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Working remotely from Germany

Written by Adithya Srinivasan

Companies in Germany have been offering the option to work remotely. I will write down from my experience on what this means and what you can expect from the remote working model.

What is a remote job?
A remote job allows you to work from anywhere as long as you have your computer and a good stable internet connection. This offers flexibility for you to choose where to work from, instead of being restricted to a particular location.

When looking for a job, you can choose different cities or states instead of where you are living. This allows for possibly better cost of living, better work-life balance as you no longer have to commute to work.

If a company offers remote jobs, can I work from anywhere?
It depends on the company and the job description. In my experience, when companies offer "remote" or the job description includes "remote möglich" or "telecommute", they mean that you can work remotely from anywhere in Germany. Unfortunately this means that you cannot work from abroad.
Do all companies in Germany provide remote jobs?
Depending on the type of job, it is more of a possibility now in 2024 than before. When I first moved to Germany in 2018, options for remote jobs were lesser than now. If you are in software engineering or tech or in startups, your chances of working remotely increases.
How can I identify if a job in Germany offers remote work?
In the job description, look for phrases similar to remote jobs, or remote work. In German, companies use the terms Homeoffice möglich or zuhause möglich
Do companies offer only full remote work?
It is possible but a more common method I have experience is companies offering hybrid work model. Hybrid means that you work remotely for a few days every week and then from your employer's office for the remaining days. Usually it means that you work 3 days remotely and 2 days from office but this changes based on the company.
My employer does not have a physical office in Germany. Can I still work remotely?
You need a German work contract and contributions to social security as an employee. One option for your employer is to find an employer of records using a company like Deel or Remote. For a fee, they act as an employer of record meaning you have a German work contract and they handle all the responsibilities about social security and salary. It is an option that your potential employer may offer.

If you have a work permit that does not require you to have a job, like Permanent Residence, then you can work as a freelancer.