Working remotely from Thailand: lessons learnt so far

As some of you might already know: I’m about to spend a few months in Thailand, working as a Digital Nomad. Working remotely raises quite a few practical issues and I’m glad to share my recommendations to resolve them.

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1. Working on a Tourist Visa is allowed, but be careful. Like I shared with you a little while ago, a fairly recent ruling by the Thai Council of State, made it possible to work on a Tourist Visa as long as you do not affect the local labor market. So by all means avoid anything that could give an impression of the opposite. Don’t offer any kind of services locally, do not do any activities for/in a Thai businesses nor should you work as a volunteer without the proper Visa. If you can, get a non-immigrant type B “Business Visa”, this makes your situation absolutely bullet proof, but still does not allow you to work locally without a work permit. Just to be sure, have a physical copy of this Memo by the Council of State with you in your luggage.

2. If you’re not self-employed (freelance) get written confirmation from your employer that you are allowed to work from Thailand. Clear agreements make a solid relationship.

3. Get additional insurance that covers your health while you are working. Strictly speaking, as soon as your employer allows you to work remotely, he has to cover your health insurance wherever you are. But than again, if you crash your motorbike on the way to the post office and he has a huge hospital bill to cover, he is not going to allow you to repeat the same stint twice, now is he? These guys offer such an insurance.

4. Arrange for your place of residence and broadband internet connection well in advance. As an extra precaution, arrange for a few days of holiday when you arrive. Chance are you still need to arrange a few things before you can start working. Go for a solid VDSL or Fibre Optic subscription. These are easily up and downgradable to different connection speeds, where as the accounts with lower speeds might require changes to the infrastructure … which might take a few days.

5. Have your office line redirected to you home cell phone number. Trust me, that is the best approach. No telephone provider is going to consider problems connecting to a cell phone line on another continent.

6. Have back-up locations available. You never know what happens to your Internet location. Shared workspaces (also know as coworking spaces) are perfect for that.

7. Charge some credit to your Skype account. Skype offers excellent rates to call landlines back home.

8. Follow office hours strictly, just like you would at home. You are not on holiday.

9. Get an airline member card. These often offer additional baggage allowance, which only increase as you collect airmiles.

That’s what I’ve learned so far. Will keep updating you, as time progresses.

Can’t wait! 🙂

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