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May 30, 2024

How to Hide Your Location From Your Employer as a Digital Nomad While Working Abroad and Not Worry About Getting Caught

Are you wondering how to work remotely from another country without the worry of getting caught by your employer?

Learn about the legal and data security reasons employers restrict remote work. Discover the steps to seek permission and present a secure plan to your employer.
Tune into this episode now to equip yourself with the knowledge and strategies to work remotely without risking your job.

PLUS: This week’s leadership tip of the week: Develop a Growth Mindset

Full Transcript

I’ve seen this question a lot lately in Facebook groups. It goes something like this. How do I hide my location so my employer can’t see I’m out of the country? Well, let’s tackle that and this episode of the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast. Hello, everyone. I’m your host, Eric. I’m a full time traveling digital nomad with my wife and four kids out exploring the world and having a great time doing so. Now, in addition to my digital marketing associate or my digital marketing agency, I also provide coaching and resources to help online business owners, including digital nomads, optimize their businesses for revenue, profit and location independence. And I am very thankful that you have tuned in to this episode of my podcast. Now here in a few minutes, I’m going to share with you the foolproof way to learn to do exactly what this podcast is about, and that’s how to hide your location and not get caught by your employer. But first, I want to take a few minutes and ask maybe a question that maybe you don’t want to hear. But I think it deserves asking and exploring. Why might a company restrict remote work? You know, like I said there, I’ve seen this come up a lot and Facebook groups. And last week somebody said that they had just accepted a new job from a company in the US and they were in Mexico and they are a U.S. citizen, a digital nomad, and at this U.S. company is going to be providing a computer. And this person was looking for a foolproof solution beyond just a simple VPN that would help them be outside of the country, because the company that they got a job with says they can’t be out of the car. They have to be within the U.S.. Well, why why is that? Now, to be honest, it’s probably not because they’re trying to be jerks, and it’s probably not because they’re trying to be controlling. And it’s probably not because of myths around productivity. There’s a lot of talk out there about remote work is a lot less productive and I’m sorry, one set up and done right. And when you lead your team right with clear expectations, you’re not going to have productivity issues. Now, are you going to have a few bad apples out there that, you know, are trying to go on hush vacations and trying to get away with things? Sure, absolutely. That’s going to happen. But you have boneheads in the workplace when you all have to gather and in the office. So it really doesn’t matter. So I don’t think companies are restricting remote work because of these things. They’re not trying to be a jerk, you know, it’s not trying to be controlling. It’s it’s probably not even because of a myth around productivity. They may say it’s productivity related, but for most of them it’s not. In fact, there are three reasons legitimate reasons why a company may restrict work that is remote outside of the country, that that company is that, number one, there may be laws in place that regulate the transmission of certain kinds of data across international borders. And if you’re like, well, that doesn’t seem right to me. Well, you’ve probably heard of GDPR. Well, that’s just one example. There are very specific regulations controlling the transmission of certain kinds of data across international borders, specifically EU borders. And that’s not the only law in place. So there are laws in place regulating this transmission of of data. And you may be working for a part of the company that isn’t impacted by that law, but maybe there’s another part of the company that does or maybe even part of the company you work for now because of laws. The second reason a company might restrict remote work to within the boundaries of their country is because of these laws and data security concerns. A lot of companies have to have policies in place that address these laws. So they have written policies in place that say, you know, our our equipment is going to stay within our boundaries. The data that we manage or have or create, whatever it is, is, is going to stay within our our boundaries. And the truth is, you may not know all of this. And when you’re when you’re getting hired or even when you’re working for someone, you may not know that. They have some of these policies in place. And quite frankly, you don’t need to know unless you need to know. And so if it was something that you would have had to have been told as a function of your job, then I’m sure you would have been told. Now, you know, these these policies are in place. And not only that, but some companies. A third reason that I can think of that companies. Right. Restrict this is because a company may have in place, for example, an NDA or a non-disclosure agreement. And this could be with vendors or investors. And those NDAs could prevent data and or company property from crossing international borders. Now, if you get caught breaking a policy that the company has hired, that the company that’s hired you and it’s their policy, you could get in trouble, but the company could get in trouble. They could lose insurance coverage. They could lose funding. You know, they could be subject to massive fines with some of these laws and regulations. And it could be openly like if they get if they get caught allowing a policy to be broke or they have an employee who is a legal now legally connected to the company taking data across an international border against a written policy, even if that employee doesn’t know about it, or worse yet, that employee’s intentionally breaking that. This company has just been open to all kinds of jeopardy. You’re putting someone else’s company in that kind of jeopardy, or what if you get what if you get hurt or sick, your employer, that if they’re providing insurance you may not get covered or the company’s entire health insurance costs could go up and that those costs could be passed on to all the other employees. Now, you could seriously harm a company. They may have to close a division or, you know, shut a group down. Someone else may lose their job. Sure, you may lose your job, but you’re not the only one. Now what if you get. What if you get hurt and you want to get worker’s comp coverage for your your carpal tunnel syndrome? Or you get you get injured, you know, because you’ve decided you’re going to go work in a a co-working space and and you get hurt on the way to work. And suddenly you’re like, well, you know, I think this injury should be covered by carpal tunnel. Well, you could be you could be eligible for any type of coverage because you knowingly were in breach of contract. So the company has a really good chance to file your claim on this. Now, be quite honest. I don’t think you have the right to put a company or a supervisor or an H.R. person in jeopardy. You know, I just I don’t think that it’s decent of you to do that to somebody else. I know you want to have your freedom. I get that. You want to have your freedom to travel. Okay. So how do you do this? How do you do it? Right. How do you set this up? You can have freedom that you don’t. That you can be outside of the country doing your job and not have to worry about getting caught. Well, I’ve got four things for you. But before I do that, I want to invite you. If you’re listening up to this point, I’d love to hear your feedback. Send me an email Eric at Danny podcast dot com and let me know what you think. Now, if you think I’m completely off basis and and I’m off my rocker and this is ridiculous and you know, a lot of whatever it is, you know, send me an e-mail. Let me know now if you agree with me, you’re like, actually, this is a good point. This is a good thing. Then I would I would appreciate if you would share this podcast episode, because a lot of people I don’t think that people that ask this question and Facebook are trying to be indecent. I don’t think they’re trying to put other people in jeopardy. I mean, I think they’re trying to find a way to have the freedom to travel and a job that lets them do that. But we got to keep things in perspective. You don’t have the right to break somebody else’s rules. You’re your rights have limits. My rights have limits. My rights and where your rights begin. See, I’m an employer and I own a company and I have the right to set rules and boundaries and policies. If I say nobody in my company is allowed to work on Tuesdays. Well, then you know what? Nobody in my company is allowed to work on Tuesdays. I have the right to say that. Now, if I say everybody in my company has to work seven days a week, I do not have the right to say that. I can’t say that because there are rules and laws and regulations in place that protect my employees. Plus, I’m just not a jerk. You know, I wouldn’t want my employees to do that. You know, come to think of it, this no Tuesday might be something to that anyway. My employees, my team, they have rights and my rights and where their rights begin. But their rights end where my rights begin. They don’t have the right to jeopardize my company if I have a client. This happens from time to time. And they and if we have a client that asks us to sign a non-disclosure agreement, we decide we we signed an NDA and we were able to work in provisions such as, you know, maybe, maybe myself and my copywriter, we get access to a content that we can use to create copy and stuff like that. I can’t put that in our shared drive where we put everybody else’s all of our other client stuff. I can’t do that. I have to keep it separate. I have to protect it. I can’t give the rest of my team access to it. I don’t I can’t break that agreement. And my copywriter doesn’t have the right to break that agreement. And they most definitely don’t have the right to take that information and share it with somebody else or transport it outside of a boundary that may be established. They don’t have that right. And so, again, if you’re listening up to this point, you agree with me. I’d love you to share this podcast because I honestly believe that most people are going to hear to go, You know what? This is a good point. And I do have some tips that I’m going to give here in just a second on how to do this. But I really believe that that the most people, when they hear this and they hopefully see that person’s perspective, the perspective of their employer or something like that, they may go, you know what? I do want to handle this the right way. I didn’t know these things. I wasn’t aware of these things. Now, for the few of you that may be listening, you probably are not listening up to this point. But if you are listening and you think I’m totally off my rocker, if you think I’m wrong and and, you know, big companies deserve to have the risk or who are you don’t think you can put them in risk? That’s fine. Send me an email. At Danny podcast dot com. I’d love to hear it. I’d love to have a very candid conversation with you about it. And even if we never talk about it, I just want to hear your perspective. And I will. I will thank you for sending it to me. But here’s what I don’t need you to do. If you disagree with me, I don’t need you. Leave me a review. Cause I’ll just be honest. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all publicly. Send me your feedback. But if you’re like, You know what? No, this is good. He’s right. Thinking about this from an issue of, you know, high morals and ethics and doing things right. Like, I appreciate that. Share this episode and leave me a five star rating and review wherever you listen to your podcast. I really appreciate that. Now, for those of you that want a free freedom to travel, what are four ways you can do this and do it right and not have to worry about getting caught? Number one, this is not a place where it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Okay. First off side note, I personally loathe this attitude. I think it’s a terrible attitude for people to have. You know, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. I think that is part of the the attitude that goes towards the decay of the fabric of of mankind. But that’s that’s me. So side note over on that one. So so what do you do? Well, you don’t ask for forgiveness. You need to seek out permission. Now, before you go ask for permission. I want you to do number two. And that is I want you to do your research. I want you do your research. I can’t you know, depending on your passport country and where you’re wanting to go, there may be, you know, ways to to do this. Especially if you don’t know why. I would start with just asking. Hey, Mr. Mrs. Employer, I see the policy here. I’m curious. Why is that in place? I’m just. I really would like to know and ask from an inquisitive perspective, not, you know, put a defensive, put them in the defensive, but just ask like I’m curious of of why this is in place. And then once you have your why do your research? Maybe there’s a way to go to them with a solution and not just a problem. I can’t stand it when people come to me with just with a problem and not at least an inkling of a solution. Okay. So come up, do your research. And then number three, present a plan to your employer. This plan may be a new contract. Maybe there are some waivers you can sign. Maybe instead of, you know, maybe maybe there’s some boundaries that you can put into place and you maybe make. It’s just a matter of you have to create and show them some type of security plan that you’re going to use a screen protector that doesn’t allow people to read your monitor unless they’re looking straight on. Any time you set up to work, you will you will scan the area real well behind you and make sure there’s no cameras behind you that can record keystrokes. Anything like that, you’re going to use VPN, you’re going to use malware. You don’t have extra security in place. Like maybe you can put together a plan that says, here, here you go. I’ve mitigated your concerns and worries. Here’s what I can do. And I’m I’m willing to sign a waiver. Maybe you have to change your employment relationship. Maybe instead of being an employee, maybe you become a contractor. But go to them with a plan. Go to them, you know, help create a solution here. Work towards something. Now, in the end, if they still say no, if they’re just absolutely adamant about it that you can’t do it, then find a new job or create your own. There are all kinds of jobs out there. Just go find one and get it. There are all kinds of ways to fund the digital nomad lifestyle. You don’t have to do it in a way that’s unethical or moral. Because here’s the thing more. The more the people that go out there and do this, it’s just going to make life harder for those that are willing and want to do it right. And I’m telling you, more and more remote jobs are going to go away. Just in the news this last week. The city of Philadelphia in the United States canceling all remote work. They’re doing away with all remote work. Everybody has to come back to the office. There are other companies. There was this whole story in the news about people taking harsh vacations and they were interviewing this graphic designer and in Florida and stuff like that. These are the things that companies read and they start to go, oh, oh, no, the world’s full of people that just want to take advantage of the situation. So we got to start, you know, locking these things down. So. I guess at the end. Here’s what I’m saying. If you’re still listening to this point and you are someone that has been considering trying to pull one over on an employee, I applaud you for listening to this point and not not just stopping listening because, you know, you didn’t agree with it or, you know, it wasn’t it wasn’t reinforcing your your desire plan. And I applaud you. I think I think it’s good. Now, if you are listening to this point and you still think I’m absolutely wrong and you’re still going to try to cheat your employer, I’ll tell you something right now, I’m so glad you don’t work for me, because there are legitimate reasons why your employer may have the rules in place that they do. And you don’t have the right to go out there and intentionally break the rules and try to hide it from them and try to get away with something because you’re going to end up hurting yourself, your employer or other people in the future, and you don’t have the right to hurt another person. It is not a soul. It is not good social justice. It’s not being a decent human being. And I’ll be quite honest, I don’t want you listen to my podcast anymore because I want this to be a community of decent people, people that are trying to learn and grow and get better. Now, again, you may be still kind of like, Oh, now I don’t know what to do. You know, I don’t I don’t want to be a jerk, but I want this freedom. I can’t lose his job. Reach out. I will help you brainstorm ideas. I will help you try to do this the right way. All right. Well, with that, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up by sharing this week’s leadership tip of the week. You know me, if you’ve been listening for a while, maybe you don’t know me. This is your first podcast episode. Yeah. Tuned in for a doozy. I got a little bit there on my lecture box, and. But I think from time to time, I’ve got to. Somebody’s got to stand up from time to time and say, wrong is wrong. No matter how many people are trying to do it. And right is right, no matter if nobody is doing it. And so if this is your first time tuning in, I want you to know and every episode with a leadership tip of the week Leadership, your leadership ability is the complete capacity of your future, your leadership ability to lead yourself, even to potentially lead other people. It is the capacity of which your future is limited by. And so each week I share a leadership tip of the week. And today, I want to encourage you to develop a growth mindset. Leaders seek out having a growth mindset. Others have fixed mindsets. Oh, I can’t do it. Oh, it’s just a problem. Oh, I’ve got to, you know, I got to cheat my employer to get my way. There’s no other way around it. You know that. That’s a fixed mindset. I can’t start my own company. I can never have own company. I can’t travel full time. I can’t travel more. This is a fixed mindset. I’m telling you something. It’s toxic for you. Leaders have a growth mindset. Leaders love the three letter word. Yet I’m telling you, leaders love the word yes. And yet a leaders. Leaders love these words. I love being able to tell people, yes, that is something you can do. Yes, we can do that. You know, we may not be able to do that, but yes, we can do this. I love the word yes and I love the word. Yet we’re right. We can’t do something yet. Yet leaves the room for possibility, yet leaves open the space for potential. Yet to me, yet is the fuel for hope. And so leaders develop a growth mindset and they they hold on to the word yet. Well, thanks again for listening. And I’ll just say I look forward to reading your review in an upcoming podcast episode or your email in my email inbox. Erica Danny Podcast dot com now. Thanks for listening. Until next time, chase the big dream lead with courage and safe travels.