Remote Letter #13

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News & Views

4 major long-term psychological effects of continued remote work
Although scientific research has historically highlighted the benefits of remote working—including a boost in employee morale, health and well-being, and productivity—that was before the pandemic. The research assumed that working from home was a choice rather than a necessity and that organizations offered alternatives between telecommuting or coming to the office.

Croatian Prime Minister: Croatia Will Soon Introduce Digital Nomad Visas
Digital Nomads wishing to live in Croatia will soon be able to do so, as the country is in the process of introducing a Digital Nomad Visa, which will allow internationals who are engaged in jobs independent of location and time, to work in Croatia. The move has been announced by the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic himself, through a post on Twitter, in which he said that Croatia would adjust the Aliens Act to legally regulate the stay of digital nomads.

FlexJobs, Mental Health America Survey: Mental Health in the Workplace
For the more than half of employed Americans working from home during the pandemic—many of whom had previously been in an office—the sudden switch to remote work wasn’t without its challenges. From having to quickly get up to speed on remote technology to navigating a very new work-life balance, the transition was anything but easy. Even those who had already been working remotely struggled to deal with shifting job responsibilities and ever-increasing obligations at home. Millions of Americans found themselves suddenly unemployed, and people who continued to work outside of the home faced obstacles with social distancing guidelines and changing work hours. In other words, everyone has felt the impact. FlexJobs partnered with Mental Health America (MHA) to conduct a survey of more than 1,500 respondents to check in on how people are faring mentally at work during these unprecedented times. Here’s what we found.

Thailand to allow long-stay tourists in island of Phuket from October
Thailand will allow foreign tourists to visit for longer stays from October, a senior official said on Friday (Aug 21), as the government tries to revive a key economic sector that has been devasted by the coronavirus pandemic. Tourists will have to stay for at least 30 days, with the first 14 days in quarantine in a limited vicinity of their hotel, before they can visit other areas, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. The announcement comes after authorities suspended plans to create "travel bubbles" with partner countries as the number of coronavirus cases in Asia rose.

Coronavirus: Can I work from home overseas?
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more of us have been getting used to working from home. With social distancing measures still in force, some companies have suggested workers may not be back in the office until 2021. So if you're getting bored with the same four walls, are you allowed to pack up your home office and work remotely from another country?


Moving to a different state/country without telling your employer (job is technically not remote)
I notice that during COVID, a lot of people are moving to different states/countries without letting their employer know — even for jobs that aren’t technically remote (only remote during COVID). Won’t the IRS come after these people? Are they just going to have to lie on their tax returns to avoid paying taxes in 2 different states?

How many of you are beginning to work from places other than your home?
I’ve been working remotely for about a year now as a project manager. Over the past 5 months I’ve started feeling more comfortable taking trips that overlap with my workweek. For example, flying out on Wednesday, working from the hotel or AirBNB during the day on Thursday and Friday, and enjoying the experiences in the evenings/weekend. I am remaining just as productive, and feeling much more free/flexible now that I’m embracing the choices remote work offers. I’m forming a business providing a hardware solution to help facilitate this kind of lifestyle and wanted to hear if any of you are realizing the same benefits of remote work.

My company is officially going to full time remote work.
I work at a financial tech company. We're based in NYC and until recently basically our entire staff would show up at our midtown office every week day. After our company leadership put out a survey on what people want to do as far as going back to the office goes they've come to a decision. It no longer matters where you live in the country and full-time remote work is okay from this point forward. Already, a huge portion of my colleagues are discussing moving to Florida, Texas or elsewhere to get away from income tax. At our income levels it means instantly having an extra $10,000+ per year. I did love NYC pre-COVID and plan on staying, at least until it becomes obvious the QOL has decreased. However, I think a lot of people like my colleagues at other companies are going to use the opportunity to leave the city. Is it going to be a second exodus like we saw in the 60s and 70s? It has me pretty worried that things in the city will decline, tbh.

Around half the time I spent in front of my computer is administrative work. Should I charge for it?
Hi there buddies :) I've been working with a small development agency for almost 5 months. They pay me on time and they are nice people so I keep them happy with well-done work and an extra effort when needed, but there's a lot of administrative work I need to do in order to follow up on different projects with different people in the organization. I can spend up to 3 or 4 hours just writing emails, quoting, researching, commenting, and stuff like that. So I have another 3 or 4 hours for billable time (planning, coding, testing, adjusting, pushing changes, etc...), and at the end I'm billing around half the time that I dedicate to work.I don't charge for administrative work because as a freelancer there's not much of this thing, but I'm now acting like an employee, except that I'm still billing just a few hours as a freelancer, lol. Any advice, comment or suggestion is welcome. Note: I consider myself quite good at what I do but I'm still learning the freelance thing :p

Where should I move?
I'm privileged enough to be born in Denmark, where we have free education, but as for most Scandinavian countries, our weather is horrible and I find it quite depressing. I also lose my energy during the shift from summer. I figured you guys, greatly experienced travelers would be good crowd to ask for advice. What I'm looking for:

  1. A country with a reasonable first world salary
  2. Lower taxes, (Denmark is 40%, + 8% "work force contribution"
  3. Better weather


All aboard! Starting and departing jobs remotely (This Working Life)
Virtual meetings are tough enough, but imagine starting a new job where you can’t meet your new team members face-to-face. We hear some disaster stories but also how to best help workers start a new job or finish up including:
* the benefits of “coffee roulette” in "onboarding" new staff;
* the number of "touchpoints" (human engagements) you need for someone to feel truly connected at work and
* how to properly acknowledge retirement virtually.

Building a Remote Team and a Product Simultaneously with David Tabachnikov (All Remote Podcast)
In this episode, Anja talks to David, CEO of ScholarshipOwl. David shares his vast experience in building startups and teams across multiple countries. Being a nomad since 2016, David understands you don't need a physical space to get your best work done. What how does one manage building a team while building the product at the same time?

Career expert Kerry Hannon shares tips for working remotely (Jazzed About Work)
Prolific jobs and finance writer Kerry Hannon has a new book out, and it could be THE career book of 2020: “Great Pajama Jobs: Your Complete Guide to Working from Home.” In this episode, frequent guest Kerry offers good advice about how to secure and thrive in a work-from-anywhere job. We discuss how today’s job market is challenging but also full of opportunities, whether you want to try something different, get more control of your schedule or earn a bit on the side. For more tips from Kerry, see her website: