Working remotely in your holiday home abroad

The Pandemic that began in 2019 has changed the way some people work. The Monday-Friday, 9-5 office-based routine was thrown out of the window, as hundreds of thousands of UK workers have discovered that working from home is not just possible, it’s highly desirable. There’s less daily commute (which saves both time and money). They can still participate in meetings via video conferencing, set their own hours and – as long as the work is done – everyone, including the boss, is happy. In fact, bosses have also found telecommuting beneficial, with lower rental costs for smaller offices and greater worker productivity.

Working from home – the latest statistics1

A survey back in 2020 by Finder.com found out just how dramatic the home working revolution had become. Following the government guidelines, around 60% of the workforce left the office behind and set up a remote home office during the first lockdown. Of those asked, 26% said they intended to carry on homeworking even after workplaces opened again.

Pros and cons of homeworking1

It seems that working from home is a ‘no-brainer’ for some. Not only do homeworkers save at least five hours per week on commuting times, but the Finder.com survey also found that each homeworker saved money too. The average saving per worker is around £44/week, with Londoners saving up to £57/week on expensive commutes, lunches, and those skinny lattes on the way to work.

Various surveys found that workers believed they were more productive working from home. Employers thought the same, too, with two-thirds of employers reporting increased productivity among remote workers when compared against office-based staff.

However, there is one key downside, and that’s something we all suffered from during lockdown – isolation. Around 1 in 5 homeworkers reported that they occasionally struggled with loneliness.

Heading abroad – remote working from overseas

The evolution of faster, more reliable internet connectivity, fibre broadband, and computer software like Zoom and Teams has revolutionised working from home. Not only has it negated the need to be in the same office, but today, you don’t even need to be in the same country. However, before you head off to your holiday home abroad and work from your sunny terrace, there may be a few things you should bear in mind.

Tax and visa concerns2

If you’re a big decision-maker and work from a property overseas, it could affect how you and your business pay tax. Not only would you need to pay UK tax, but the country you’re living in may require you to pay income tax through their system as well. You will need to check the regulations in the country you’re living in. It may depend on several factors, such as how many days per year you spend in the country and your visa status.

Check the visa requirements first before you settle in for a six-month stint with your laptop by the pool. You may need a specific work visa to work in the country you’re living in. Outside of the European Economic Area, you may need to apply for a visa annually or even every six months.

You’ll need to let your boss know too. Not only because of the potential tax implications but to ensure that you’re not in breach of any employment contract clauses. You’ll also have to factor in that the data protection laws are now different in the UK to those across the EU. So your remote working process will need to factor in both sets of legislation. The same goes for company perks such as medical insurance, which may not be valid if you’re not working in the UK. And if your salary is paid in the UK, your bank may charge you excess fees when you try to access your account from overseas.

Working in the sunshine

But despite all these caveats, working from home in the sunshine has its obvious attractions. In our experience, countries such as Spain, France and Portugal are top of the list for overseas holiday homes for UK nationals, with other destinations like Cyprus and Greece following closely behind. The laid-back lifestyle, sunny weather, and cheaper living costs in countries like Cyprus and Greece have made holiday homes and second homes in these sunspots seriously popular.3

If you have a holiday home or second home abroad, don’t forget one key thing – insurance. In the same way that you’d insure your UK home and contents, you’ll need to consider the same kind of cover to protect your assets abroad. However, if you’re working from your second home, it may be worth talking to your second home insurance provider about any additional cover you may need. For example, that expensive laptop may need to be insured as a separate item on your holiday home contents insurance policy.

If you’re planning to head off to the sun on a more long-term basis, talk to Intasure today. Our years of experience in providing overseas home insurance in more than 40 countries worldwide makes us experienced when it comes to helping protect your overseas assets. Use our online form or call us and talk to one of our specialist team today.

Policy limits and exclusions may apply, please see policy wording for full terms and conditions.

Resources:

1 https://www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics

2https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/careers/remote-working-abroad-digital-nomads-practicalities-employer-flexibility/420440

3https://www.aplaceinthesun.com/articles/2022/01/top-10-best-places-to-buy-abroad-2022

The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.