Working From Home In Spain

Published on 29/09/2008 in Spanish Lifestyle

Working from homeAccording to an article in Money Magazine, every eleven seconds someone starts a home based business that allows them to work from home. Many of these businesses are internet based and require little more than a laptop and an internet connection.

There are all the obvious benefits to working from home including no need for “work” clothes, freedom to organise your own schedule, more time with family, no transportation costs etc but the most attractive perk of the job is that if you are running an online business you can operate from anywhere in the world providing you have an internet connection.

Setting up an online business is the ultimate solution for those seeking to relocate to Spain but unsure as to how they will find employment. In fact the more you consider it, the more sense it makes. Why would you want to move to Spain and do anything else but set up a business working from home? Surely, the whole point of moving to Spain is to enjoy the sunshine and everything else that goes with it. A conventional job working Spanish hours just doesn’t allow you to fully appreciate the reasons for moving to Spain. In fact, if you are going to be stuck in an office, taking orders for, on average, a lower salary than in the UK; it hardly seems worth it all.

But before you all rush out to invest in a top of the range laptop and a six month lease on an apartment in Marbella, it isn’t always the ideal that you dream of day after day during the dreary commute. There are many drawbacks to working from home anywhere in the world and in particular in Spain. Let me explain. Once the initial honeymoon period is over between you and your beloved new laptop, you will start to notice some changes. The most obvious one is weight gain. Having a well stocked kitchen on hand all to yourself means that you constantly treat yourself all day after you reach any insignificant little target. Breakfast leads to elevenses, elevenses is followed by lunch and so on. There is nobody there to clock up your calories so you can pretty much eat to your heart’s content. Working in your underwear for the first few weeks of freedom means that you haven’t had to breathe in and pull on your trousers everyday so you won’t immediately register the excess midriff and general expansion.

Hand in hand with weight gain is lack of exercise. Whereas before, even if you drove to work, all those trips back and forward to the car park and around the shops at lunch time all counted to physical activity. I am afraid the dragging yourself from your swivel chair or worse, sliding yourself to the kitchen in the said swivel chair does not constitute exercise, especially when you return to the desk with a family sized bag of Lay’s crisps. It isn’t long before neighbours and friends don’t recognise you on the rare occasion that they happen to spot you out of the house and without some form of seating attached to your rear.

Ironically, you might find that despite having them on hand you actually drift apart from your family as working from home means that family life and working life easily overlap to the point where you feel guilty for not working and spending time with them and guilty for spending so much time absorbed in your work. At least when you go to work, you do just that, you go to work and leave it there.

Having your work at home affects everyone living there. This is further aggravated in the case of life in Spain where we often live in apartments or small townhouses. Without lofts, garages, sheds that aren’t commonplace in Spain, space is limited so your “office” encroaches on all other work areas. Your “private” business becomes easily accessible to anyone who should want to have a nosy through your files or anything else that you should happen to leave around.

Also, if you are not anal about organising, before long your business expenses easily become entangled with household and you end up in a real financial pickle. And what do you do with your clients? You can only get away with doing “business” at theirs before they start insisting that they come to your office for a change. It is difficult to convey a professional image from a cluttered desk in a cramped spare room in the corner of your apartment and you won’t be taken seriously.

Not only will potential clients not take you seriously but neither will those around you. Unfortunately, neighbours, friends and family do not appreciate that you aren’t just hanging around watching daytime TV but you are actually trying to earn a living. So, don’t be surprised if they get offended when you refuse to give them lifts to the airport or take in their Mercadona delivery or the ultimate in taking advantage of the work from home person in Spain, waiting in for Telefonica to arrive!

However, be careful not to drive your friends and neighbours away since working from home can be an isolating experience. With only your virtual online friends to communicate with, you soon lose the will and ability to socialise with real life people who quickly become tired of your whining about how tough it is trying to discipline and manage yourself working from home. The ones who do stay in touch are usually the ones who mistake your home/office for the drop in centre for the unemployed, depressed or addicted.

So, although it can be an enviable lifestyle for those on the outside watching you balance your accounts on the beach, it does have its drawbacks. Not only working from home but working from home in Spain requires careful consideration. The Spanish timetable is different from the UK one. Shops and offices start operating later at 10am with a break for breakfast at around eleven, lunch is a long drawn out affair from 2pm until 5pm and workers return to the office to work until 8 or 9pm and in shops as late as 10pm.So you have to decide if you are going to base your day around the Spanish system or the one back home. You will also have to legalise your working from home company in Spain.

All in all, nothing beats the freedom of working from home. The problems arise when people allow themselves too much!


 

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain




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Comments:

loumar said:
30 September 2008 @ 12:55

I think, like many mothers would do, that working from home is an excellent opportunity. However having searched for 'data entry' home based jobs before and searching hte links on this page I am so reluctant to send any money to companies advertising these vacancies - they just scream CON at me, so how do we know if they are genuine?

Id love to do this type of work from home but can anyone genuinly inform us mothers of a true company that does provide this type of work.


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