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.
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.
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!
Here are a few related articles you may like to read …
All of the videos on our YouTube Moving to Spain with Children series were filmed at home:
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