With remote work becoming more popular and accepted by employers, working from your garden or terrace in your French home can be more than just a dream. Why not make it a reality and work remotely in France?
France has excellent 4G and 5G internet connections, plenty of coworking spaces to choose from in the cities and larger towns and is rapidly adapting to this way of working.
Why choose to work remotely in France?
Working remotely from France allows you to fulfil your dream of living abroad while still earning an income. With a good internet connection and a laptop, many people can work from anywhere these days.
The relaxed lifestyle
Imagine having a coffee and fresh croissant before starting your working day in a coworking office in Paris or Toulouse, or from your home office in the Dordogne Valley or the South of France.
At the end of the working day, you can head for a relaxing walk in the countryside or a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Working remotely means you get to plan your time and achieve a better work-life balance. What better place to do this than in France?
Many things are cheaper in France and if you monitor your spending and stick to a budget you’ll be able to enjoy a more affordable lifestyle than in the UK.
The table below shows a price comparison of some common items between the two countries converted to £¹.
|France £||UK £|
|Meal in inexpensive restaurant||13.41||15.00|
|Bottle of water||.63||1.01|
|Bottle of wine||6.26||7.00|
|Local transport one-way ticket||1.52||2.50|
|Utilities p/mth (gas, electricity, water)||165.49||222.69|
|Fitness club membership p/mth||32.74||35.32|
If you work remotely these cost savings are a clear benefit. You can eat out, go to the gym and travel on public transport for less than in the UK. Food prices can be more expensive in France – the secret is to shop locally instead of in supermarkets.
Working remotely also allows you to interact– striking up a conversation in a café will expand your network, both with the French and other ex-pats. You can plan your work around village events, local clubs and daytime French classes without having to worry about the 9-5 timetable.
The French word for remote work is télétravail.
Tips for working in France after Brexit
You can work in France after Brexit, but you must apply for the right French remote work visa to work remotely according to the Schengen Visa rules². This is to ensure that you pay taxes in the country where you are a resident. French tax laws can be complicated and it is best to speak to an accountant about your individual circumstances if you plan to work remotely in France.
There is no digital nomad visa in France and currently no plans to introduce one.
Tip 1 : Short stay (tourist) visa
This only allows you to stay in France for 90 days and you cannot work remotely with this visa if you are a non-EU (UK) citizen.
Tip 2 : Long stay visa
This visa is designed for people who don´t plan to work in France, so is not appropriate for remote workers. If you have this visa and work remotely you cannot register to pay tax, which is what you need to do to be entitled to social security benefits such as healthcare and a pension.
Tip 3 : Entrepreneurs (profession liberale) visa
This is the visa you will need to apply for if you intend to work remotely in France as a self-employed person. It lasts for one year and you will have to prove that your work will contribute to France’s economy.
Tip 4 : Working remotely in France for a UK company
If you would like to telework for your UK employer³ you must get permission to do so and ensure this is written into your contract. You will still need to pay taxes in the UK and apply for the relevant visa.
When discussing remote work with your employer you should remember that there is a one-hour time difference between France and the UK. This is an advantage if you work in the mornings/early afternoon as you’ll always be ahead of your UK colleagues, which is beneficial when it comes to meeting deadlines.
One of the benefits of living in France and working remotely, especially if you choose to live in the north or northwest is its proximity to the UK. You can travel from Calais to Dover via the Channel Tunnel in 35 minutes, while the ports of Le Havre, Cherbourg, Roscoff and Saint-Malo all offer ferry crossings to the UK. France is also well connected with large airports in Paris, Nice, Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille, making it easy to get to the UK for work reasons.
Discover the best places to work remotely in France.
France is embracing remote work, with 61% of the French wanting to work this way⁴. This has led to a boom in coworking spaces where you can have access to power, a desk, use of the Internet and a private office if you need one.
The most popular places with dedicated coworking offices in France are:
These are all favourite places to buy a home in France for ex-pats too, whether you want to live in the city centre or on the outskirts.
As remote working becomes more common in France even small towns and villages offer coworking spaces. You can find out if where you live in France has a remote work facility on Neo-Nomade, Coworker and WeWork, by simply entering your location.
You’ll also find most cafés have a good internet connection and will be happy for you to work on your laptop if you sample the local cuisine.
Many remote workspaces offer discounts if you sign up for monthly membership.
Can I work remotely from France at home?
Not everyone wants to work in a coworking space. Some remote workers prefer the isolation of their French farmhouse or sitting next to the pool of their coastal villa.
If you choose to work from home you should set up a dedicated office area that is functional to work in. A cleverly designed office space will ensure you are productive.
Working remotely from home can save you money and your carbon footprint – you’ll use less fuel travelling, less energy in an office and won´t have parking fees. However, you’ll also use more electricity and/or gas, which you should budget for. The good news is most business statuses allow this to be offset against tax as an expense, which your accountant should be able to advise you on.
Work remotely and love life!
Once you’ve finished work for the day it’s time to indulge in your favourite leisure activities and take advantage of all France has to offer. Whether you enjoy swimming, hiking or skiing, France is a vast country with plenty of ways to enjoy the things you’re passionate about.
Walking in the French countryside
You’ll find forests, lakes and mountains all over France. From the stunning gorges of Verdon to Lake Annecy with its crystal clear water or the breathtaking scenery of the French Alps, there’s plenty to explore for lovers of the great outdoors.
Visit the historic castles
France is famous for its many châteaux and living here is the perfect way to learn about the country’s history. You can visit the Loire Valley castles and marvel at the different architecture, head for Hauts-de-France and see where Joan of Arc was filmed or take in the amazing view from Carcassone castle.
Soak up the sun on the beaches
France has a variety of coastlines that offer you the chance to unwind away from work. The wind-swept Atlantic coastline is perfect for water sports, the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean are ideal for sunworshippers and the Normandy coast is full of hidden coves and trails.
Try the gastronomy of France
France is full of delightful dishes and quality wines. The vineyards of Bordeaux are a wonderful place to hire a bike and sample the wines while the Champagne region needs no introduction. You’ll find delicious seafood in all the coastal areas while individual regions have their own dishes such as ratatouille in Nice, coq au vin cooked in Burgundy wine or cassoulet in Toulouse.
If you’re looking for a better lifestyle and want to work remotely, France is the perfect place to enhance your job satisfaction thanks to the relaxed way of life, abundance of coworking spaces and wide selection of places to live for all budgets.
Contact us to find out more about telecommuting in France and living the dream.