Over the last few months, it has become apparent that the way we work is changing. Since people were forced to work from home during the lockdown period and continue to do so successfully, this has become the ‘new normal’. Many are more than happy to drop their morning commute and use the time to create a better work-life balance.
The increasing popularity for remote working brings a whole host of new opportunities. Christopher Nye, Senior Editor of Property Guides – the experts in overseas relocation – explains how countries around the world are looking to attract remote workers who wish to make the most of their new freedoms.
Governments are calling for remote workers
When you think of working from home, sitting in the spare room, tapping away on your laptop and making endless cups of tea probably springs to mind. This is the reality for most of us. However, what if working remotely is your ticket to visit the places that you always wanted to?
Perhaps you haven’t been able to take a holiday to your dream destination because of money, time or work responsibilities. Taking a sabbatical to live abroad may have been unrealistic and the thought of trying to find a job in a new country may have seemed daunting. But with remote working, you get to keep your current job and take your laptop anywhere you wish!
As well as the prospect of travelling or settling down somewhere new, there could be significant financial benefits to this kind of remote working. Imagine earning a London salary whilst enjoying a low cost of living in Greece or Spain.
Previously, getting a residence visa for most countries was difficult without having a job there, however, this is changing. Governments have now begun to issue special visas for those who are working remotely.
Where could you work remotely?
Portugal is the ideal place to work remotely. There’s no time distance with the UK and it’s just a short flight away to anywhere in Western Europe. If you’re an EU citizen, you won’t need a visa to work here. If you aren’t, there several temporary and permanent visas on offer, which cover different sectors and professions. The non-habitual residency scheme is also a bonus, offering reduced tax rates and some exemptions for your first ten years in the country.
Aside from visas and taxes, you can enjoy a fantastic quality of life in Portugal. Enjoy the cultural delights of Lisbon or buzzing Porto. Surf on the Silver Coast or relax in peaceful Alentejo. Soak up the rich culture and get to know the friendly locals.
A hive of activity and well connected with the rest of Europe, the Netherlands is the perfect place to embrace entrepreneurial culture. Set up for remote working, you could experience lively cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, as well as smaller ones like Maastricht.
The country offers a special visa for independent entrepreneurs, including freelancers. If you earn more than €1,270 per month and you can show that you have at least one Dutch client and a viable business plan, then you could receive a residence permit for up to two years. Citizens of some countries, like the US, Japan and Turkey, are exempt from needing to show a business plan.
Imagine working remotely from beautiful Barbados – it doesn’t get much better than that! The Caribbean island has recently introduced the ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’, offering a one-year visa for digital nomads to come and experience the island’s well-known hospitality.
You may think that you’d feel ‘cut off’ when working from a tropical island. However, you can expect solid infrastructure with possibly the fastest internet in the region. You also have the advantage of being on the same time zone as New York, just four hours behind London and three hours ahead of San Francisco.
Not many people know that Estonia is the ideal place the work remotely. If you’re looking for a digital-first, innovative culture, then this is the place for you – they invented Skype here! You can take the opportunity to discover a beautiful country with its historic towns and villages thanks to the one-year digital nomad visa.
The capital, Tallinn is full of historic architecture, but it’s also one of Europe’s foremost start-up hubs. In 2019, 350 new start-ups opened their doors, showcasing the strength of the country’s entrepreneurial scene.
So, being a digital nomad can take you from a tropical Caribbean island paradise to sunny Portugal, to the Baltics and beyond. There are plenty of opportunities to relocate and work remotely – so what are you waiting for?
Photo credits – Insider