Remote work has become the new normal for many Americans, with a recent Upwork survey predicting that by the end of 2021, roughly 25% of the workforce will be fully remote. One of the benefits to working remotely is that, as long as your company approves it, you can work from almost anywhere in the world.
If you’re a remote worker looking for a new place to set up shop, you should give Puerto Rico some serious consideration. Here's what you need to know to work remotely from Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory located about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida. The island has no shortage of beaches, with around 300 miles of coastline, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. The capital of Puerto Rico, and the most populous city, is San Juan, located right on the ocean on the northeast part of the island.
Puerto Rico has more to offer than just its sandy shoreline. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of working remotely from Puerto Rico.
1. Warm weather
If you’re looking to work from a place with year-round warm weather, Puerto Rico is a great option. Here, you can go for a swim before or after a hard day’s work. Although the weather can vary depending on where you are on the island, in San Juan, the average high temperature in January is 81 degrees, with a low of 74.
August is typically the wettest month on the island, and hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
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2. No passport or visa required
Around the world, there’s no shortage of destinations trying to attract remote workers, including Georgia (the country), Barbados and Estonia. But unlike many destinations promoting remote work, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with no passport or work visa needed for U.S. travelers. You also won’t need to provide proof of a certain income or have a limit on the amount of time you can spend on the island (both stipulations are fairly common when working remotely from other countries).
3. Time zones
Puerto Rico is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone. That means that for half of the year, Puerto Rico is on Eastern Standard Time — the same as New York City and Miami. The other half of the year, it’s one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. So depending where in the U.S. mainland you’re coming from, you may not need to adjust your work schedule at all while working remotely in Puerto Rico.
4. Strong community network
San Juan has co-working spaces that serve as offices, meeting rooms and support networks of small businesses and startups. Co-working options start around $80 per week, providing a budget-friendly option for a remote office space.
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5. Health care services
Because Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., your mainland-based health insurance plan should cover some health care services while you’re working remotely there. If you need prescriptions filled, there are a number of Walgreens and CVS pharmacies scattered around the island. This is in contrast to working remotely outside of the U.S., where you would need to purchase some form of travel medical insurance since your domestic plan wouldn't be any good.
Although internet service and providers vary across the island, particularly as parts of Puerto Rico still are trying to bounce back from 2017's Hurricane Maria, San Juan has nearly 20 internet service providers. Plus, you can find 5G coverage on most of the island, so you likely won’t need to get a new phone plan during your time working remotely from Puerto Rico either. T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T all have service here.
Since reliable internet and cell service are essential for remote work (including video conferencing), you should check with your accommodation in advance to make sure it’s in a covered area.
7. Food delivery service
When you’re working remotely from a new location, the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time searching for breakfast and lunch options when you should be working. Luckily, various food delivery services, including Uber Eats and Uva (a local delivery service), make it easy to plan your meals. Additionally, travelers who are planning to stay in a short-term rental can schedule grocery deliveries.
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The bottom line
If you consider relocating to take advantage of telecommuting, don't forget that you can work remotely from Puerto Rico. The island is beautiful, with year-round warm weather, hundreds of miles of beaches and a growing remote work community. Plus, Puerto Rico's internet infrastructure is well equipped to support your tech needs for both work and play — and offers access to convenient amenities like grocery delivery.
Whether you’re new to the digital nomad lifestyle or have been living it for years, add Puerto Rico to your shortlist of potential remote work destinations.
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