Monday, 10 may 2021 | Redacción CEU
One of the great impacts that coronavirus has had on the world of work is the growing commitment to remote work. Going to the office is no longer a must for many workers. Work is more autonomous and flexible now for them, and, as a consequence, they are not tied to the geographic location of their companies. It is a fact that is causing some of these professionals to change their residence, by choosing to live, for example, in a small village. All they need is a home with a good Internet connection and, of course, the approval of their companies. But, what if instead of a town they moved to another country? Is it a real option? Can they work in Spain while living in a foreign country? If so, what advantages and disadvantages does this alternative offer?
In recent years, terms like "empty Spain" or "gentrification" have given names to realities that have altered the shape of our cities and towns. The pandemic, in turn, has also brought with it new formulas that might change this alteration. Specifically, it has done so through telecommuting. If work is no longer linked to a specific place and companies are willing to allow their employees to carry out their activity from their home or any place that is prepared for that purpose, why should they live close to their company then? In fact, why should they live in the same country at all?
Living abroad while working in Spain
The pandemic has contributed to accelerating trends that could already be perceived in certain work environments: a more flexible, digital and new work culture, as well as a more flexible, autonomous and different conception of work. Its greatest example could be found in the figure of knowmads or digital nomads, who are professionals willing to change their environment or companies in search of professional challenges, new experiences, better conditions or to open new doors. For these types of professionals, whether they are self-employed, entrepreneurs or employed people, physical borders are not obstacles when it comes to accepting jobs. Therefore, working remotely for a Spanish company from abroad is another option.
In any case, it is not necessary to meet this type of profile to fit into the prototype of professionals who work from abroad for another country’s business. This is the case, for example, of expatriate workers: professionals who carry out their work in a country which is different from the one in which they were hired. Their work is not so closely linked to a digital profile and the decision to move is usually raised by the company itself.
Regardless of the profile, what can lead workers to living in a country other than the one their company is based in?
It will always depend on the country of destination, but this can be one of the main factors behind such decisions. Either because a certain company wants its workers to move there and pay them a higher salary or because in the country chosen by the professional the salaries are usually lower.
A different environment offers an infinite range of experiences and opportunities. These may be rewarding both at a personal and professional level.
The professionals who choose this alternative can learn, improve or perfect a language, learn from a different culture or come into contact with techniques and knowledge which are different from those of their country of origin. Telecommuting in another country might also serve as a springboard to aspire to higher hierarchical positions, mainly in the professional's country of origin.