Covid -19 has influenced society in many ways since March 2020. How many of the positives like homemade meals, family quiz nights on zoon and home exercise will survive, remains to be seen. A trend that was happening anyway especially with Brexit too having created the perfect storm is one of people living and working in Spain, yet earning wages from another country- remote work.
I have many Swedish friends I play padel with here in Spain and I could not believe the numbers who had bought or rented a property in Spain, set up their work environment here and are very happy. One couple were working very hard in Stockholm, two jobs, two cars- the usual scene. Heidi knew she’d lose her sales job if they went ahead and moved to Spain. However, she negotiated a three months leave of absence. One month into it, she handed in her notice. Her husband, Peter can earn Swedish wages here in Spain and live for half, literally half the cost of living in their apartment in Stockholm.
Here are the top 10 pros of working from home according to Heidi:
- Remote employees save money. The cost of living here in Punta Prima is 50% less than what they pay back in Sweden, but their quality of life has not suffered. Sundays on the beach, afternoons in the padel club- By the way, a court in Sirocco club Mil Palmeras costs 16 euro for 90 minutes. In Stockholm they are used to paying 100 euro minimum for a 90 minute court. A lesson there costs 100 euro per hour!
- No daily commute to the office. Peter gets up and walks to work on his balcony. That is now his commute to the office- no traffic, no drama in the mornings, that he says alone makes the move to Spain worthwhile. He even walks his favourite dog before even checking his email.
- You can create a flexible schedule that suits you. As mentioned Peter and Heidi like to play sports. They can within reason, work their schedule around tennis, padel and golf, rather than the other way around. There is no time difference between Sweden and Spain, so that is especially convenient.
- Improved work-life balance. Undoubtedly, their life is better now. Peter’s career is still going where he wants it to. He works in I.T. but he is doing more sports, spending more time with his wife (and dogs) and is all together happier.
- More effective team meetings. Rather than being less efficient Peter said he now has better meetings with his Sweden based team. If he only had one hour for a Zoom, they tend to get down to business quickly, follow a schedule and get things done.
- Fewer distractions when working from home. I literally met Peter while he was working online in the Sirocco club, but as a general rule he works from his rooftop and is perfectly happy there. No annoying teammate sticks his head in his cubicle to ask what he thinks about last night’s football. He works, when he is at work and when he is off, he is really off.
- Less office politics. This was Heidi’s big thing- the office politics. She couldn’t stand it and loves the fact they are leaving that behind. I guess it happens in almost every office except the one you have in your own living room. If she decides to return to work, she can freelance without any of the hassle of being part of a sales team.
- Reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Both Peter and Heidi spent many hours every week stuck in Stockholm traffic. Not any more. Since engaging with Spanish Solutions to find them the perfect home in Spain, their only footprints are real ones, up the stairs in their own home.
- Increased productivity. Across the whole team, even the Swedish based staff members, Peter said things are better. If someone knows that Peter is expecting a report or an analysis of a situation done in time for the next Skype meeting, it tends to get done, he said. There is less room for excuses online.
- Better overall health. Both Peter and Heidi are exercising more, breathing better quality air, suffering less stress, eating better and guess what… their health is better in just two months. Peter has asthma but stopped using his inhaler regularly- I am not a doctor but that sounds great. Heidi lost 5 kg and quit smoking!! Would she have quit anyway, probably but maybe the move somehow helped. Either way they both say they have never been healthier. A nice compliment to Spain.
If you are thinking of moving to Spain to work remotely, Spanish Solutions can help.
We can get your accommodation sorted out. Are you buying or renting? Maybe renting for three months is a good idea? Either way, we’ll fix it for you.
Utility bills, taxes, car leasing, Wifi connection, legalities and everything really; Spanish Solutions will help you and maybe just like our friends Peter and Heidi, you too will discover a whole new life by working remotely in Spain.