What’s the difference between remote working and Work From Anywhere? Are there tax implications to keep in mind? In this guest post, Flexa’s Farah Ali has the answers.
Work From Anywhere is becoming a highly sought-after benefit, with over 80% of candidates choosing WFA schemes as their top desired benefit when looking for roles on Flexa.
Since the start of 2022, this benefit has seen a 42.13% increase in demand and is currently the most desired benefit for the whole of 2022 so far. Millennials in particular are excited by the idea of being able to travel the world while working remotely. In order to attract the world’s top talent, WFA schemes are a great way to stand out.
Work From Anywhere vs remote working
Now despite describing two very different things, both of these sound similar and often get confused – so we’ve broken it down for you.
- What is remote working?
Remote working means working anywhere in the country you reside in, whether this be from your permanent home, a local beach, coffee shop or co-working space.
- What is Work From Anywhere?
Work From Anywhere means working outside of your usual jurisdiction – this form of working is considerably different in the sense of taxation implications which companies need to be exceedingly wary of.
Digital nomads – the glamorization of traveling and working abroad
When most people think of the term ‘digital nomad’, they probably picture themselves working by the ocean, drink in hand, and laptop on their lap – we have the world of social media to thank for that. In reality, it’s not the glamorous lifestyle we all like to imagine as tax laws don’t make it easy to simply work abroad for however long you wish.
Thanks for setting my expectations unreasonably high, social media.
Ultimately, Work From Anywhere has its upsides: you’ll have time to enjoy the weather, food, lifestyle or cherished time if you’re planning to visit your family back home. However, things such as tax implications which are relevant and may differ in each country can make it slightly more confusing and difficult to navigate, both as an employer and employee. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper…
What are the legal implications of Work From Anywhere schemes?
Working from anywhere is not as easy as it might sound, but why? Unfortunately, the world of taxation is never easy. It’s important to understand and know the legal frameworks and policies you need to follow before even thinking about offering this type of employee perk.
Every country has different rules and regulations around tax residency for example:
- Switzerland – tax residency applies after 90 days
- Hong Kong – tax residency applies after 90 days (if the individual owns a property in Hong Kong)
- Australia – if you spend more than half the year here you’ll be subject to taxation – find out more about Australia’s policies and tests
- UK – there are a series of rules and regulations set out by the UK, some things taken into consideration are, previous residency and family residency in the UK
Most often companies who offer WFA will follow a general rule of thumb offering anything up to 45 days maximum before it becomes a legal issue for you to work from anywhere.
With a 45-day Work From Anywhere policy, you’ll be “playing it safe”. We personally have not come across a country that suggests a new visitor to a country would be a tax resident if staying less than 45 days.
*However, we aren’t clued up on all the legalities and often rules and regulations do change, therefore it’s vital for every company to seek legal advice.
Will Work From Anywhere be a part of the future of work?
Work From Anywhere definitely has a future in the world of work, with travel being something that many of us love. The idea of being able to travel, whether that be for the purpose of pleasure or visiting family or friends that live abroad – without having to worry about booking time off as part of annual leave, is attractive for most.
40% of companies currently Flexified offer WFA schemes as part of their flexible company benefits. Many of us at Flexa have taken advantage of the 45 days WFA policy that we have in place, this year travelling to places including, Belgium, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Spain and Tunisia – and a couple of the Flexa dogs have joined on the adventures too. Some of us are already making plans on where Work From Anywhere will take us next year.
More and more companies are looking to adopt Work From Anywhere policies, however the mind-boggling world of taxation is the main deterrent, hence why we would always recommend seeking professional advice to find out where you stand. Once you’ve overcome these obstacles it’s a great perk to have as part of your employee benefits package – and be a main driver for attracting and retaining highly talented people whilst increasing employee happiness and job satisfaction.
By Farah Ali
Farah Ali is Content and SEO Lead at Flexa, the global directory of verified flexible companies.