Being an expat can be lonely at the best of times. At the worst of times, it can become insurmountable.
As the covid-19 epidemic keeps rolling, we enter another round of restrictions in Denmark. Many of us are facing a fresh case of cabin fever with our closest ones. For others, the picture is very different.
Those who have travelled far, in some cases across continents to work in Denmark, are suddenly even further away from home. Many expats find themselves stranded in their country of work, without the option to go back home without risking job loss.
Studies show that the kind of loneliness experienced by expats is a particular kind of loneliness linked to non-belonging in the most proximal group. Over time this state of loneliness can develop into more debilitation conditions such as acute sadness, hopelessness and in some cases anxiety and depression.
It would be of preventive value for the organisations employing expats, to be mindful of the amplifying effect of covid-19 on expat loneliness. When working with business and individuals, daily psychological safety in the workplace is often a focus area. Therefore, it is of high relevance to consider the impact on individuals when the social landscape of work becomes the only social landscape in which to create human connections.