Remote work is rapidly increasing in popularity across the globe, with many businesses cutting down office costs and offering employees alternative work arrangements. Since remote work involves working away from the office or on-the-go, many people assume that remote workers are free to travel as they please. However, it’s important to note that the rules governing remote work can vary significantly depending on the employer, industry, and work arrangement. In this blog post, we will examine whether most remote workers are allowed to travel while working from home.
The Legal Landscape
If you’re working as a remote employee for a company, you still need to comply with labor laws that govern employees, regardless of whether they work remotely or in an office. Employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are not in danger while working; this includes purchasing adequate insurance, providing safety equipment and mechanisms, and ensuring that work doesn’t involve activity that’s inappropriate or harmful.
As a result, remote workers might not always be legally allowed to travel while working remotely. However, this can also depend on individual circumstances. For example, if you’re working in IT or any industry that allows you to work from anywhere, with the help of a stable internet connection, you may have more leeway to travel as you work. Meanwhile, if your role as a remote worker requires you to attend meetings or collaborate with your peers often, you might be required to be present in your “home office” most of the time or whenever necessary.
Your Employer’s Policies
Another essential aspect of the work arrangements that dictate whether or not an employee can travel comes down to the policies of the employer. In many remote work situations, the employer will want their employees to remain productive and meet set goals or deadlines. Therefore, remote workers might have a limit to the time they can travel while working.
Some companies might have explicit policies on how long a remote employee can travel overseas while still being able to stay productive, while some might allow for this on a case-by-case basis. The policy of an employer can also depend on a specific employee’s situation, such as their previous work history or time zone differences further away from the office.
Lastly, a remote employee’s ability to travel while still being productive depends on their performance. The essential factor in sustaining a remote working career is productivity. An employee must be outcomes-focused and able to demonstrate that they can take on work and complete tasks on time without delays of any kind. If a remote employee can balance their everyday responsibilities and fulfill their obligations, then it is fair to say that they have the freedom space to travel.
Employees are expected to meet the expectations of their employers; failure to do so can ultimately lead to unsatisfactory performance reviews or even dismissal. Remote workers can only be productive while working and traveling when they show a strong work ethic and excellent time management skills.
However, with remote working becoming more mainstream following the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are increasingly flexible, with more remote workers allowed to travel while working remotely. Here are some of the factors that determine if you can travel while working remotely.
Some remote jobs do not require the employee to be at a specific location. These jobs are often in industries related to content creation, programming, software development, and digital marketing. Such jobs allow you to work from anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection. If your job is location-independent, your employer is likely to be more flexible with you traveling while working remotely.
Remote employers often have policies that dictate their employees’ travel allowances. Such policies typically include the maximum number of days that an employee can travel while still fulfilling their work obligations. Before starting to travel while working remotely, you should ensure that you check with your employer’s HR department for their travel policies.
Nature of work
The nature of your work influence whether you can travel while working remotely. If your work is time-critical (such as in customer support), you may need to remain on-call and unable to travel. For instance, if you work as a virtual assistant who needs to be on call during your client’s business hours, your travel plans will need to be made around those hours.
The ability for remote workers to travel depends on their access to communication channels. Some remote companies rely heavily on email communication, while others use chat or other project management software. If you are working with a company that relies on chat, project management tools, or other collaboration software, you may be able to travel while still being connected and productive.
If you are working remotely, especially for a company with employees or clients in several time zones, you may find that your work schedule is irregular. If you are working on the West Coast of the U.S. and need to work with clients in Asia, it may be necessary for you to work during the evening hours. In such cases, you can plan to travel during the day and work during the night. By understanding the time differences among your colleagues or clients, you can plan travel that does not interfere with work hours.
Remote work has revolutionized the traditional work model, allowing people to work from anywhere, as long as they can stay connected to their employers. One significant benefit of remote work is the flexibility it offers in terms of travel. However, as we have seen, the ability to travel while working remotely can depend on several factors, including the nature of the work, location independence, company policies, communication channels, and time zones.
It’s also critical to remember that the ability to travel while working remotely is a privilege, and comes with several challenges. It is essential to manage your travel schedule effectively to ensure it does not impact your productivity or work obligations. You will also need to ensure that you comply with any legal requirements if you travel internationally.
Overall, the ability to travel while working remotely is a fantastic opportunity that allows you to explore new places while continuing to work productively. However, before embarking on any travel plans, make sure you discuss with your employer and understand their policies regarding remote work and travel. By doing so, you can ensure a smooth and seamless transition that allows you to combine work with travel.