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When work and travel collide – How to work remotely abroad

Once COVID restrictions began to ease last summer, many of those working from home decided to leave the UK and jet off to warmer, more idyllic locations for the duration of the summer. With no requirements to be in the office, they were free to work from wherever they liked.

Many British workers have been stuck in the UK for over a year now, and with many looking like they will be working from home for the foreseeable future, doing their job remotely from overseas is looking like a desirable prospect.

What workers want

A survey conducted by Medicspot, surveyed over 1,000 remote workers, and found 4 in ten workers now want to pack their bags and do their job remotely from overseas. Spain was their top choice, followed by Italy, France, Portugal and the Caribbean. 69% of workers noted better weather as their primary concern for working abroad, while half said it is because they missed the opportunity to go abroad on holiday during the pandemic. Almost half (45%) said that the draw of lower living costs could pull them away from the UK.  A beach resort was the most preferable working location for 64% of respondents, whilst over half liked the concept of working from a European city.

How the travel industry has adapted to this

People are now embracing the idea that they can live and work anywhere. Traditionally you had digital nomads that already worked in this way, working remotely rather than being physically present in the company’s headquarters, however the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge increase in remote workers, some of whom have become digital nomads for the first time, opting to work in new locations and even new countries.

Although the opportunity to fly off on holiday is fairly limited right now, the travel industry has noticed an opportunity in the flexibility now available with this new way of working, and the changes are likely to last way beyond the pandemic. Airbnb noticed an increase for searches in houses with Wifi in 2020, and decided to offer a discount on longer stays to adapt to the shift in consumer behavior towards travel. Countries like Barbados and Cayman Islands are now trying to entice prospective visitors with extended work visas, enabling people to live there for up to a year.

How to work abroad legally

It’s a very tempting prospect to jump on a plane and go and work from one of these countries but it is important to check with your employer before making any decisions. Different countries have different rules when it comes to taxes and if you are considering working there for a long period of time you could be sent a tax bill. There is also the matter of visas which varies based on differing destinations. On top of that, Brexit means that Brits can only spend three months a year in EU countries.

Also, if the country you’re staying perceives that you’ve set up business there, this may depend on what type of work you’re doing – for example whether it’s simply support work or whether you’re creating new business – you could have major tax and legal consequences for your employer. If you are unsure and looking at working abroad for a few months it is best to seek legal advice.

If you are a freelancer or contractor, it can often be easier to work from multiple locations. If you are a freelancer, take a look at our recent article on how to avoid problems working abroad as a freelancer.

How we can help

TCP Solutions is part of the People 2.0 group, the leading provider of contingent workforce engagement solutions globally, operating in 40+ countries.

If you are a contractor working remotely then TCP can provide a remote based setup for contractors across the globe.  We are able to use our local companies, across the 40 countries that we operate, as the employer of record, and manage the tax and social security on a monthly basis within the country where the work is being done. TCP will also manage the administrative side of the employment, issuing contracts detailing the work they will be doing for you/your client, processing their salary payments and issuing monthly pay slips. TCP will also act as a point of contact throughout.

If you would like further information about how we could assist you and your company regarding working with contractors remotely, then please contact call a member of our sales team on +44 (0)208 5800 800, or send us a message via our contact page. We would be delighted to speak to you regarding the possibilities.