What to consider when taking the step towards remote work in Europe


Disclaimer: In this article we summarize problems and their solutions, which we are facing moving our homeoffice or remote work space to another country in Europe. This is no legal advice and we recommend working with a lawyer to make sure you are not doing anything illegal.

The Reason
You decided to move your work place up to six months to Spain but you don’t know where to start? We are here to guide you to the process of start working remotely.

In this article we speak the steps you need to undertake to go abroad, about the challenges you might face moving your workplace and what you need to know about regulations. So let´s start from the beginning by showing you how I moved my workplace to Gran Canaria:

About me
I am happily working full time as a IT consultant. Since the beginning of 2020 I was no longer obliged to be at the company’s office. In the end of 2020, I decided to move my office to the Canary Islands. The Covid restrictions were getting stricter at that time in Germany and I saw the opportunity to have a sunny and care-free wintertime over on the islands. My first challenge was to get the “okay” from my boss.

In my company we have the end of the year evaluation around October. I used that moment to speak about my wish to move my workplace for a couple of months to Spain. I was very grateful when my boss gave me his “okay”, with the condition to be physically available whenever I needed to be in the office in Germany.

The first steps
We highly recommend to inform your HR division, to ensure that there are no legal problems arising. To move your workplace to a different location in the EU, the rule of 183-day-regulation applies. It states that employees, who work for less than 183 days in another state and receive their wages for example from a company based in Germany, are still liable to pay tax in Germany.

In consequence that means, where you spend most of the year working, that is your regular work place and you are obligated to pay taxes and social security in that country (https://www.ttt-group.com/knowledge-base/test-article-global-mobility/). This is a complex rule and if you are in doubt please seek legal advice.

After I clarified everything work related with my employer, I needed to find accommodation. Luckily my girlfriend lives on Gran Canaria and I knew where I was getting accommodated. I was sure to have a stable Wi-Fi connection and an appropriate workspace available. For everyone not having a connection on the island, finding accommodation and stable Wi-Fi is probably the biggest challenge in the beginning.

To start at the biggest platforms, like “Airbnb” or “Tripadvisor” is good to get a rough understanding about the prices from the different locations. For longer term renting, “Idealista” is a good tool to get a different kind of options. In Spain it is usual to rent houses that are fully furnished. If the interior is always good looking, is a different question. In most cases getting an apartment via “Airbnb” comes with the benefit of a stable Wi-Fi connection. While renting an apartment, for example via ‘Idealista’, is maybe cheaper, you need to organise the Wi-Fi situation by yourself. To get an internet contract in Spain you need to have a NIE number, the tax number for non-Spanish citizens and a Spanish bank account. This makes everything a bit more complicated.

Therefore, Go Remotical helps you finding the right place for you on the islands, a good accommodation with stable internet and providing you with the office equipment to set up your workplace. Check out our services on https://go-remotical.com/remote-go-people/.

Once I’m there
Now all the preparation is done, I am allowed to work from the Canaries and I have an accommodation. Time for my flight to my sunny destination. But how am I finding new contacts and friends in the time I am there? Am I actually going to feel lonely there?

A remote work community on the Canary Islands already exists. There are a many people looking for new connections and are always up to make plans with each other. Besides, while doing activities, for example a surf course or joining the gym, you might as well make some new friends. There are basically everywhere people who would like to share your experience and time on the islands. If you have still some doubts, we are happily support you. We are offering several events and activities with Go Remotical to connect you with other remote workers on the islands. We have regular tables where you can connect with other remote workers and we are also planning regular social events for you to try new things and to enable those connection with other Remoticals.

But what if I have an accident in the time being there? Who is going to help me?
Accidents can happen and especially when you are in a foreign country, this can quickly turn out to be a bigger problem. Recently I had an accident and the wound needed medical attention. The knowledge where to go to get the best and fastest help, what to do and not to do, was really important.

Because we know how important the health of our clients is, Go Remotical offers a 24/7 call service in case of any emergency. You are not alone on the islands and we are supporting you fully in any situation.

This leads us towards the topic of insurances. Especially traveling foreign countries, insurances can be a life saver. We speak here of remote working in Europe, that means you are mainly covered with your European health card. The European health card is the most basic coverage possible, it does not guarantee free services and after a certain time in another country (between 60 and 90 days) it stops being valid. So please make sure you are informed, how long your insurances are covering you on your travels, to not end up in a position where you need to pay a big bill on your own.

If you have any other worries concerning insurance, check out our insurance page and what we are recommending for your Remotical on the Canary Islands. We are partner with Passportcard and Passportcard Nomads and we help you out with all the questions you have around your insurance.

My experience
In the end, making the step working remotely from the Canary Islands was the best thing I have ever done. I have first-hand experience about how scary it is to make that step and what difficulties to face, but it was totally worth it. The freedom and opportunities the islands are offering for activities, exploring and meeting awesome people are endless and I would like you to experience the same

Read & share
If you interested in real life stories of people already working remotely, check out our interviews and our story blogs, where we give updates on recent events, typical days of Remoticals or other remote working topics.

Get in touch 
Feel free to write us your story or experience of remote working at Facebook or Instagram. We are always keen to learn how other people handle their remote work.

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