The British View on Remote Work Abroad: Spain is The Dream

Last Updated: 

February 4, 2024

A study conducted by Nebeus, a platform that handles global payments, showed that Britons have a preferred country for remote work, and it is Spain.

This study surveyed 400 professionals from the United Kingdom, which included 10 specific questions, to understand the opinions and perceptions of British professionals, specifically about living and working digitally from another country.

The data revealed that 22% of respondents choose Spain as their favourite country to work in. This is followed by the United States (19%), France (13%), Portugal (6%), Southeast Asia (5%), Latin America (3%), and Eastern Europe (2%). However, 20% of the people indicate that they would not move to another country for remote work. In contrast, 12% would do so but would choose a country other than those mentioned above.

graph of preferred countries to work in.

Moreover, within Spain, the British prefer the following cities: Barcelona (14%), Valencia (7%), Alicante (5%), Malaga (4%), Palma de Mallorca (4%), or Marbella (3%), as they seek more coastal cities. However, some inland destinations are also sought after, such as Madrid (5%) or Seville (3%).

Nevertheless, with these results, 46% of Britons are still undecided or do not know which city to choose. Therefore, it is very important to know and understand the cultural differences of each city, as well as the opportunities each one offers.

Key Takeaways on Working Remotely in Spain

  1. Preferred Remote Work Destination: Spain emerges as the dream destination for remote work among Britons, with 22% selecting it as their top choice, followed by the United States (19%) and France (13%).
  2. City Preferences in Spain: Barcelona tops the list of preferred cities in Spain for remote work, with 14% of respondents, followed by Valencia, Alicante, and other coastal and inland destinations.
  3. Factors Influencing the Choice: Quality of life is the most significant factor influencing the preference for Spain (46%), followed by the unique tradition and modernity, culture, great climate, and the possibility of saving money.
  4. Challenges in Living and Working in Spain: Significant challenges include the language barrier (53%), the need to distance from family and friends (14%), tax issues (11%), concerns about economic stability (7%), and cultural differences (5%).
  5. Digital Nomad Visa Awareness: Despite Spain offering a digital nomad visa, 89% of British respondents are unaware of its existence. However, 56% express interest in obtaining the visa, while 33% are not interested.
  6. Purchasing Power Concerns: Financial aspects are a concern, with 29% believing their purchasing power could increase in Spain, 38% uncertain, 22% expecting it to remain the same, and 11% anticipating a decrease.
  7. Financial Challenges: Financial challenges include concerns about international transfers, insurance, and financial protection. Healthcare costs (31%), cost of living (21%), and retirement and savings plans (10%) are identified challenges.
  8. Demographic Insights: Women aged 25 to 30 are the most interested in living and working digitally in Spain (23%), while among men, 20% see Spain as their second option, with the United States being the first (22%).

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Why is Spain the preferred country for Britons?

For British professionals, their preference for Spain is due to its unique tradition and modernity, as well as its incredible culture and great climate. Despite this, the most determining factor is the quality of life, according to 46% of respondents surveyed by Nebeus. Additionally, the possibility of saving money (19%), culture, and various lifestyles (12%) are among the reasons for this preference.

Reconsidering Spain to Live and Work, the Stats

However, there are also significant challenges that make living and working in Spain difficult, such as the language barrier (53%), the need to distance oneself from family and friends (14%), and tax issues (11%). Similarly, 7% express concerns about the country's economic stability, while 5% think that cultural differences could be a problem.

Spain’s digital nomad visa

A key finding from the Nebeus study is that 89% of the British respondents are unaware of the digital work visa that Spain has started offering to digital nomads. This visa is a special provision allowing remote professionals to continue with their current employment without the need to change jobs. Despite the limited awareness about this visa, 56% of the respondents are interested in obtaining it, while 33% express the opposite view.

It's also important to note that only 11% were aware of this option for digital nomads, as it presents an incredible alternative for those wanting to live in Spain and maintain their current digital employment. This allows them to enjoy all that the country has to offer, without losing the employment opportunities provided by the United Kingdom.

What is the purchasing power like in Spain?

The financial aspect is one of the most concerning issues for the British respondents. 29% feel that their purchasing power could increase by living in Spain. However, 38% believe that this is not entirely certain. Additionally, 22% think that their finances would remain the same, and 11% comment that they would be lower.

Financial aspects are crucial for Britons, hence their concern about being able to make international transfers easily and economically (27%), having insurance or financial protection (21%), having internationally accepted cards (19%), and having loan facilities available for expatriates (4%).

Respondents also face financial challenges, such as healthcare costs (31%), cost of living (21%), retirement and savings plans (10%). Other challenges include access to accounts and funds (9%), currency exchange (7%), and access to credit and loans (7%). These challenges highlight the importance of having a financial plan.

Graph on the question "What are your thoughts on the primary financial challenge you might encounter when working from another country.

Overall, according to the study conducted by Nebeus, women between 25 and 30 years old are the professional profile most interested in living and working digitally in Spain, accounting for 23% of the respondents. Thus, Spain is their first choice over other countries.

However, among men, 20% see Spain as their second option, with the United States being the first (22%).

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