For Many in the West, Working From Abroad Is the New Working From Home

With offices mostly shut and face-to-face meetings rare, some are escaping Europe’s chilly north for the Mediterranean coast

‘I jumped at the opportunity to relocate to Sicily because I love it so much,’ Ms. Babin says.

ROME—The moment Jennifer Babin found out her employer’s offices in Paris wouldn’t reopen any time soon, she packed up her bags and moved to the Sicilian city of Palermo.

“I jumped at the opportunity to relocate to Sicily because I love it so much,” says Ms. Babin, 28 years old, who continues to work for a Paris-based insurance company but from Palermo. “It’s vibrant and chaotic, but in a nice way. I adore it.”

With the pandemic continuing to rage in most Western countries, and most offices likely to stay shut through the winter, more Europeans and Americans are taking the chance to work from abroad. They are leaving their homes in Paris, London and New York and working remotely from warmer climes that they would normally see only while on vacation, such as Southern Italy or Portugal. Although many nations around the world remain closed to U.S. tourists during the pandemic, European Union countries admit Americans seeking residency.

For some, it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have their cake and eat it: to swap the chilly, damp north for the Mediterranean while holding on to their jobs.

It also can be a way to cut costs. Ms. Babin now pays €600, equivalent to about $710, monthly for a two-bedroom apartment overlooking a piazza in downtown Palermo, about one-third of what she paid for her smaller flat in Paris.

To Read the Full Story

Continue reading your article with
a WSJ membership

View Membership Options