Tips For Working From Home As An Expat

Lady working from home at a computer

For many people who move to a different country, the easiest kind of work to get into is some sort of online employment. There are tons of jobs online that skilled workers can do without leaving their homes, even if they have just moved to a new country.

If you’re starting new work online after having to change your country of residence, you’ll have to adjust to some changes. Each country is different for this kind of experience, but there are some similarities that hold true across most countries.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few things that may help you as you try to work from home.

This post is part of our Expat Lifestyle series

Who to Pay Taxes to?

This may not be a question you must answer right away, but it will eventually become an issue. The United States requires its citizens to pay taxes no matter where they live, as long as they work. This is especially important for people who are self-employed, as they will have to handle their own tax responsibilities and not count on an employer to do that for them.

It may help to talk to a tax service and get some advice about what paperwork you need to file and how tax laws apply to you. You may also be required to pay local taxes even though you’re working online for clients who may be living in another country. Tax laws differ from one country to another, so make sure you know about the ones that apply to you.

Learn the Clients’ Dialect

It’s hard enough to adapt to a new country’s language, even if it is just a dialect of the same language we are used to. There may be slight differences you need to note going from British English to American English or Australian English to British English, for example.

The adaptation process is even more complicated when someone moves from one country to another and then works for clients in yet another country.

Many online workers have clients from all over the world, and they have to be aware of the differences in language from one country to another. Google is there to help with all of that, but even so, you will have to make use of that tool to conquer the language barrier. 

Setting Up Payment

One of the trickiest aspects of working online in a new country is making sure that you can get paid. Services like PayPal and Payoneer work practically everywhere, but there may be some limitations based on where your bank account is located.

woman checking her online payments while drinking a coffee

You might think that you could simply use your banking service to make transfers, but that’s not always going to be simple and painless. Before you try to start working online, make sure you have a solid plan for getting paid and accessing those funds through a service that your clients or employers would be able to pay you with.

You may need to contact your bank and tell them about your new living arrangements. You can often carry your foreign bank account over to a new country and access it from there. You may even be able to earn money online, have it sent to your foreign bank, and then withdraw funds at local ATMs, but you should expect to pay some fees for that. You will likely also have to work out an arrangement with your bank to make that happen.  

Free Up Your Schedule

You might think that working from home will just allow you to work whenever it’s convenient for you, but you’ll often find that it’s similar to working a regular job. You will often be expected to work certain hours throughout the day, and you have to meet deadlines and stay in communication with your employers or clients.

All of that is going to take up a lot of your time, and you may want to look at ways to open up your schedule a little bit. You could hire a cleaning service to tidy the house, and you could have food delivered rather than spend time trying to make it yourself. These are just a couple of suggestions for giving yourself more time to work from home.

You Might Be Able To Keep The Same Employer

Just because you are moving to a new country doesn’t mean you have to give up your current job. More companies are allowing and encouraging their employees to work from home. Even though you leave the country, your employer may still want you to work for them.

Before thinking that you need to turn in your notice to quit work, talk to your employers about potential online work opportunities. They may not have a full-time position available for you, but they might just want to keep you on in some capacity and make use of the skills you have acquired. Otherwise, you can find numerous work from home jobs online.

lady working remotely on a screen talking to colleages

Consider Daycare for Your Child

Will you be able to work well with your kid at home? If your child is not in school, you may be wondering what to do with him or her. While taking care of your own child may be your preference, that might not be realistic. You should at least look into child care for your workday to give yourself more time and focus on work.

Child care services might not be as expensive as you would think, and they can provide a stimulating and safe environment for your kid, as opposed to an at-home work environment where you feel stressed out, and the child feels neglected. 

Once you start working from home, you will face many challenges, and you might not be prepared for all of them. Hopefully, this will help you become aware of some of them and prepare for the transition. 

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lady working with a headset on and a laptop holding a coffee, remote working

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