The rise of remote work has ushered in a new era of flexibility and freedom for professionals. One destination that has garnered attention for remote work is Greece, a country known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. While working remotely from Greece offers an enticing opportunity, there are several critical factors to consider for a successful and enjoyable experience.
Going to Greece is not just the fulfillment of a dream vacation. Once you visit you'll realize that you belong there. It's like going back home.
Remote work in Greece
Visa and Legal Requirements
Before packing your bags and setting up your remote office in Greece, it’s essential to understand the visa and legal requirements. Depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay, you may need a specific visa or residence permit. These requirements can vary, so thorough research and compliance with Greek immigration laws are vital to avoid legal complications during your stay.
Short-Stay Tourist Visa
Citizens from many countries, including the European Union, the United States, Canada, and Australia, can enter Greece without a visa for short stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism purposes. During this time, remote work is generally allowed, but you must not engage in employment or business activities in Greece.
Long-Stay Visa or Residence Permit
To work remotely in Greece for an extended period, you will typically require a long-stay visa or residence permit. The type of permit you need depends on various factors, such as your nationality, the duration of your stay, and your specific work arrangement. Here are some common options:
Digital Nomad Visa: Greece introduced a digital nomad visa in 2021 to attract remote workers. This visa allows individuals to work from Greece for up to one year. Eligibility criteria, application processes, and requirements may vary, so it is essential to check the latest information from the Greek authorities.
Work Visa or Permit: If you plan to work remotely for a company, you may need a work visa or permit. The company may also need to meet specific criteria, such as having a physical presence or registered office in Greece.
For detailed and up-to-date information, you can refer to the following government agencies and resources:
- Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs: For visa and entry requirements.
- Greek National Tourism Organization: Information on the digital nomad visa and tourism-related updates.
- General Secretariat for Immigration Policy: For long-stay visas and residence permits.
- Independent Authority for Public Revenue: Information on tax regulations and obligations in Greece.
These resources will provide comprehensive guidance on the visa and legal requirements for remote work in Greece and any updates related to immigration and taxation.
A stable and reliable internet connection is the lifeblood of remote work. In Greece, urban areas generally offer excellent connectivity, while more remote or rural locations may have varying quality. It’s advisable to check the quality of the internet connection at your chosen destination, especially if your work relies heavily on a high-speed connection.
Urban Areas: Greece’s major cities, including Athens and Thessaloniki, offer robust internet connectivity. These areas have high-speed broadband services, 4G/5G mobile networks, and widespread Wi-Fi access in co-working spaces and accommodations.
Rural Areas and Islands: Internet quality may vary in rural or remote island locations. Some places might have slower connections or occasional outages. Prior to selecting a remote work destination, it’s prudent to research the specific area’s internet infrastructure.
Wi-Fi Hotspots: Public Wi-Fi is readily available in all urban areas, including cafes, restaurants, and public spaces, comparable to all major European and North American cities. However, the reliability of public Wi-Fi can vary, so having a backup mobile data plan is advisable.
Mobile and Internet plans: Lots of options, and several decent low budget plans. To access information about internet service providers (ISPs) and available plans in Greece, please visit the official websites of leading ISPs:
Cost of Living
Greece is renowned for its affordability, but the cost of living can fluctuate significantly depending on your chosen location. Athens, the capital, is generally more expensive than smaller towns or islands. Consider factors like housing, food, transportation, and other living expenses when creating a budget for your remote work adventure.
Cost of Living: Greece is known for its relatively affordable cost of living, especially when compared to other Western European countries. Everyday expenses like groceries, dining out, and transportation are generally budget-friendly. However, costs can vary significantly between cities, islands, and rural areas.
Rent: The cost of renting accommodation can also differ widely depending on your chosen location. Major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki typically have higher rent prices, while smaller towns and islands may offer more economical options.
To explore detailed information on the cost of living and rent in Greece, you can visit the following websites:
Numbeo provides cost of living and rent data for various cities and regions in Greece. You can compare living costs, housing prices, and other expenses: Numbeo Greece
Expatistan offers a cost of living calculator for Greece, which can help you estimate your expenses based on your lifestyle: Expatistan Greece
Spitogatos is a website which allows users to search for long and short term rentals anywhere in Greece: Spitogatos Greek rentals
Healthcare: While Greece boasts a robust healthcare system, having comprehensive health insurance is wise to cover any unforeseen medical expenses. The condition of most hospitals in Greece is not up top the standards of western Europe or North America, but the quality of healthcare services is generally high. Depending on your nationality and the specifics of your stay, you may need private health insurance to ensure peace of mind during your time in Greece. EU nationals can expect free access and treatment to all government run hospitals and health centres, however non-EU nationals will need to pay for treatments and stay. Other options include several private healthcare providers throughout Greece. If you have private coverage in your country check with your provider to find out if they fully or partially cover you while working remotely in Greece too.
Cultural Awareness: Understanding and respecting the local culture is not only courteous but also essential for fostering positive relationships during your stay. Greeks are known for their warm hospitality and strong sense of family. Familiarizing yourself with their customs, etiquette, and traditions can help you feel more at home and integrated into the local community.
Language: Most Greeks, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations, speak English. However, learning some basic Greek phrases can go a long way in enhancing your experience. It can help you navigate daily life more easily, interact with locals, and truly immerse yourself in the Greek way of life.
Island vs. Mainland: Greece’s diverse landscape offers a choice between working in a vibrant city on the mainland, such as Athens, or opting for a more tranquil island. Consider your preferences and work requirements carefully. Islands offer a more relaxed environment, while mainland cities provide a wider range of services and amenities, catering to different work styles and lifestyles.
Time Zones and Communication: Depending on your clients or company, you may need to adjust to different time zones. Greece typically follows the Eastern European Time Zone (EET), which is UTC+2. Consider the time difference when scheduling meetings and coordinating with your team.
Local Time Management: Greece is known for its siesta culture, where some businesses and services may close for a few hours in the afternoon. Adapting your work schedule to accommodate local practices is a smart approach to maximizing your work-life balance and blending seamlessly into the local way of life.
In conclusion, working remotely from Greece is an exciting and enriching prospect, offering the perfect blend of professional life and a culturally immersive experience. However, it’s essential to approach this opportunity with meticulous planning and careful consideration of the factors mentioned above. By addressing legal, logistical, and cultural aspects, you can unlock the full potential of your remote work adventure in this captivating Mediterranean destination. Whether you seek inspiration from ancient history, the beauty of the Aegean Sea, or the flavours of Greek cuisine, working remotely in Greece can be a dream come true.