6 Reasons Why Remote Jobs Have Location Requirements

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Have you ever spotted the perfect remote work position only to realize you don’t live in the right area? Why should it matter if the jobs you’re applying for operate remotely, anyway?

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There are many reasons companies may want — or require — employees or contractors to live in a specific state, country or region. In an article about work-from-home jobs, FlexJobs outlined the main reasons.

1. Tax Ramifications

When businesses hire workers in other states, it could make taxes more complicated — for the business owner and the employees. Larry Brant, a tax attorney at Foster Garvey, explained in a blog post that having an employee working in another state creates a “business nexus,” which subject the employer to the tax laws of that state, city, and county.

The business may have to file and pay taxes in any state where they have an employee working, and could be subject to income taxes, gross receipts taxes, and sales and use taxes, Brant writes.

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2. Labor Laws

Each state has different labor laws relating to minimum wage, statutory employee benefits, job termination, hours and time off. Typically, a business owner or the human resources department in a company will understand the rules for the state where the business operates. Having a far-flung work force means the company needs to understand and follow the rules for every state where they have an employee.

3. Licenses, Certifications and Registrations

Similarly, states have varying requirements for licensing and certification for some types of employees. While employees can have a license in one state and live somewhere else, especially if they moved recently, residency could be a requirement when it comes time to review.

Related: These Top Startups Are Currently Hiring for Remote Positions

On the other side of that coin, businesses must also be registered in any state where they have employees, so hiring employees in multiple states can add up to a lot of extra paperwork and fees.

4. Time Zones

From a practical standpoint, some business owners and managers want their remote employees to be working on the same schedule as those who work on-site. They might also want to make sure their remote workforce is available for real-time meetings, so they want them all working on the same schedule and in the same time zone.

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If you encounter this issue, however, it may not be a deal-breaker. If you’re an early bird on the West Coast applying for a job with New York headquarters, for instance, you could start your workday at 6 AM PST to maintain the same schedule as your co-workers. It pays to ask if there’s any flexibility in where you live as long as you can keep the same hours as the rest of the company.

5. In-Person Meetings

The hybrid work arrangement has grown in popularity in the past year, with 51% of employers favoring a hybrid model and only 5% liking the idea of a fully remote workforce. A hybrid model can range from spending a few days in the office and a few days working remotely, or simply being available sporadically for in-person meetings.

More: Is an Agile Work Environment the Future Iteration of Hybrid Jobs?

Whether your employer wants you connecting with team members or clients face-to-face, living near the company’s client base and its office reduces costs and travel time.

6. Travel Requirements

If the job requires frequent travel, your employer will want to be sure you can travel easily, which could mean living near the region where meetings will take place or living near a main transportation hub, FlexJobs reported. Flights out of rural areas tend to be more expensive, with fewer options, which can make business travel pricier and more complicated.

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See: The 26 Highest-Paying Jobs That Let You Work From Home
Find: Before It Became the Norm, Which States Had the Most Remote Workers?

If you spot the remote job of your dreams but realize it has location requirements, it’s still worth it to apply. You can ask if the location is negotiable during the interview. Find out why your employer has imposed location restrictions and talk about ways you can fulfill the job duties from wherever you may live.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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