Can I work from home in Costa Rica? I decided to write about this subject again. Many ask me this question due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The high risk of transmission in many places and government mandates have forced workers and students alike to stay at home and limit contact outside the family. Even prior to the worldwide health crisis, it was a question frequently asked by those seeking greater flexibility and less commute time in their work. Working from home can also open up the opportunity to relocate and move to Costa Rica. So, is working from home a viable option in Costa Rica? It certainly is.
Costa Rica offers ideal conditions to work from home. It’s in the same time zone as central North America, so you’ll never have to make or receive phone calls in the middle of the night if your work contacts are in the same hemisphere. An obvious requirement is reliable, high speed Internet and phone service. Costa Rica ticks those boxes with the best telecommunications infrastructure in Central America. And multiple Internet service providers guarantee competitive pricing and constant technology upgrades.
Forbes magazine (August 16, 2012) listed tips from experts on how to successfully work from home. It’s remarkable how well the recommendations can be put into practice in Costa Rica. Here are some of their suggestions and how they fit the Costa Rican lifestyle.
Get organized. Costa Rica is a great place to get organized, both in your daily life and in your work. When moving to Costa Rica, most expats leave behind the mountain of accumulated stuff that they weren’t using anyway. When they set up in Costa Rica, they only purchase what they really need. As a result, life is simpler and better organized. The slower pace also lends itself to staying in control of home, office, and lifestyle. Being organized includes maintaining balance between work, family, and leisure time. The service of housekeepers and gardeners is reasonably priced, so you can afford to free up your schedule and keep your balance.
Have a set work space. Your work from home will be more efficient if you designate a specific room or area as your home office. Just like I do, in my third bedroom, which is now set up as an office. If you store your computer and any other work-related materials in one place, they will always be right where you left them, ready for you to continue your project where you left off. It won’t be difficult to find the ideal office space in your Costa Rica house or condo. Homes here are known to be spacious and brightened by natural light in every room. However, be careful that the gorgeous views don’t distract you while you’re working!
Take breaks. Your productivity while you work from home will actually increase if you schedule breaks. Putting down the phone and pushing aside the computer once in a while is beneficial both physically and mentally. Costa Rican homes often feature places to get up, stretch, walk around, and breath fresh air. Many have outdoor living spaces–balconies, patios, or decks–where you can rest your mind and body. Some houses and condos have pools which is another great place to get away from your work.
Get out of the house. While a short break from your home office is nice, sometimes you need to change your work setting completely. When you’ve had enough of the same four walls, Costa Rica offers a wide variety of options. The aforementioned pool can be a peaceful, but different, place to continue your labors. Or the beach if you really want to get away from it all but still get something done. A Skype call or a Zoom meeting from the pool or beach doesn’t seem like office work at all. Coffee shops, smoothie huts, and restaurants with wifi are also readily available. They provide a much needed change of setting where you can check your emails or finish a report. And with the great year-round weather, you don’t have to wait for a nice day to leave the house.
So don’t be afraid to try working from home in Costa Rica. The great living and working conditions make it the ideal place. In fact, it may feel like you’re not even working at all. I know I didn’t when I wrote this blog from my home in Costa Rica!
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