In truth, a survey by Redfield and Wilton Methods on behalf of i, discovered that 44 per cent of people who would normally work in the office were still working remotely in September – and practically six in 10 of these presently working at house consider they are going to be doing so at the least till 2021.
However whereas a few of us reconfigured our dwelling rooms to permit for makeshift house workplaces and scoured shops for desks, a rising variety of nomadic workers selected to pack their luggage and set work from overseas.
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‘I forgot there was a pandemic’
Software program engineer Peter Peter Johnstone, 26, was instructed that the start-up he works for is not going to reopen its workplace till subsequent yr.
“I didn’t should argue with work in any respect, we had been instructed we may go and do our job from wherever we needed. They have been very chilled about it.”
He took benefit of a deal on Airbnb, which gave a 50 per cent low cost on hire to those that guide a property for a month, and moved to Portugal with a good friend from mid-August to mid-September.
They rented out a three-bedroom transformed windmill surrounded by vineyards within the countryside, 40 minutes north of Lisbon, which value them £600 every for the month.
Though he continued to pay his hire in London, Peter mentioned the expertise was “completely pleasant” and he would advocate it to anybody whose job permits to do it.
He instructed i: “It felt fairly superb to get a change of surroundings and to be someplace actually rural in the midst of nowhere, I forgot there was a pandemic.”
Carlene, a 49-year-old expertise marketing consultant is one other fan of distant working and is now contemplating making a behavior out of it. For 5 weeks in July she traded her four-bedroom home in Brighton for a smaller property in Annecy, France, with direct entry to a lake for £850 every week.
Her husband, a pilot, and her three youngsters aged seven, 16 and 17 in addition to the household’s two canine travelled with her.
She mentioned: “My youngsters loved the liberty of outside life, swimming within the heat lake every single day, whereas I used to be capable of proceed to do my work.”
“I’m fortunate in operating a Cloud-based Microsoft consultancy – it’s simple to work from wherever with good WiFi. The form of journey we took was additionally a fantastic probability to consider a future technique for the enterprise whereas I wasn’t working day-to-day in it.”
Tessa Legal guidelines, 55, from Liverpool didn’t waste any time and moved to Israel in March for 3 months, earlier than travelling to Greece the place she spent one other 4 weeks in July. Sunshine and elevated flexibility in working hours have been the important thing elements behind her choice to take her job overseas.
Her husband, who’s initially from Israel, joined her there however couldn’t comply with her to Greece due to work commitments.
As a lawyer and CEO of her personal agency, she didn’t require anybody’s approval to make the transfer. She instructed i: “I assumed, if am going to be trapped at house, I’d fairly be in a spot the place the solar shines. As soon as all my face-to-face conferences have been cancelled, I knew that it might not matter the place I used to be. There was additionally a lockdown however I had freedom to go to the seashore and breathe the ocean air.”
The 2-hour time distinction with the UK additionally made her job simpler because it meant she had already caught up along with her emails by the point colleagues and purchasers have been waking up.
Tessa, who owns a home in London, additionally reckons she saved cash by spending July in Greece the place she rented a two mattress condominium for £30 an evening: “I should have saved about £1,500 in a month as a result of the price of life was so low cost – from eating places to purchasing my groceries”
Though, she’s now again in London she is considering of working from overseas once more subsequent yr – if Brexit permits – including that she would have thought of a everlasting transfer if she have been youthful.
“I used to be solely capable of embrace this life-style for that lengthy as a result of we’re nonetheless within the EU. We would wish to see what the laws are subsequent yr. If I used to be youthful I’d completely take into account shifting to Greece completely. In the event you’re trying to purchase, the entry level is a lot extra inexpensive there than in London.”
What it’s essential know earlier than shifting
As dreamy as working by the seashore sounds, there are many issues to contemplate earlier than reserving your flight – from taxes, to healthcare and, in fact, Brexit.
Speaking to your employer
As an worker the very first thing you’ll must do is get approval out of your employer.
Andrew Oury, companion at authorized agency Oury Clark, mentioned: “Staff want to return and have a look at the phrases of their employment contracts. Most, if not all, of those will state ‘administrative center’ because the workplace.
So, the reply to the query ‘can’t I work remotely from Spain, Rio, or wherever’ can, legally, be a agency no.”
In the event you’ve argued your case efficiently there are nonetheless some authorized concerns that each you and your employer should be cautious of.
Taxes, visa and Brexit
Legal guidelines range from nation to nation, however after a time period spent overseas there’s a probability you may must pay tax there. Mr Oury mentioned: “Technically wherever you’re on this planet, it’s a must to adjust to native tax and employment regulation, that means wages should be localised and a neighborhood payroll will probably be wanted.”
Subsequent yr, UK residents may additionally be hit by new visa restrictions. The UK is presently nonetheless sure to the EU’s guidelines. Because of this till the Brexit transition interval ends on 31 December, UK nationals nonetheless have the proper to stay and work wherever within the European Financial Space (EEA). Nevertheless, in accordance with Mr Oury, Brexit may have an effect on your rights to work and visa obligations in every nation.
Whereas those that made the transfer earlier than the top of the transition interval ought to be capable to keep afterwards, guidelines will not be but recognized for these planning to relocate from 2021.
One other factor to contemplate is your healthcare and who will probably be paying for it. Though there are some exceptions, most journey insurance coverage cowl clients just for brief journeys overseas.
Whereas these fortunate sufficient to have non-public medical insurance coverage as a part of their job contract will want to verify they’re coated in the event that they work exterior the UK.
James Berry, director of the UCL MBA, mentioned: “From an employer’s perspective, if there isn’t a state offered healthcare on supply regionally – the place do the employer’s tasks begin and end with this distributed working mannequin? This will likely change into extra of a difficulty after Brexit on condition that we don’t but know what the negotiated settlements will ship when it comes to state healthcare.”
These planning to remain overseas for longer durations also needs to take into account organising a checking account with a neighborhood lender to keep away from being charged for money withdrawals. Some on-line suppliers, similar to Monzo, additionally don’t cost for withdrawals within the EEA.
Regardless of the problems, it’s unlikely that the variety of “digital nomads” will decline within the brief time period.
A 2018 research by analysis agency MBO Companions discovered that about 4.eight million US residents recognized as digital nomads. Whereas within the UK, the variety of distant employees rose by nearly 250,000 between 2005 and 2015, in accordance with the TUC.
Mr Berry added: “There isn’t a doubt although that the brand new surroundings presents some fascinating alternatives and corporations that need one of the best workers have to grasp that expertise is a worldwide useful resource.
“The flexibility to work remotely offers workers the selection of taking new jobs at a distance in addition to opening up the recruitment pool for employers… and none of those points is insurmountable.”
And with the UK Authorities saying that the newest Covid-19 restrictions could last up to six months, who may blame employees for being tempted to flee the British winter?