There is a famous saying that “home is where the heart is”. Thanks to the internet that could not be truer because it has enabled many people to now start working from home. In fact, the trend has become so pervasive that many people are choosing to leave the UK altogether and set up home somewhere else entirely. The people deciding to leave the UK can be split into three main categories.
Who does it?
There are the regular commuters who instead of spending an hour each way travelling to and from work choose to work from home. There are self employed individuals who only need to meet their clients occasionally which allows them to run their business from anywhere they choose. And then there is the global corporate employee who is continuously travelling, so may as well have their base set up wherever they like.
What do you need?
So what kind of technology do you need to participate in this alternative lifestyle and how much does it cost? Well the first thing you should know before choosing a destination is broadband is not available everywhere. Whilst this is rapidly changing, particularly as many countries are leapfrogging into mobile internet services, it is something you need to be aware of. If you intend to base yourself in Europe the law passed in 2017 means that mobiles and data dongles can be used anywhere throughout the EU without additional charges. Of course, since the UK has decided to leave the EU, it is not clear whether that law will remain applicable to British citizens.
No need for anything special
Assuming you do get access to broadband at a reasonable cost, then access to a VoIP service such as Vonage will cost you about £10 a month plus you get the bonus of having a UK number for incoming and outgoing calls. You can even opt for more sophisticated packages such as professional voice and video conferencing whose costs have dramatically fallen. This means you can connect with anyone who has a web cam and there is no requirement to install special software. You can even share screens create a whiteboard and it won’t break the bank
So what are the challenges?
For one thing, the best way to build a relationship is face to face and not online. However, if you already have an established business with existing clients and new ones being referred, then there is no need to worry about your location. There are however issues with time difference, so if most of your business is in the UK you shouldn’t stray too far away, otherwise you will end up finding that you are working at odd hours.
The trend is set to grow
The biggest challenge is probably going to be managing staff. You need to have a lot of trust in your employees to get the job done without you personally having to supervise. There will of course be a period of adjustment, but everyone is getting used to the fact the world is shrinking and overseas travel has become cheaper. In fact, some plane tickets abroad cost less than the price of a UK train ticket and the travel times are not that different. As you can imagine as technology continues to improve and its cost continues to drop, the work from anywhere trend is only going to get bigger.