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It seems that to work for a company in (European) country A while living in a (European) country B, the two options that do not involve an excessive amount of bureaucratic complications are working as a freelancer, or making use of an employer of record.

What are downsides and upsides from an employer point of view in hiring people in this form? What is generally the fastest and easiest way to set up?

Some context: as a fresh graduate I have zero leverage to negotiate location flexibility (here and here). Better would be to demonstrate I am a valuable employee on site, then ask to go remote. I am trying to understand if it is just too much hassle for a company to say yes. I am concentrating this time on the bureaucratic side.

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    Tax accounting, especially if the company doesn't already have an office in your country that they could pay you from. International law, ditto. Those are nontrivial costs and risks. We're already explained some of this in answers to your past questions; asking again won't change the answers. There really isn't a back door to sneak around this; if the job isn't remote, it isn't remote and can't be assumed to become remote in the future.
    – keshlam
    Sep 14, 2023 at 12:54
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    Without wanting to seem harsh here: it's time to give up on your dream of remote work with this company. It's not going to happen. Sep 14, 2023 at 12:57
  • I’m voting to close this question because (a) it general terms the answer appears in previous answers to this user, and (b) the specifics would be a better fit for law.stackexchange.com.
    – keshlam
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:14

2 Answers 2

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For both the employer and the employee, there are really two different kids of "remote" work. To be successful, both sides need to understand the differences and how they want things to operate.

When remote means people don't come to the office all (any) workdays but are all in the same jurisdiction:

This becomes more a question of workplace productivity and collaboration. Some companies feel that teams can work fine with Slack/Teams/Zoom/... and others do not. These scenarios come with few if any legal restrictions/blockers and comes down to how the company values work/life balance, productivity and other workplace issues.

When remote means the employee is not in the same state/country/...:

This can involve legal and tax requirements that can be burdensome for both parties. Income taxes, business taxes and right to work are just some examples that can differ across jurisdictions that make these types of remote employments very hard to navigate, and likely viewed by many companies as not worth it for an individual employee.

Your situation falls into that second category and hence your problem. A single employee requesting this kind of out of the normal handling needs to be a valuable employee for the company to be willing to take this on. Unfortunately, I think it will be hard for you with no experience (and even after a years experience) to demonstrate value worth that effort on their part.

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  • After a few years or one year? Not that it changes much but this would still give me some interesting intuition.
    – Lilla
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:16
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    (+1) @Lilla More like several (5-10) years of industry experience and having proven your worth of the company for a year or more or being a really good fit for a somewhat strategic position they have trouble hiring for. The default answer from everybody (HR, legal, etc.) will be no. If the company is not already used to do it, you need a senior leader with enough influence who is willing to go to bat for you and fight the bureaucracy. Unless they have a serious reason to want you above any potential candidate, they have no reason to do that.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:42
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As a new graduate, usually your value in employer eyes drops with distance :)

In my experience, junior developer in the beginning require someone close, like 2 feet away in order not to be delayed every few hours.

Remote at that stage turn 2 minutes of review and suggestion in to an hour meeting

So, in short, as answer to your question, freelancer should bring some value to its customer in order to be hired, and in my experience, junior is not revenue, it is costly investment

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