to them and their families?

We then asked how these factors were related to their (a) work assignment and (b) personal and family adjustment: How did they feel about their jobs, employers, co-workers, and the assignment itself? Did cultural misunderstandings or their temporary status interfere in any way with their ability to work productively? Would they take an assignment like this again? What would their spouses say about that? How about their mental health? Did they worry about their marriages while they were away? Did they use more alcohol than was healthy?

45 pages.

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© 2014, The Interchange Institute

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