Concerns of HR and how to convince them to let you Work Remotely on an Island
So, you’ve found a wonderful opportunity to work remotely with your current company! Your quality output has increased, and you have developed a routine and work schedule that works great for you and your family. Plus, you get to spend more time with your kids throughout the day and you feel more involved with household duties.
But, something else may be missing from your life. Maybe you’re going ‘stir-crazy’ without the stimulation of office gossip, lunches with co-workers, and the active, energetic environment the office can provide. You’re looking for something a bit different.
The ‘work from anywhere’ slogan is popping up all over the place, via social media and other informative platforms, and it seems to be tugging at the heartstrings of many. People are beginning to wonder if their dreams of working remotely from an island can actually come true.
But, there is one thing that many seem to forget — if you are not self-employed, working on an island, or abroad in general, may be a difficult sell to make to your company. There are rules and regulations companies must follow for employees, and working on an island can make those difficult.
So, before you resign that your dream may never happen, take a step back for a moment. There may be ways you can work with your HR department to still make working remotely on an island come to fruition! Don’t give up hope!
Here are 5 Concerns of HR and how you can convince them to let you work remotely on an island!
1. Hardware Supplies
When employees work remotely, employers still must provide the hardware required for them to do their job efficiently. Laptops, chargers, and possibly printers or other pieces of hardware would be supplied for you to function on a day-to-day basis. But if you work on an island, there are other considerations.
Your company would be required to ship that hardware to hard-to-reach places, and probably pay a good amount of insurance to get it there. Not to mention, salty and humid environments can wreak havoc on electronics. This may be something you can negotiate with them. Make an effort to agree to take the hardware with you when you travel (so they don’t have to pay for shipping), and show them ways you plan on keeping the hardware safe and as protected from the elements as possible.
Depending on your island of choice, the taxes required for your company can vary in amount and can change based on the length of your stay. Your company may not agree to some islands based on this information, but may be more lenient if you choose one that doesn’t break the bank for them.
The issue of taxes can be difficult to work around with your company, and may be one they aren’t as negotiable on, so hear out their concerns, and try to be flexible with your destination, especially if it means they are more accommodating for some places. You may still get the island life you’re dreaming of, but in a different location.
3. Visibility of the worker
One concern your HR department could have is your work visibility and how you appear to your management and colleagues. There may be concerns of resentment that while many are working away either in the office, or in their home, you’re sipping mai tais on a beach during a conference call with the coastal breeze blowing into your microphone.
You need to stress to HR that you are still a professional, after all. Carve out a home office, even if it’s at a kitchen table, and show that you are still prepared to work hard to get the job done. You will also need to explain your availability, and let them know that even if there is a time difference, you plan on overlapping hours in some way to continue to work with them.
4. Income Changes
Another pressing question that HR may have could revolve around your income. Since island life can be a bit more expensive due to import costs, your company will wonder if they need to pay more for your position, and exactly, how much more. This is a valid concern, after all, and one you need to think about clearly.
Are you prepared to keep your current salary while working remotely on an island, even if it stretches you thin financially? Or, are there things you can do to make your current salary work if they cannot meet the cost of living? Also, keep in mind, they may want to decrease your salary to cover the taxes. Mull this over before approaching HR regarding your wish to work remotely on an island and make sure you can make the financial pieces work comfortably.
Do a little homework before approaching HR and make sure you understand insurance that is required for workers on the island for which you plan to relocate. Most islands require health insurance and many require traveler’s insurance. You may need to work with your HR department on getting your own traveler’s insurance, as that might not be one they’re willing to contribute to.
Make sure you’ve gone over the insurance costs yourself, as well, to make sure it fits within your budget in the event you have to get your own health insurance. You may also need to persuade your company that you’re not going to be leaping out of helicopters to paraglide over volcanos, as well, and that your day-to-day activities should be similar to those you have currently. But if you do dive into the world of extreme adventure, we won’t tell!
At the end of the day, take a minute to understand where your HR department may be coming from with their concerns, and be willing to negotiate if they can explain their reticence. Be realistic that it may take a few months to get this stuff sorted out before you can take off for your remote island work life, but just remember, where there’s an internet connection, there’s a way!