The US Expat’s 2024 Remote Work Guide

Remote work

With the rise of the digital nomad and the global transition to remote work, arguably, there hasn’t been a better time to relocate abroad.

But moving to a new country isn’t as easy as simply packing up a suitcase and hopping on a plane. Being a successful remote worker, especially from abroad, entails so much more—and we’re here to spill our secrets.

Bright!Tax is a fully remote firm that helps American expats around the world meet their US tax filing requirements. Our team enjoys working from anywhere we feel the most productive, inspired, and comfortable.

Here are our top pieces of advice for Americans working remotely abroad.

Embrace location flexibility to avoid loneliness and boredom

Working from home every single day can sometimes feel boring and lonely. In fact, loneliness is 67% more likely to happen when you work remotely compared to in-office work, according to Fortune. Especially for those who enjoy in-person collaboration and thrive on social interactions.

To prevent the feeling of isolation, explore various work environments beyond your dedicated home office space where you can meet like-minded people. You may discover that you’re super productive in coworking spaces, coffee shops, libraries, or outdoor spaces like parks or even a beach. Switching up the work environment can help prevent monotony and stimulate creativity, especially if you also choose to travel to other countries.

Still, make sure you keep your home office for when you need to focus and enjoy some distraction-free silence, or you simply miss home.

Create goals and targets & hold yourself accountable

“For most workers, being a digital nomad is no longer a luxury, but rather, a requirement of the job.” – Forbes

While not having a manager hovering over your shoulder every day may feel nice, working remotely may also make you more prone to procrastination. When you’re not focused on a particular goal or have the 5 pm deadline to complete your daily tasks and leave the office, the work may start piling up, adding to unnecessary stress.

Even if you don’t have a manager but work for yourself, you can set goals and targets to help keep yourself accountable and on track. Break larger goals into smaller, short-term objectives (for example, weekly goals) and create timelines for each project, defining each step you need to take to complete the task.

Tracking goals will help you monitor your own performance and progress, making this activity a great tool for career planning.

Practice time management, especially across time zones

Remote work essentially relies on your ability to manage time—or, better said, how you organize yourself during a specific time frame.

Depending on the nature of the work and your personal inclination, your time management strategies might involve working at specific times of day, assigning certain tasks to ‘time blocks’, or using techniques like Pomodoro to manage your focus. Mastering time management will also help set clear boundaries between work and personal time, allowing you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

When you work in a global team, it’s particularly important to be aware of the different time zones your collaborators might be in. Be mindful of when you book meetings or send Slack messages and respect your own and other people’s working hours. The “always-on” mindset isn’t sustainable in the long run, so don’t practice it, trying to demonstrate your dedication to work—it could soon lead to burnout.

Build your own stack of tools that help you work efficiently

While a good internet connection is imperative for most remote work, it’s also important to employ the right online tools and platforms to enable you to effectively manage projects and communicate with other team members and clients.

These may include:

Pro tip:

How about using AI to optimize your workday? New AI-based tools are emerging every day, and they can help you achieve plenty of things, such as automating some daunting tasks you’d rather skip. For example, creating invoices for clients, using a virtual assistant, or writing tools to draft professionally-sounding emails.

Learn how to communicate clearly & effectively

Communicating in a virtual world is a whole new story compared to face-to-face talk. On occasions, we can’t see the other person’s facial expressions or gestures clearly while they’re speaking. This is why clarity and assertiveness are key, and there’s no such thing as overcommunication in any remote team.

The other aspect of communication is ensuring that you’re connected personally with your line manager, wider team, and any clients or other necessary exterior professional contacts. This means scheduling regular online meetings to create, discuss, and monitor projects and targets for both individuals and teams.

It’s also important to maintain informal communication between team members, as exists in an office environment, such as by establishing informal catch ups and celebrating company successes together.

Lastly, remember to be professional when participating in remote meetings, in terms of appearance, background, and minimizing peripheral interference, where possible.

Though, at Bright!Tax, we’ve found that embracing the occasional appearance of pets or children on Zoom calls adds a nice (and real!) human touch.

Add financial literacy & planning to your to-do list

Working remotely from a foreign country comes with a fair share of challenges, including unique financial considerations. From budgeting and retirement planning to building an investment portfolio to navigating local insurance and banking services, managing your finances may seem overwhelming.

Not to mention the taxes! As a US citizen, your worldwide income is still subject to US taxes, but what’s the best approach to optimizing your tax obligations when living abroad?

This is why financial literacy plays an important role in an expat’s life. To improve your knowledge of personal finance management, you can listen to courses, read books and reputable websites, attend workshops, or use financial planning apps and tools.


When it comes to expat taxes, we’re here for you! Our expert team specializes in helping US citizens living abroad prepare, catch up, and file taxes, as well as optimize their tax strategies wherever they live.

Be a part of a reliable network & community

Being part of a reliable network and community is essential for various reasons, including support, connection, and access to valuable resources. 

In many countries, you’ll find a thriving community of US expats, who can help you navigate cultural adjustment challenges and find local resources for anything you may need. Expat communities often organize social events, language exchanges, and cultural activities to facilitate integration, build friendships, and offer valuable insights that can make the transition to life abroad smoother and more enjoyable.

If you find industry-specific expat groups and networking events, you can connect with fellow professionals, exchange career advice, and even access job opportunities within your field. You may even meet an immigration lawyer or a financial planner who can offer valuable advice on your residency status, visa issues, and other related matters.

Stay organized & document everything

The fast-paced world we live in requires documenting everything we do, especially when we live as expats. From tracking personal expenses to keeping records of tax filings and visa documents, staying organized helps us minimize the risks of penalties and residency issues.

Use digital folders or cloud storage to enable easy access to important information whenever needed. Be sure to protect this data by using safe passwords and two-factor authentication.

Create a calendar to help you stay on top of obligations that are relatively easy to fall through the cracks in our hectic daily lives. Healthcare appointments, rent due dates, passport expiration dates, and similar things tend to slip our minds but can cause serious issues. It’s best to set reminders a few days or weeks, even months ahead so that you have enough time for an action plan.

Don’t neglect your physical health

Sitting all day in front of a computer is a true enemy of our health. It’s so easy to overwork yourself, and your back definitely won’t thank you for it.

This is why setting aside time for physical activity, eating well, and resting needs to be intentional. Luckily, for many remote companies, remote work also means flexible work, so this should be fairly easy. Just like you schedule meetings and work-related tasks, make sure your calendar is full of things like yoga lessons, 30-minute power naps, walks in nature, morning runs, swimming, cooking with family, meal prepping, or simply enjoying the sun in your garden.

Investing in ergonomic furniture and great health insurance is another way to protect your health when working remotely. If you live abroad, make sure you familiarize yourself with local healthcare options. You can also look into companies that provide health insurance specifically for remote workers and nomads, like SatefyWing.

Rely on Bright!Tax to ease your US tax worries

One thing you can cross off your to-do list is managing your US taxes. Leave that to us: our team of experienced tax professionals specializes in helping expats just like you to prepare and file their taxes accurately and timely every year while making sure your personalized tax strategy helps you save your hard-earned money.

Reach out to a CPA today

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