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Monthly wrap: Has the Covid-19 crisis made it easier for people to work remotely abroad?

currency-newsMonthly wrap: Has the Covid-19 crisis made it easier for people to work remotely abroad?
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many workplaces to quickly embrace working from home, and interestingly, this has also led to a rise in remote working abroad.

It’s not quite the same as simply working remotely though, as working abroad presents lifestyle, tax, and legal issues.

So, we’ve put together things to consider, and potential pitfalls of working remotely abroad. As many nations head back into lockdown, these trends could set new precedents for the future of work culture.
 

First steps, will it work for you?


As tempting as it sounds to just leap overseas for an idyllic lifestyle, make sure it will actually work out first.
Living abroad for an extended period is still a big commitment after all, and all the usual pros and cons of living overseas still apply.

For example, it can help you save money to live in somewhere cheaper with lower living costs. On the other hand, it can be lonely if you aren’t willing to learn a new language.

It’s vital to carefully consider big decisions during this pandemic, and you’ll need permission from your company before you can start thinking about making any kind of move abroad.

Think about it from your employer’s perspective, working from home abroad can lead to complications in tax, social security, legal, and immigration laws which they, and you, will need to carefully consider.
 

The world probably isn’t your oyster... yet


Whether or not it will work also depends on which country you hope to move to. Your employer may only agree on a case-by-case basis, as different countries have different rules.

It’s best to prepare for the right time to move too. The pandemic is still a way from being over, and with the UK under fresh national restrictions in November, many countries won’t be allowing travel from the UK for the time being.

Even when UK restrictions are eased, other countries around the world continue to handle Covid-19 with their own tighter restrictions, such as popular winter destinations, like Australia.

It’s simple to check other countries’ travel rules through the UK government’s foreign travel advice page, so you can still plan ahead for when restrictions are lifted.
 

How you may need to adapt


Working from home overseas isn’t going to be quite the same as doing it back home. You’re not actually on holiday for one thing, keeping that work-week mindset and avoiding overspending could be challenging.

Your employer may not be able to change your work hours for the difference in time zone. If you moved to the European mainland for example, you may be working an 8 to 4 rather than a 9 to 5.

The intended length of your stay needs to be thoroughly thought through too, as you might be expected back home in the office at short notice, or if you do stay abroad you’ll need to look into some kind of resident visa.

If you manage to move to an EU nation in the short window before the Brexit transition period ends at the end of 2020, you would be able to register as an EU resident and avoid potential visas.

Outside of the EU though, immigration options will differ from nation to nation.

Should you intend to become a resident, it’s essential you seek advice on healthcare, taxes, immigration, social security and so on. You may be able to explore these options with your company’s guidance or a lawyer, just to be on the safe side.

Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll need a way to transfer your wages to and from your new home, which is made far easier with a specialist currency broker.

A currency expert can help make life easier for you, and make the most of your money by securing great exchange rates, automate regular transfers, and provide a 24/7 service.
 

A ‘new normal’ - will working from home abroad become more common?


Ever since major economies locked down for the pandemic, more and more companies have found they can continue to function effectively while significant portions of the workforce work from home.

With the threat of the coronavirus likely to persist well into 2021 until a vaccine is rolled out, it's only natural that businesses will continue to explore working from home policies that work for them and their employees.

And in many cases, companies are finding that working remotely abroad is surprisingly feasible.

After the pandemic ends, new company policies on working from home that had not previously been implemented could become part of a ‘new normal’ across the globe.
 
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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