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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Working from Home Is Common and Popular among Mexicans Working Abroad

Mexicans working abroad are highly educated and enjoy having the opportunity to work from home. The most common destinations they move to are the USA, Germany, and Canada.

Why do Mexicans move abroad? According to the Expat Insider 2021 survey by InterNations, 48% of Mexicans working abroad name their career as the most important reason for relocating to another country. Most Mexicans working abroad were recruited internationally (19%), were sent by their employer (18%), or found a job on their own (11%). Just 1% moved abroad to start their own business. Aside from work-related reasons, an above-average share of Mexicans working abroad (12%) originally relocated to go to school or university in their current country of residence (vs. 8% globally).

The Typical Mexican Working Abroad

On average, Mexican expats working abroad are 40.8 years old, more than two years younger than the global average (43.1 years). Among Mexicans working in another country, the gender ratio is split quite evenly between male (52%) and female (48%) expats. A slightly higher-than-average share work full time (86% vs. 82% globally), while only 14% work part time (vs. 18% globally).

Most Mexican survey respondents work in the field of manufacturing & engineering (14%), followed by IT and finance (11% each). These fields are also very popular with working expats globally, all three of them belonging to the top 5 most popular fields worldwide. Interestingly, however, the share of Mexican expats working in education (5%) is seven percentage points below the global average (12%).

Mexican Expats Are Well Educated and Hold High-Ranking Positions

When it comes to their level of education, the Expat Insider survey shows that Mexican expats are highly educated. In fact, 60% of Mexicans working abroad have a postgraduate degree / master’s degree, which is significantly higher than the global average of 47%. What is more, one in ten (10%) has a PhD, which is also above the global average (8%). Another 29% hold a bachelor’s degree (vs. 33% globally), and 1% of them have qualifications from commercial/technical/vocational training (vs. 6% globally). Not a single Mexican respondent says that they have only graduated high school (vs. 5% globally) or that they hold no degree at all (vs. 1% globally).

Mexicans working abroad also hold high-ranking positions when it comes to their current employment situation. A large share of Mexican expats (37%) work in a senior/specialist position, compared to 30% globally. Another 12% say they are top managers or work in an executive position, which is about the same as the global average of 13%.

Mexicans Working Abroad Are Very Satisfied with Their Jobs

Mexican expats have above-average levels of satisfaction with all the factors related to their current employment situation: Three-quarters (75%) rate their working hours positively (vs. 70% globally), and 70% are happy with their work-life balance (vs. 68% globally). This result is quite interesting as the average working hours among all Mexicans working abroad (full-time and part-time workers combined) are actually longer than the global average (41 hours vs. 39.9 hours globally).

The difference is even bigger when it comes to local career opportunities (55% happy vs. 49% globally), job security (74% vs. 67% globally), and the state of the local economy. Over four in five Mexican expats working abroad (82%) are satisfied with the latter in their respective host country, 17 percentage points more than the global average (65%).

Their high level of satisfaction with these factors is easy to understand when their most common destinations are taken into account. Mexicans frequently live and work abroad in the USA, Germany, and Canada. All countries rank in the top 10 worldwide for local career opportunities in the Working Abroad Index of the Expat Insider 2021 survey, and Germany also lands in seventh place for the state of its local economy.

A Good Compensation Is More Important than a Good Work-Life Balance

As Mexicans abroad rate their work-life balance and working hours so positively, it may hardly come as a surprise that these two factors are among the top 5 aspects they like best about their current job. However, there are two factors they appreciate even more.

When asked what they like best about their current job, over two in five Mexican expats (42%) appreciate the good compensation and/or good benefits. This is 14 percentage points more than the global average among all working expats (28%). In fact, only 29% of Mexicans working abroad make less than 50,000 USD a year, while 44% worldwide belong to this income bracket. Close to half the Mexicans working abroad (49%) make 50,000 to 100,000 USD (vs. 33% globally), and 17% even have a gross annual income ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 USD (vs. 12% globally). Only when it comes to the higher six-figure incomes are Mexicans not overrepresented anymore: just 4% make 150,000 USD or more per year, compared to 11% of working expats worldwide.

They Do Not Want to Do without Working Remotely

The other factor that Mexicans regard as a highlight of their current job is the opportunity to work remotely / from home, with 39% citing it as one of the aspects they like best. Luckily for them, over four in five (83%) have the opportunity to do so, and 69% of these like remote work. The share of those who say that they can work remotely but usually prefer not to (11%) is also below the global average (16%).

Overall, remote work policies seem to have been affected by COVID-19, as over half the Mexicans working abroad (53%) say that their employer’s policy regarding remote work has changed due to the pandemic (i.e., the changes will apply afterwards too). Nearly one in five (19%) say that remote work was newly introduced and is here to stay for them, while another 34% are now able to work remotely more often than before the pandemic.

What Mexican Expats Working Abroad Wish For

When it comes to their ideal work environment, a good compensation and/or good benefits remain most relevant for Mexicans working abroad. Close to two-thirds (65%) cite this as the most important aspect of their dream job, compared to 54% of expats worldwide. Apart from this, they also list a good work-life balance (48%), the opportunity to work remotely (32%), general career development (27%), flexible working hours (25%), and creative/interesting tasks (24%).

“Mexicans working abroad seem to have a very good idea of what is important to them in a potential future career, and they are already close to their ideal,” says Malte Zeeck, InterNations Founder and Co-CEO. “The top 3 aspects they appreciate about their job now and those they wish for in the future are fairly similar, with a good compensation on top of the list in both scenarios. While they also place considerable importance on general career development in their future career path, we can also see that they are not quite willing to sacrifice their personal life for this. Other factors, such as a good work-life balance, working remotely, and flexible working hours, are also very important to them.”

In fact, 74% of Mexicans working abroad say that factors like autonomy, freedom, creativity, personal development, and self-fulfillment are more important in the business culture of the country they are now living in, compared to Mexico. These values are closely related to the concept of New Work, which describes the new way of working in the global and digital age. On a global scale, just 49% of expats would say the same about their host country. Overall, 68% of Mexicans working abroad believe that New Work is important in the local business culture of their host country.

In fact, two of the three most common destinations for Mexican expats rank among the top 10 of countries where the concept of New Work plays a major role in the local business culture: The US comes first worldwide, followed by Canada (8th). Only Germany does not perform so well in this regard (35th), even ranking slightly behind Mexico itself (33rd).

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