Remote working is opening up a world of opportunity.
After all, when you’re logging in from your own front room, who is to tell you where your front room is anymore?
Could it be the beach café, a log cabin in the wilderness or a desk space in the world’s most exciting city?
Christopher Nye, Senior Editor at overseas relocation and homes website Property Guides, gives us the why, how and where of remote working.
It’s fascinating how remote working has changed over the past six months.
Are you still trying to have Friday post-work drinks on Zoom?
Do you all have to switch cameras on at your workplace or can you have early-morning meetings from your bed?!
Either way, it looks set to be the new normal, popular with 9 out of 10 workers, according to academic research.
At Property Guides we’ve been paying British people to write for us from far-flung corners of the world for 20 years, so we know a thing or two about remove working. Very remote working.
The first thing to mention is that the world appears – at first glance – to have just shrunk, along with your opportunities.
If Covid-19 hasn’t closed down relocation to your favoured long-haul destination, Brexit has just limited your opportunities in 27 of our near neighbours.
So, can you still do it?
Of course you can – and seeing how resourceful we’ve been in the pandemic, moving when it starts to ease will be a doddle!
First let’s look at how you do it, then where.
As of 1st January you’ll be a ‘third country national’ in other EU nations and unable to live within the EU full time and work without a visa.
Even that’s not as limiting as it could be, because if you stay for fewer than three months at a time and less than 183 days a year, you won’t have to get a visa. January to March in Andalusia, anyone? Then late summer in Tuscany?
But assuming you want to live in one place full time, everywhere from Estonia to the Algarve you’ll need a visa.
Work visas traditionally require you to have a job offer from a local company, but several countries have cottoned on to the benefits of attracting talented, adventurous and hard-working people from around the world.
They have launched ’digital nomad’ visas, which let you work for a foreign based company.
If you have the money you could opt for a ‘golden visa’. This is where you invest in a country and get residency in return.
These are surprisingly cheap in some countries, including the US which requires an investment of $500,000 for an E2 Visa – and remember, you’re not losing the money, just investing it.
Golden visas often allow buying a property.
So you not only get to own a property from a home overlooking a palm-fringed beach; but work there too.
(Now you’ll more tempted to put the camera on for your work meetings!).
Another option, open to around 10% of Brits, is to apply for an Irish passport and thereby keep your EU freedom of movement.
If you can track down birth certificates for just one Irish grandparent, the processes of applying are relatively simple.
So if you’re ready to take the plunge, where are the best countries to move to for today’s remote workers?
Barbados is one of several Caribbean countries offering digital nomad or golden visas, others including Antigua and Bermuda.
Barbados’s new ‘Welcome Stamp’ programme encourages remote workers to enjoy the island’s sunshine and beaches for up to one year.
You won’t need to pay Barbadian income tax either and applications cost around £1,500.
Cyprus can be like home-from-home, with a well-established British community if you want it.
It offers cheap and frequent flights home via easyJet, all year, and very reasonable living costs.
Taxes are low too and there are a range of golden visas available.
The Dutch are keen to welcome digital remote workers.
They offer a special visa for independent entrepreneurs, including freelancers who are earning more than €1,270 per month and have at least one Dutch client and a viable business plan.
Similarly, the country where Skype was born of course offers a digital nomad visa scheme for those working remotely for employers outside of Estonia or working as a freelancer for clients abroad.
You’ll need to show an income of at least €3,500 per month.
Germany was the first to introduce digital nomad visas, called ‘Freiberufler’.
This lets you freelance from anywhere in the country.
Berlin is one of the cheapest and most exciting of Europe’s capitals to live in. Munich is a pricier option, but so beautifully positioned for you to explore Europe.
In 2021, when we can travel again, the world will be your oyster.
Or will it be your øster, huître or устрица?
A great article with some amazing points on remote working. Let's be honest, if one good thing has come from Covid-19, it's that people feel a lot more comfortable with remote work.
Both employers and employees alike.
So, when you're feeling nervous about applying for overseas roles, or remote work in general, don't.
Face it head on, take yourself on an adventure. It's nowhere near as impossible as you may think.