Five often overlooked factors of working abroad

Digital Nomad - woman working with laptop on a beach - remote working

Employers are increasingly accepting of flexible working practices. Logging on from home has become a norm in many industries and remote working from abroad is now a more realistic option for many.

Enjoying life in a foreign country while working for an employer in the UK is an attractive prospect for many professionals. You can get the best of both worlds, but some key factors are often overlooked. What are these and why should you consider them?

Tax Laws

Travel money
Make sure you understand the tax laws

Tax can be complicated if you live in one country and work in another. You and your employer need to be aware of the legalities and regulations to ensure you aren’t breaking any rules. It’s quite easy to do this without realising.

The country in which you register for tax residency is important and usually depends on how long you are staying. For short stays of less than 6 months, you can usually just continue paying UK tax only. For longer stays and permanent residency, you may be liable to pay taxes in the country you are living.

Seek guidance from specialists if you or your employer are unsure of any legalities.

Cultural Differences

Understanding cultural differences is important if you are to integrate into a different society. These can be anything from working patterns to social etiquette.

For example, some regions in Spain close shops and businesses after lunch for a siesta. This is a short rest or nap that helps workers to avoid the hottest parts of the day and recharge for the afternoon. It can take a while to get used to this way of living, but you’ll soon see the benefits as you get into the swing of things.

Visas and Work Permits

Couple working on laptop on sailling boat - digital nomad remote working
You can be a digital nomad anywhere in the world

Processes pertaining to visas and work permits can differ from country to country. Many places will require you to declare if you intend on working during your stay, whether this is in local employment or as a digital nomad.

This can change the needs of your right-to-work application, so get to grips with the regulations wherever you are staying. Many nations now offer a digital nomad visa which is dedicated to people working abroad.

Health and Safety

You never know when you might require healthcare or emergency treatment, and staying abroad for long periods can make this more complicated. It’s better to be prepared with travel or health insurance because overseas medical fees can be significant.

Do research on the healthcare system in the country you are going to and identify what the process is if you get into an accident. There may be legal implications if you’re injured or you hurt someone else so it’s best to be aware of these things before you set out.

Social Support

Travelling with friends
Keeping your social connections open is key to happiness overseas

Depending on whether you’re travelling abroad alone or with friends and family, having a support group around you is important should anything go wrong.  Keep in contact with loved ones at home and get to know people in the country you are staying. Making connections can also help to make your experience much more authentic and they can provide support or guidance if you need help at any point.

Working from abroad is a very appealing opportunity, but there are many factors you must consider to make it work. Do your research and preparation, and keep your employer in the loop to avoid any complications.

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