Advice for negotiating your method of working remotely


If you work for a company and you would like to continue working remotely from another country, you have the option of bringing it up to your employer. The pandemic brough remote work with it and made working from home a viable option for many people, becoming a permanent company policy. This allows for the establishment of workers in other areas, including other countries, in accordance with the conditions the company has created.

In order to relocate to and work 100% remotely from another country, the first thing you have to do is inform yourself of the obligations that both your company and you as an employee have to the administration of the host country. You must also learn the advantages and disadvantages that this modality has for both parties involved. Only with this information will you be able to bring up your desire to work remotely from another country to your employer and start a conversation with them.

Why is it necessary to talk about working remotely with the company?

The answer is very simple. There will be a change of working conditions and therefore, negotiations must take place. Since it is a request from an employee, that employee must submit a proposal to the company that takes into account the pros and cons this model has, both for the worker and for the company.

The negotiation becomes even more complicated when it must address working remotely from another country, and it is important to emphasize that the company can deny the request. Therefore, the easier the process for the company, the more likely the request will be carried out.

Tips for negotiating with your employer

  • Show your commitment to the company: be honest and acknowledge the effort the company must put in to relocate you. Appreciate and thank them for their interest, and be open to negotiation, knowing that you will have to make sacrifices in order to work remotely.
  • Approach negotiations with an impersonal perspective: negotiations are difficult and if you receive negative feedback, you can’t think of it as a personal attack. The negotiations are about working conditions, not about people. This could affect you emotionally and cause the conversation to end badly.
  • Analyze the structure of the company: educate yourself on the opportunities and limitations that the company has. Think about the number of employees and the turnover rate, whether they have workers in the country to which you want to relocate, whether you have colleagues already working remotely or not, etc. This can help put your proposal in context and see what difficulties could arise for the company from your transfer.
  • Analyze your position within the company: assess what role you perform and the importance of your job for the company, and whether or not you could be easily replaced by someone else. This is how you can argue in defense of your job.
  • Think about your motivations for requesting remote work in another country: reflect on your decision and why it benefits you. For example, will you be closer to your family? Do you want to get to know a different country? Are you moving with a significant other? Settling down in another place can have many positive consequences for you, which is why you always need to keep your objective in mind during the negotiation. When analyzing your options, always have this objective weighing in, because you will have to give things up and your desire to move elsewhere will be a determining factor.
  • Calculate the cost of living in your country of relocation: if you renegotiate your salary, do not automatically assume that a decrease in salary means a lower quality of life. For example, the cost of living in the United Kingdom is not the same as in Portugal. Therefore, even if you must adjust your salary, it can still be beneficial for you.
  • Calculate the cost it will have on the company:in the same manner, learn the cost that your decision will have for the company. These costs are:
    • If the company has headquarters in that country: the company must abide by the legislation of that country and make the appropriate internal readjustment.
    • If the company does not have headquarters and would like to open one: they must attend to their tax and social security obligations and have a legal representative in that country, with higher economic and resource costs.
    • If the company contracts you through an intermediary company: they will have to go in front of a committee of the intermediary company.
    • To all of those listed above you must add the personal cost, both of time and resources.

In conclusion, to negotiate with your employer, you must keep in mind the costs of working from home in another place. You must be aware that you may have to give up some of the perks you currently have, like a part of your salary to cover economic costs or adjustments in salary due to the cost of living in the host country. This could also include social benefits like private insurance, any materials or equipment you may need, etcetera.