I’ve been working from home in Spain for just over two years now. And, you know what, I absolutely love it! I’ll show you why later.
Admittedly, working from home is not for everyone. However, for many people currently moving to Spain, it is a very popular option. As demographics are changing, families and couples are no longer moving over, looking to set up bars and restaurants (the expat “dream of the past”), many are able to work remotely, commuting where necessary ( ie. traveling overseas to work for periods of time and returning to Spain to enjoy the lifestyle) or, conducting the majority of their business via the internet and mobile devices.
The view from the office in my garden.
In this article, I am looking at the working from home in Spain idea and not working remotely. For different options for working remotely, that can also be implemented in Spain, read “Working remotely doesn’t mean you should work from home“. This will give you an alternative take on working from home or remotely and other options to consider. When you have read his opinions, you can read my own thoughts and then hopefully decide which is best for you.
If you research articles about “working from home” or “why work from home”, you will find lots of information about how you can convince your employer to allow you to let you work from home. They include reasons such as …
- With the advent of smartphones, laptop computers, and remote technology, studies show that even for many organizations, the advantages of having a plan in place for remote workers far outweigh the costs.
- With all the hurdles employees face simply getting to the office five days a week, the potential for costly absenteeism and inefficiency is definitely cause for concern. Remote working avoids this.
- Studies have shown that stay-at-home workers are actually more productive than their cubicle counterparts and they report higher rates of job satisfaction.
In all honesty, I’m not bothered about that. I’m not interested in keeping the boss happy. I’m talking about being the boss. I’m talking about you. I’m talking about me. I’m talking about working for yourself in Spain. I’m talking about why I, and maybe you, realise why working from home in Spain really does rock.
So, let me tell you my story …
About five years ago, my children had both started school in Mijas Pueblo. I decided the time had come to get back to work and look at regenerating my business. I decided that there was too much distraction at home and I needed my own space. A proper workspace.
After some initial research, I came across a small office in Mijas Pueblo. It was ideally located across the road from the children’s school. This meant we could all go up to the village together in the morning, the children went to school and I went to the office. At 2pm, when school finished, we all headed home for lunch. If I had to schedule afternoon meetings or had other tasks to complete, I would sometimes head back to the office in the afternoons, often when the children had after school activities.
This was great. For awhile. Then I started to get busier. I was using my office less. People were asking why my office was always closed. It wasn’t usually closed, I just made it look like it was to stop people “popping in”. After all, my whole reason for renting an office was to get my own space. People “popping in” invaded that space. I had started to feel trapped between four walls. It was almost like working for somebody else. That feeling that you had to be there at the times stated on the door. Even though, I had chosen the times and the advertised opening times were rapidly diminishing.
I started to consider the cost of my new “proper workplace”. On top of the extra rent and insurance policies, I was now also paying duplicate phone and internet lines, electricity and water bills. Did it make sense?
Actually, no. It didn’t.
So, I gave up my office and decided to work from home.
Skype chats with clients from here.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I had to fight with my own mind and with what I believed to be peoples’ perceptions. Particularly in Spain, I think we are lead to believe that a “real business” has an office. A “real business” does not just have a mobile phone number for contact. With all the scamming and scaremongering that has been talked about and sadly, is often true, about expat businesses in Spain, I was afraid that by giving up my office, I would no longer be considered as a “real business”.
However, that preconceived idea is wrong. An office and a landline will not protect you from people who intend to take your money and not provide a good service. Nor does a lack of an office and the use of a mobile phone mean that you will not receive a good service from a “real business”. For some reason, living and working in Spain can be very different from in many other countries.
Fortunately for me, my clients supported and respected my decision. They congratulated me on what they understood to be a difficult decision. They continue to promote my business and refer others to me. I thank and respect my wonderful clients for this.
If you have your own successful and reputable business, you have the freedom to decide where you prefer to work from when you move to Spain. With modern technology, we have freedom. If you are moving to Spain and planning to run your own business here, make sure you keep this at the front of your mind when looking for a place to live.
So, what advantages do I enjoy by working from home in Spain?
- I can stay in my PJ’s or swimwear as many hours as I chose.
- I can work my hours around our children and our family life.
- I can walk the dog anytime I just need to get out and clear my head.
- If I get hot and need a break, I can jump in the pool.
- We enjoy sit down family meals almost every day of the week.
- The fact the children finish school at 2pm is not an issue.
- I can schedule my meetings and Skype calls to fit around day trips and pool visits.
- I now only pay one phone and internet bill (actually the SL Company does).
- Our SL Company pays a monthly rent for using space in our house (rather than me paying somebody else to rent an office).
- I enjoy client meetings in cafes that serve excellent coffee and place with stunning views.
- I feel free.
- I feel creative.
- I look forward to “going to work”.
Which option is best for you? Carry out your research and make an educated decision. I cannot stress enough, the importance of a good gestor and accountant. The future lies ahead … Enjoy!
A great way to clear your head 😉
Here are a few related articles you may like to read …
Do what you love. Love what you do.
Business In Spain … A Crazy Idea or a Concept?
Setting Up a Business in Spain – Autonomo 1
Starting a Business in Spain: The cost of setting up an SL
All of the videos on our YouTube Moving to Spain with Children series were filmed at home:
Whether you are living in Spain or moving to Spain, having a reliable currency transfer advisor can save you a lot of money.
The following article is the first of monthly updates from Foreign Currency Direct that we will be sharing with you.
Here’s the latest currency update news for september 2014:
Following an extremely volatile few weeks for the Pound we finally have the decision from the Scottish referendum and Scotland has decided to stay with the U.K.
We saw a huge turnout as far as voting goes (84%) which just goes to show how much this has captivated Scotland and divided opinion north of the border.
Sterling has had a roller coaster ride against all major currencies over the past few weeks as polls have swung back and forth both ways after we had months of the markets almost assuming we would see a No vote.
More importantly what this means for the Pound is that it has bought both economic and political certainty to the U.K for the time being, both of which should give the Pound a little strength in the coming days.
Investors and speculators alike hate uncertainty and the mere fact that the referendum had seemingly been in the balance has been holding Sterling back recently even with fairly solid economic data still being released almost on a daily basis.
Sterling exchange rates have moved around three and a half cents from high to low against the Euro, four cents against the Dollar and ten cents against the Australian Dollar in the past two weeks as the markets try to second guess just what would happen with the vote.
Finally this morning the time has come and I am pleased to say the U.K will indeed remain as one and now hopefully politicians and the Bank of England can fully concentrate on pushing the economy forward as a whole, rather than having to unravel an exceedingly complicated tangle that may have cast a grey cloud over the Pound and kept it weak for months to come.
So what does this mean for me if I have currency to exchange?
Being an unprecedented situation, nobody really knows the exact impact this will have on Sterling but in my personal opinion I now feel that the Pound will kick on and gain a little strength over major currencies and heads can now turn towards if or indeed when interest rates may rise.
For those looking to sell foreign currency I would say now could be the time to secure your exchange rate. If you take the Euro as an example, it was only a few weeks ago that the European Central Bank not only cut interest rates but also indicated a few changes in Fiscal policy coming up. Most notable of these is QE (Quantitative Easing). QE can generally weaken a currency once put into place and was one of the big reasons we saw both Sterling and the Dollar weaken a lot over the past few years. In my opinion once the dust has settled over the referendum the focus will come back on to Europe which still has huge problems to tackle and I feel the Euro could be in for a tough time of things.
One must remember however we have crossed this bridge before and The Euro is a powerful beast. Only two years ago most analysts expected a rise through 1.30 when the Euro had even more problems than they do today and within a few months it was back below 1.20.
In essence the key thing you need to make sure you do is to keep in close contact with a currency broker no matter what your requirement in these particularly volatile times.
Here at FCD we pride ourselves on not only the very best rates of exchange but also in being extremely proactive for our clients, making them aware of any spikes in their favour or drops against them. We can’t let you know if we aren’t aware of what you are looking to do so make sure you. Contact us to place a rate alert in FCD’s system to make sure you do not miss out on a great opportunity.
There is very little out in terms of economic data today so I would imagine we will see the reaction to the no vote take centre stage throughout the day.
Sterling is trading at over a two year high against the Euro, a two week high against the Dollar and the highest we have seen against the Australian Dollar since March this year.
If you would like to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable traders about any currency pairing then click the banner below to request a call back or contact Lisa from Family life in Spain and we will contact you.
We receive numerous emails and requests for information, from people looking for jobs in Spain.
Despite the current economic climate and the horrendous statistics printed on a regular basis, in tabloids and on the television, there are actually still a wide variety of adverts for jobs in Spain to be found. That is not to say that we encourage you to move to Spain in search of a job (Sorry, we won’t go into that one again here!)
However, if you are living in Spain and are looking for work or you are planning to move and are interested in seeing what jobs may be available in the area you are thinking of moving to, have a look at these sources.
We will add to the list as we learn of other sources of jobs in Spain. Please feel free to add other links to websites as a comment below.
http://www.infojobs.net/ofertas-trabajo (in Spanish)
http://www.infoempleo.com/ (in Spanish)
http://www.monster.es/ (in Spanish)
http://www.tecnoempleo.es/ (in Spanish)
http://www.laboris.net/ (in Spanish)
For English Language Teachers:
LinkedIn Pages and Groups:
Alternatively, CLICK HERE to discover the costs involved in setting up an SL Company in Spain.
Would you like to avoid bank charges In Spain?
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to know how to avoid paying bank charges in Spain! The following post was originally written for our How to in Spain website and we’ve received so many comments that we’ve decided to share it with you here too …
One of the main challenges faced by newcomers to Spain is where to open a bank account. Unfortunately some of the best-known banks are also the ones that charge the most, with commissions on a cost-per-transaction basis or a quarterly fee.
So, let us show you how to avoid bank charges in Spain on not only Bank accounts but also credit cards.
Commission-free Current Accounts
Internet banking tends to be the best option with commission-free accounts such as the following: (more…)
Setting up a company in Spain is more than a challenge!
- Spain ranks 136th out of 185 on the World Bank’s survey on the ease of doing business
Despite reiterated pledges by the government to cut down on red tape, Spain remains one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to set up a business, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report, which was released late Monday.
Spain is ranked 136th out of the 185 countries included in the World Bank’s survey on the ease of doing business, three places lower than last year. On average it takes 10 separate administrative procedures and 28 days to establish a company in Spain, at a cost equivalent to 4.7 percent of the average annual per capita income.
The easiest places in the world to set up a company are New Zealand, Australia and Canada, while the most difficult are Ivory Coast, Iraq and Surinam. In this component of the World Bank’s report, Spain ranks, among others, behind Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, Iran, Kosovo, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Ruanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Yemen and Zambia.
A Seville businessman recently spoke of the odyssey he had to go through to set up a business in Vejer in Andalusia, one of the regions in Europe with the highest jobless rates. It took him three years after having to go through four different administrations, at a cost of 10,000 euros.
Setting up a company in Spain remains the most arduous aspect in terms of ease of doing business in general in Spain, which ranks 44th in this component of the survey.
The original article can be read: Here
To keep up to date with changes in procedueres in Spain and day to day bureaucracy, sign up HERE
Click here to discover the costs of setting up a Company in Spain.
WORKING IN SPAIN – IS IT VIABLE?
Everyone knows, of course, that Spain is in the middle of an economic crisis. Unemployment is frighteningly high (around 20%), credit is difficult to obtain and the collapse of the Spanish construction industry has affected a whole series of associated or related businesses.
So, should you assume that working in Spain is simply not viable – at least for the time being?
Well, if you intend ‘bowling’ into Spain without a plan, very particular skill or ‘know-how’ then the answer is almost certainly yes! However, know what you are doing and how things work here and you will find work in Spain.
As we say, time and again, in The Secrets to Working and Making a Living in Spain there are opportunities here, albeit that you need to think laterally or aim for a couple of stable growth industries. One of the latter is teaching English – the importance and profitability (and fun!) of which should not be discounted.
Meanwhile, the Spanish property boom (with its largely unskilled workforce and poor building control) has left a lot of debris behind it relating to house construction. This opens the door to considerable opportunities to those with particular construction related skills. Indeed, for qualified building surveyors, underpinning experts and so on the problems are so extensive that Spain is a veritable ‘feeding’ ground for those seeking (and able to provide) this type of specific problem solving work.
However, not everyone has specific skills to offer that fit within the limited scope of what is possible in Spain now. If this is the case for you then you are not doomed! Indeed, our solution is for you to learn how make to money from working on the Internet (whether full or part time).
Does this sound ridiculous or impossible? Are you non-techie and someone who has never considered working on the Internet? Is this unknown territory?
If so, then you should read “Secrets” because the truth is that making your living from the Internet is possible – in fact, not only is it possible but it allows you to earn your living anywhere in the world (so long as you have an Internet connection).
The great thing is that earning a living on the Internet encompasses a vast range of activities – amongst which you will certainly find earning activities that suit the skills you already have. Indeed, many ways of making money on the Internet such as web marketing and trading (such as with domain names) mimic conventional work and all you need to do is to adapt them for cyberspace. In many cases, this is easily done.
Can you really learn to operate on the Internet and make it work for you and earn money from it – I hear you ask?
You can – and much of “Secrets” is devoted to taking you step by step simply and clearly through how the Internet works – and then how to make it work for you. Quickly you will see that you can make a living by providing services to others and/or start up your own business and then capitalise upon opportunities that you may never have dreamt of!
Indeed, if you are seeking to work in Spain then it is our contention that working on the Internet (the great growth business of the 21st Century) is the answer. Can you really afford not to know how to use it? In any event, where else can you start a business that is virtually risk free, has almost no overheads and can be done just about anywhere in the world (whilst operating worldwide)?
So, is working in Spain viable?. Certainly – if you know the secrets to doing so…
‘The Secrets to Working and Making a Living in Spain’ is available here.
CLICK HERE to discover the costs involved in setting up an SL Company in Spain.
Once you have decided that you have a viable concept rather than a crazy idea for setting up a business in Spain, you need to decide what is the best type of company to set up.
Possibly, the easiest and most cost effective way of setting up a business in Spain is to register as autonomo (self employed) .
To register as a self employed person in Spain:
- Go to your local social security office with your NIE (Número de Identidad/Identificación de Extranjeor) and passport to obtain your social security number NAF (Numero de afiliación a la Seguridad Social). If you do not already have your NIE, you can follow the instructions here or contact us
- Once you have your social security number (NAF) , take this to the Agencia Tributaria and ask for a Modelo 036 or 037 to register the activity for your new business. Here is a list of autonomo category codes you can chose from. Ensure you chose the right activity for your new business as this will decide the level of business tax IAE (Impuesto sobre Actividades Econimicas) you will be subject to. If unsure, contact us .
- Return to the social security office with your bank book to set up the monthly social security payments.
How much will it cost?
The biggest cost of being self employed in Spain is the social security payments that are approximately €250 per month. In some circumstances this amount can be reduced. For further details about social security, click here.
Accountant fees for submitting the correct quarterly and annual VAT returns and tax reports can cost anything up to €150 per month. For a professional accounting service at a much lower fee, prices starting from only €65 per month (excl. VAT), contact us.
You are also responsible for advance income tax payments IRPF (Reglamento del Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas). These are paid on a quarterly basis and on presentation of your Annual tax report (Declaración de la Renta) you may be entitled to a tax rebate.
For a list of Autonomo category codes in English (CNAE) in Spain, click here.
For an explanation of the Autonomo category codes click here.
Is it a crazy idea to set up a business in Spain?
Unemployment in Spain, as in many other countries, is currently at one of its highest ever levels. Finding work in Spain, especially if you do not speak Spanish, is a lot harder than back in the UK.
You are not entitled to unemployment benefit in Spain until you have been working, and most importantly, making social security contributions over a minimum period of 360 days within the last 6 years before you became unemployed. (To read more about “claiming unemployment benefit in Spain” click here).
A popular option for many expats in Spain, and maybe even for you, is to start your own business. What? How? Why? I hear you asking … but this idea may not be as crazy as it first appears.
Do you have an original concept? Have you noticed a gap in the market that could be filled by your concept? Do you have some basic funding to start up? If so, what have you got to lose? There is no time like the present.
It has been seen that many businesses that start up and survive when times are tough, go on to flourish and expand as the economic climate improves.
So now we have got you thinking about it, CLICK HERE TO have a look at the costs of setting up a business in Spain.