If you’re one of the “lucky” ones that was able to move to a virtual position in the past year or so, we’ve got some great tips for you. We said “lucky” in quotations like that because we know some of you out there don’t really feel so lucky with it. And that’s okay, too, because our tips may just turn your opinion completely around.
Virtually every business owner wants to keep their employees happy and as such, many of them do allow you to work from anywhere you please as long as the job gets done and you properly follow security procedures. So, if you’re wondering how you can work remotely and travel, keep reading.
Check Company Policy
Even though you are probably considered a “virtual” worker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can work from anywhere you want. Some companies have strict policies regarding where employees can work due to tax laws and other reasons. So, if you don’t want to have to negotiate your severance pay, check with HR to ensure that you’re allowed to work from anywhere you please.
A really important thing to consider before becoming a “digital nomad” is what kind of schedule your position demands. Are you required to be at your desk for a solid 8 or 11 hour shift? Or are you able to work as you please as long as the job gets done?
A definitively set schedule doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t travel and take advantage of deals on flights from Charlotte, Oklahoma City, and just about any airport near you. It just means that you’ll be limited on what you’ll be able to do and when, especially if your employer is in a different time zone.
You need to also seriously ask yourself whether you’re disciplined enough to be able to work while everyone else is out at the beach or enjoying the sights. Or do you tend to slack off when no one is watching?
If you’re able to work well without someone looking over your shoulder, then working remotely while traveling could be a good fit for you.
Check for Deals
Depending on the time of year, you can find discounted lodging along with those discounted flights mentioned above. Furthermore, some internet providers provide “anywhere” connectivity (as long as there is cell phone reception) and if you look around, some are very affordable for virtual workers. Which of course means that you wouldn’t have to rely on the hotel’s internet service for proper connectivity.
Otherwise, make sure you ask about internet availability, connectivity, and speed. You definitely don’t want to plan a tour of D.C.’s original neighborhoods, the White House, the Smithsonian, and all the other great sites only to get to your hotel and find out that it’s impossible to connect to work.
If you’re working remotely and traveling to another country, you’re probably still going to be responsible for your income taxes back home. Even though you may be working in a different country on a tourist visa or with legal residency, you’re not necessarily absolved from paying U.S. taxes.
While there are programs like FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) that you may qualify for, we are in no way tax experts and you should definitely consult one if you’re working abroad remotely. Working from home has a lot of benefits, but if you’re not someone who likes to stay at home, it can seem like the worst thing ever. Fortunately, if your company allows it and you keep the above tips in mind, you could be working from the beach next week.