5 Things We’ve Learnt About Working from Abroad Over the Past Year

Helena Sampayo
Helena Sampayo|

Aah, working from abroad. 

It’s a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Whether you’re a freelancer, a digital nomad or part of a hybrid team, the opportunity to work from another country is up there as one of the best hybrid work perks. Where’s my passport?! 

What have we learnt about working from abroad?

But for businesses, there’s a lot to think about. Not only do you need to find tools and processes that work for your team, you’ve also got time zones to consider. Oh, and did we mention the legal hurdles? *gulp* 

Doom and gloom aside, there are bountiful benefits to letting your employees work abroad—and many flexible companies are continuing to get it right. 

Keen to join the club? Here are five things we’ve learnt about working from abroad over the past year!

It’s still popular…but for different reasons

Cost of living crisis

In 2020, Hubble asked 1,000 employees a bunch of questions about their future work preferences—and 42% said they’d like to work abroad. 

And we were hardly surprised. After all, the series of national lockdowns and travel restrictions certainly gave us an appetite for it. But it’s the increased flexibility of hybrid working that employees really acquired a taste for—and that’s why ‘work from anywhere’ trends soared.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the consensus is still the same. But there’s a new incentive on the block: easing the cost of living crisis.

A recent study found that more than half of 36 to 44 year olds said they’d work abroad due to cheaper living expenses, and these figures are set to skyrocket as the recession looms.

But for us at Hubble, working abroad doesn’t just give employees more bang for their buck. It’s also a great way for businesses to reduce overhead costs and ‘flex’ the fixed office budget.

Portugal is the #1 country for remote workers

Portugal tram city

Did you know that Portugal was voted the best country for remote workers?

Yep, a recent survey conducted by travel website Momondo accredited local prices, social life and weather as prime factors for Portugal’s success.

Why? Well, not only is the cost of living cheaper than in many other cities, but it’s also a tax-friendly city for remote workers. The selection of government initiatives means fewer tax complications than in other countries, making it one of the easiest countries to work abroad.

And let’s not forget about the work-life balance. While citizens benefit from law that prohibits employers from contacting their employees after hours, digital nomads can immerse themselves in Portuguese café culture to rewind after work. Espressos don’t end at 5pm there! 

‘Work from Anywhere’ policies improve retention

Happy employee

It’s no secret that remote work can send employee retention skyrocketing.

In fact, turnover at Spotify decreased after they gave all 6,500+ employees the freedom to work how and where they want—including how often they work in the company HQ.

The result? 6% of Spotify’s employees have packed up to work abroad, and there’s been a boost in diversity and headcount growth in their offices worldwide.

For us at Hubble, it’s companies like Spotify that are paving the way for others to implement ‘WFA’ policies and reap the benefits—both on an employee and company level.

Keen to learn how other well-known brands envision the future of work? From Apple to Amazon, we’ve compiled a list of every company’s back-to-work strategy—so you don’t have to.

Getting the team together is still important

Team get-together

One of the biggest challenges for hybrid companies is keeping the company culture alive. But if you’ve got employees working across different timezones, this is even trickier.

Enter: The Annual Team Retreat.

With more businesses adopting ‘work from anywhere’ policies, the team retreat has become a linchpin of company culture. It’s the one time when everyone gets to bond with colleagues in-person.

So, People Ops pros need to be super deliberate with maintaining company culture. While this came to life with annual team retreats, we also saw an increased focus on better onboarding experiences and more inclusive policies this past year.

Planning your annual team retreat? We collated a list of 10 epic locations that’ll be perfect for your next workation. Take a look!

…and so are the legal logistics

It’s no surprise that hybrid working brought on a whole load of legal hurdles. So if you’re thinking of giving your employees the freedom to work abroad, ensuring you’re compliant is a top priority. 

From managing payrolls to conducting regular risk assessments, there are plenty of logistics to master. Not only will you need to properly equip your team to work from abroad, but you’re also responsible for their health and safety in their workspace—wherever that may be. 

While Hubble can help your team access a global network of on-demand workspace, we’re not exactly legal experts. But luckily, we know people who are. 

We teamed up with our partners at LegalEdge to help demystify the topic. We welcomed in-house lawyer Nick Pritchett onto the Hubble blog to cover all the legal implications of working abroad, so you’re well covered. 

How Hubble can help

At Hubble, we’re on a mission to help every company find their bespoke blend of office and remote work.

While Hubble HQ enables you to rent flexible office space by the month or longer, the Hubble Pass allows you book to on-demand workspace by the day or hour.

For us at Hubble, the latter is a must-have if your team wants to work abroad. Not only will they have access to coworking spaces, private day offices, meeting rooms and event space across 600+ locations worldwide, but they’ll also be able to work productively while they’re away.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

Keen to learn more about the no-strings-attached Hubble Pass? We’ve put together a quick guide that’ll answer all your questions, including how it works, how much it costs and whether its right for your team.

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