Forget WFH, and say hello to WFA – Work From Anywhere. With the help of forward-thinking companies, some workers are taking advantage of the remote revolution to live the digital nomad life trekking from place to place, or simply moving to a place in the sun.
It’s not always simple – you’ll need to sort out visas and tax rules. But countries from Bermuda to Sri Lanka are now welcoming nomad workers and employers are starting to get on board, with one job site saying around 5% of remote jobs are fully WFA. So what jobs could you do?
It’s no surprise the tech industry is one of the leaders in taking advantage of the freedom a laptop and a WiFi connection give us. Alex Liliburn moved to Barbados in January 2021 with his employers’ blessing when the pandemic removed the expectation of monthly client meetings.
Now, four hours behind his UK colleagues, he has Zoom meetings with them in the morning and is free to focus on his coding in the afternoons. “I came to Barbados for the scenery and weather, but I’m staying for the people,” he says. “It’s amazing, it really is.”
Salary: £24,000 a year to £70,000, according to the National Careers Service
Careers with a large number of freelancers are a natural fit for the digital nomad life. Armed with your copies of PhotoShop, InDesign and Illustrator, as well as some web design skills, and you can compete for jobs with designers anywhere in the world.
Janet Brent, a freelance who has worked from the Philippines, Germany and Thailand, says: “If you’re set on a mobile career, without bricks and mortar, digital web presence is the best way to set up shop.” She advises setting up your online portfolio and targeting your ideal clients through social media. “It’s much better than taking any and all random design jobs.”
Salary: £18,000 to £35,000 for employees
Nothing is easier for a computer than sending words around the world, so it’s no surprise that copywriting is one of the most common Work From Anywhere jobs. Crafting advertising slogans, marketing copy or website blurbs for brands just requires a brief from the client, a way with words and a bit of imagination, so it’s easily done from a Parisian café or a cabin in the woods.
“Your business is online, so you can work remotely while traveling – whether your goal is to see the world or spend more time with family,” says Sarah Turner, a copywriter who also runs a mentoring business. “You make your own decisions. You get to schedule and manage your projects on your own time.”
Salary: Employees can make between £20,000 and £80,000 depending on experience
Virtual assistants only exist because it’s possible to work from anywhere. Instead of hiring an expensive PA, entrepreneurs are increasingly making use of the services of a flexible virtual assistant – working remotely and tackling their admin, email, calls and messages as needed.
Sarah Begley says she built her career online when she moved to the south of France with her boyfriend, and later took her business to Vietnam. But she warns would-be nomads that they will have to hustle for clients: “Networking online is harder than networking face-to-face. You have to work double-hard to gain trust and build relationships.”