workers say why they hide it
With the era of remote working, so-called digital nomads have a lot more freedom than ever before live in distant paradises, with their European wages and for businesses based in cities like London or Barcelona.
Vice spoke about this phenomenon and interviewed people who hide from their companies that they live away from home, as their company begins to pressure him to return to the office. From Genbeta We also know of similar cases and have interviewed Spanish professionals that they did something like that and know their reasons and strategies to avoid being caught and caught.
The pandemic has brought us to telecommuting. And many managers, with Elon Musk at the helm, want to take it away from us. Many workers cite compelling reasons to follow this trend: fuel economy and other issues (although there are studies that believe more is spent on other factors), energy consumption, work-life balance , saving time in travel… but there are others who postpone this moment because they live in paradises far from their cities and mean nothing to their businesses.
We are going to learn how digital nomads perform their tasks in front of an Asian beach (to say something) while their boss thinks they are in front of their PC at home in a European city. Yes tips from professionals for not telling your life story.
Tips to avoid being discovered
Ángela works for a company in the Basque Country. This summer, he spent two months between the Maldives and Indonesia. She is not forced to return to the office since, if nothing changes, the agreement between the company and the worker was that she would telecommute. There are companies that know that if they want talent, they must yield and offer conditions that interest the professional. Angela didn’t want to say she was going halfway around the world because she didn’t even know if they would let her and because, after all, it’s her private life.
“I never ran away, I did my homework like I would in Spain,” he explains. Only that his schedule has changed: from 3 o’clock in the afternoon (here he starts at 9 o’clock in the morning and he says that it would be much more complicated if he went to America, since he would have to work at dawn) and that he was afraid that his company PCs might suffer an incident… how would you get the company to receive a new computer, following the protocol?
How did you manage to disguise yourself in meetings, so that nobody sees that you are sweating when in reality you live in the north of Spain, which is not as hot as the Maldives? asked. She says she never has video calls. All meetings are videoless. Of course, if he was working from a beach and had a call, he would go to a closed place to avoid the noise: it could be the bedroom of his accommodation or, if it was far away, it could be the car with which he moved from place to place.
Best of all, says Angela, while she was in the Maldives diving in her spare time, her boss told her that he was in the Maldives on vacation with this mission. Come on, they could have been found perfectly. Angela says Bali is telecommuting heaven. “It’s full”. Cafeterias and hotels are offices and afterworks can be organized with people of different nationalities and various professions.
In Vice talks about a guy called Daniel who lives in Chiangmai in Thailand and his bosses think he is in Birmingham in the United Kingdom and for meetings he has problems: it is often dark in a country when it is day in the other and many Sometimes it’s cold in Birmingham as he sweats in Thailand with a fan by his side that cools the temperature. Or when one of these noisy tropical night storms falls in the Asian country, it is also struggling to hide. Several times he checks whether it is also raining in Birmingham or not.
Reasons not to say
In addition to privacy: why It should matter to a company if I’m in Badajoz or if I’m in Hanoi as long as I’m doing my job?
Silvia says she also hid her location from her company because she wanted to volunteer on a project she loved. “I was a freelancer, specifically a fake freelancer, I agreed with my company that I would spend time in another country to cover the news there. As is the case with many journalists, they send us to other countries without any type of protection or additional payment for this job. I accepted because I was very interested but I was aware that my labor rights were being violated and that’s why I took advantage of it,” says Silvia.
Silvia’s boss wanted to send her to live in Buenos Aires sooner than they had agreed. She had just come back from Bogotá and she didn’t want to leave so soon. When they agreed on this collaboration, there was never any question that the company could impose the dates. On the contrary, Silvia was interested in a project in Bulgaria to volunteer in her spare time. She alleged family problems to extend her move to Argentina, but in reality she went to Bulgaria. He got up early (a lot, says Silvia) doing her work duties and having a lot of work when her boss arrived at 9. Then she went to the project to volunteer and in the afternoon she finished her homework. It wasn’t that hard because they weren’t on a platform to chat in real time and video calls were rare.
On one occasion, already in Buenos Aires, he decided to leave for a few weeks in the north of the country. He did not warn his bosses in Spain because in the end she was autonomous, although in practice they imposed timetables (not a salary or benefits according). It was carnival time, festive, and there wasn’t much movement or big events planned in Buenos Aires.
He went to spend a few weeks with friends in the north, very close to Bolivia, while maintaining his daily tasks. There, his boss calls him: they were to send him to an event in the United States in a few days. The nearest international airport was thousands of miles away. She had to spend nearly three days traveling by bus to get back to the big city in time because flights were too expensive (and inaccessible) to connect.
Another case is Matt’s, this one picked up by Vice as Daniel’s. He wanted to stop paying the high housing prices in Manhattan, where he lived, and made the decision to move to Europe. His company agreed. Overtime, wanted to apply for a visa to stay in the old continent because someone from America can’t legally stay here indefinitely if they don’t regulate it.
His company refused, arbitrarily. Since there was no compelling reason for this refusal, Matt lied. VSbought a flight, showed it to her boss, then canceled it and he remained alive in Europe, mostly hiding the light or darkness that surrounded him in the meetings (so that the jet lag would not be noticed). To hide his location, he used a VPN and it worked for him. A Genbeta colleague says a friend recently asked him how to use a VPN to lie about his location and “it seems to have worked.”
Juan works in a public entity. And as is the case throughout the industry, he has days a week when he is allowed to telecommute. However, he says that a few days ago they told him thatIf they decide to telework away from home, they must inform the entity who you work for. “In the deal he doesn’t put it in and I think it’s abusive,” says Juan, who is a lawyer.
Alfonso also cheats on his location. Not to go to a distant paradise, but because the company requires him to live in the region where his head office is located, although he works from home and prefers to spend time in his hometown, some 300 kilometers away. “I don’t know if I can call remotely to work at my mum’s, it’s not that far away but I spend many seasons here and I don’t tell my company about it,” says Alfonso.
The managers or managers also sin from this. Explains Sergio, head of a technological department in his company, who often walks on the beach while he does his work. You only need a mobile because “this is what you should do all the time meetings or how to do something“, explains Sergio. Most of these telephone appointments are with clients and there is no shortage of cameras. If he needs a video call, he is already looking for a more suitable place.
There are companies that say it’s a problem
A survey conducted for HR company Topia found that up to 40% of HR professionals had recently discovered that the employees were working outside of their home state or country, and that only 46% of bosses, both men and women, were “completely sure” about where the majority of their employees were. Last year, the figure was 60%.
In the same survey, 66% of 1,500 full-time employees surveyed in the United States said they had not told human resources all the dates they worked outside their state or country, and 94% said they think they should be able to work wherever they want if their job is implemented.
From Topia they say they are aware of cases of some companies that have already fired employees who refused to return home after the company found out they were working from abroad.