Travel

Remote Working - Cell Phone

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 9th, 2020 7:49 pm
[OP]
Banned
Jul 23, 2020
473 posts
414 upvotes

Remote Working - Cell Phone

Hello,

I work for a large corporation in financial services in Toronto. We are currently WFH. I am considering moving to a foreign country that is warm for the winter while working remotely.

Has anybody else done this successfully? I don't think I could get approval from my company to do it given all the visa, tax, etc. complications. I don't even know how they would know where I'm working from except for my background on video calls and the fact I need to use a work cell phone that would be roaming.

Any solutions to the cell phone issue? If I get a local SIM I wouldn't be able to answer calls to my Toronto number.
12 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12332 posts
8754 upvotes
Edmonton
sooonk wrote: Hello,

I work for a large corporation in financial services in Toronto. We are currently WFH. I am considering moving to a foreign country that is warm for the winter while working remotely.

Has anybody else done this successfully? I don't think I could get approval from my company to do it given all the visa, tax, etc. complications. I don't even know how they would know where I'm working from except for my background on video calls and the fact I need to use a work cell phone that would be roaming.

Any solutions to the cell phone issue? If I get a local SIM I wouldn't be able to answer calls to my Toronto number.
Get a VOIP phone service. But keep in mind that your IP address used to connect to their network may give you away as well. You may want to look into a Canadian VPN, so you appear to have a Canadian IP address.

C
[OP]
Banned
Jul 23, 2020
473 posts
414 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: Get a VOIP phone service. But keep in mind that your IP address used to connect to their network may give you away as well. You may want to look into a Canadian VPN, so you appear to have a Canadian IP address.

C
How would that work exactly? Could I somehow receive and make calls using my existing Toronto number without roaming? Is there a service you can link me to so I can take a look?

Thanks!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12332 posts
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Edmonton
sooonk wrote: How would that work exactly? Could I somehow receive and make calls using my existing Toronto number without roaming? Is there a service you can link me to so I can take a look?

Thanks!
Try googling "canadian voip from overseas", and you can educate yourself.

C
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
4806 posts
1244 upvotes
Scarborough
If you're worried about being traced from outside of Canada, you can bring your own router and VPN to a Canadian server (or your home router). This is assuming your work laptop is locked down (since it's large corporate laptop) and you can't install any VPN or soft phone software.

Keep in mind you should be aware of the risk that imposes on your company if you're working remotely. i.e. critical data that shouldn't leave the country or what would happen if your work laptop gets stolen in a foreign country.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
694 posts
514 upvotes
I've worked from Florida for short defined periods and used my personal phone to do work calls.

Usually perceived cheating/ethics breaches are as bad as actual ones. I would strongly suggest you come up with a solution and inform your employer while asking for permission. My telework agreement with my employer states the address from which I'm designated to work. Any other location requires approval. This approval isn't hard to get and given that there's next to no reason to be in the office for many office workers it makes sense. I strongly suggest you discuss it with your employer to avoid the risk of being fired later if/when they find out.

They may be willing to allow you to use your phone internationally upon reimbursement of costs or perhaps they'll allow you to use a personal phone/SIM. Alternatively, they may have legitimate security concerns if you're working on any sensitive financial files where security could be a risk using wifi in a foreign country. I of course have no idea what your exact work is, but I do really think you should do this with the approval of your employer.

I don't know the answer about work location in terms of taxes/visa implications. I do wonder if depending on the length of time you're proposing that there may not be any implications (or there may be, I have no idea). You're essentially taking an extended working vacation. Your job/residency is still in Canada.

Hopefully you find a workable solution, but don't get fired over it.

Edit: Maybe post this in the Careers forum, you might get the information there you're seeking more quickly.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 23, 2020
473 posts
414 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: Try googling "canadian voip from overseas", and you can educate yourself.

C
Thanks. It sounds like I need to port my Canadian number to one of these services which I can't do because it's a corporate phone line.
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1906 posts
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GTA West
sooonk wrote: Hello,

I work for a large corporation in financial services in Toronto. We are currently WFH. I am considering moving to a foreign country that is warm for the winter while working remotely.

Has anybody else done this successfully? I don't think I could get approval from my company to do it given all the visa, tax, etc. complications. I don't even know how they would know where I'm working from except for my background on video calls and the fact I need to use a work cell phone that would be roaming.

Any solutions to the cell phone issue? If I get a local SIM I wouldn't be able to answer calls to my Toronto number.
One of the biggest problems with WFH is that your WFH agreement with your employer may stipulate that you can be recalled to work from the office at their discretion, This happened in my company after a few years and some people found themselves up shit creek without a paddle, having moved to distant locations in the meantime.
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
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GTA West
sooonk wrote: Thanks. It sounds like I need to port my Canadian number to one of these services which I can't do because it's a corporate phone line.
You can spoof your office number from your VOIP line. But the voicemail will be on a different system, have different prompts, and people may detect occasional latency in your connection. And if they are paying your mobile bill, that will start looking a bit odd if you are not using it.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2019
1900 posts
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BC
I've done this many times. Two years ago I worked from New Zealand for a month. The company I work for (previously as employee, currently as contractor) has always been fine with it so that helps. I'd highly recommend discussing it with your employer and finding a solution everyone is happy with. Some important aspects to consider are time zone difference and network security. Most companies won't want you to work over a random public wifi. Given that you already work from home, this aspect is probably already taken care of (VPN etc.). I don't think not informing your employer is the way to go if you value your long-term relationship.

I always use a local SIM in a cheap second phone. In most countries local prepaid SIMs cost almost nothing. I do always bring my Canadian phone just in case but in general I don't get very many calls on it. I inform friends, family and people I work with so they'll know not the call me and use email or whatsapp instead. Most work communication goes via email and slack anyway.

In terms of visa, tax implications, etc. usually for short term stays up to 2 or 3 months a tourist visa will do, most countries don't care if you do some remote work for a foreign company while you're there, as long as you don't seek an actual job in that country.

Lots of people do this as a lifestyle, google "digital nomads", there are some good resources on the web.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
sooonk wrote: Thanks. It sounds like I need to port my Canadian number to one of these services which I can't do because it's a corporate phone line.
You would call forward your cdn corp cellphone to a canadian voip number . The canadian voip number usually can be used anywhere in the world. Call forwarding from a corp cellphone to another canadian number is usually included in most corp cell plans.
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 10, 2004
6592 posts
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Vancouver
sooonk wrote: Hello,

I work for a large corporation in financial services in Toronto. We are currently WFH. I am considering moving to a foreign country that is warm for the winter while working remotely.

Has anybody else done this successfully? I don't think I could get approval from my company to do it given all the visa, tax, etc. complications. I don't even know how they would know where I'm working from except for my background on video calls and the fact I need to use a work cell phone that would be roaming.

Any solutions to the cell phone issue? If I get a local SIM I wouldn't be able to answer calls to my Toronto number.
Does it have to be your number or it can be any local phone number?
For example, I use Fongo for travel. It's free and a number there allows people call me at my Toronto number. All I need to answer is internet connection. Same if I want to call, I need an internet connection to use it.

IMHO, I would attempt to discuss it with them in some way. Ask questions, maybe imply you have friends in USA and want to go there for a few weeks and whether you can work. Once you have a general idea on their view of you not being in Canada, then you can proceed with going to a far away country. Last thing you would want is them asking you to come in and then firing for not able to do so.
I use voice typing, expect mistakes...
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Sep 14, 2012
1597 posts
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Montreal, QC
sooonk wrote: Hello,

I work for a large corporation in financial services in Toronto. We are currently WFH. I am considering moving to a foreign country that is warm for the winter while working remotely.

Has anybody else done this successfully? I don't think I could get approval from my company to do it given all the visa, tax, etc. complications. I don't even know how they would know where I'm working from except for my background on video calls and the fact I need to use a work cell phone that would be roaming.

Any solutions to the cell phone issue? If I get a local SIM I wouldn't be able to answer calls to my Toronto number.
My suggestion to you is to first speak with your employer about this since working from home doesn't mean that you can be anywhere. For example, I've been working from home since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 so I've been working from home at the request/direction of my employer for approximately 8 months and counting. However, it is understood that I can be called back to the office at any time.

If you need to connect to the company's network, the company will know that you are connecting from outside of Canada. The only way that they wouldn't know is if in order to access the company's network, they don't require a VPN service for you to access resources from the company. For example, where I work, I am required to access my company's network which requires that I use their VPN service. The VPN server records the IP address that is connecting to it. You can't use two VPN clients on the same device at the same time. For example, I can't use the 3rd party VPN service that I'm paying for on my computer to get a Canadian IP address and then use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client provided by my employer to connect to their network. Even if it was possible technologically (like getting a VPN router), the company that I work for is able to detect people using a 3rd party VPN service to access their network and flags such accounts for security reasons.

Also, some companies will detect that you are using a third party VPN service and flag your account. Where I work, the company that I work for will often flag accounts that use a third party VPN service in order to access resources.

In terms of your work cellphone issue, if the account has call forwarding, you can forward it to a VoIP Canadian number and use that to answer calls. Also, depending on the VoIP company that you picked, the VoIP client or app that you install can be used to "spoof" a caller ID number so when you make an outgoing call, it can appear to be from your cellphone number. For example, using the VoIP client on my cellphone, I can have my outgoing call display show my home landline number, a payphone number, or any phone number I wanted (even the same phone number as the person I'm calling).

My suggestion to you is that honesty is the best policy and if you're planning on working outside of your general area, you should inform your employer since if you are called back to work and unable to do so, it could result in disciplinary action or ultimately you being dismissed.

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