Author Topic: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)  (Read 2686 times)

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« on: September 22, 2014, 02:02:52 PM »
My wife and I (and two dogs!) are moving to Melbourne from Chicago for a contract position my wife was offered though her company.  I thought I’d have to find work there, but my boss recently agreed to me working remotely.  He has asked me to come up with a “schedule” for work hours while I’m gone.  Since Melbourne is 15 hours ahead of Chicago, there is some overlap in work days that will help me stay in contact with Project Managers that I need to talk to every couple of days.  Most of the work can be assigned to me through email though.

So just a few questions..

1)   What should my work hours be?
2)   How do Holidays work in these situations normally?  Should I take the same days off as my counterparts in Chicago?
3)   Likely any way around working Tues-Sat (to match Chicago Mon-Fri work week)

Melbourne is 15 hours ahead of Chicago
Chicago office workday = 8:30AM – 5:00PM Mon-Friday


I was thinking:
6:30AM-2:30PM
Tuesday-Saturday

If I do this starting Tuesday my start time overlaps with the last 1.5 hours of their Monday afternoon. 

Obviously the downside to this schedule is that my wife will have Mon-Fri work schedule but I’ll be working Saturdays.


Thanks for any advice – this is a first for me!
-Ryan

feelingroovy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 05:31:45 PM »
I live in NY and have a few clients in Australia.  Don't forget that right about when the US switches from daylight savings to standard time, Australia is doing the opposite. So the time difference changes by two hours.

MsRichLife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Age: 42
    • Living My Rich Life
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 07:21:07 PM »
For three years I was working in California, but reported remotely to people in Washington DC, and also Australia. Here's what I did:

I worked the same days as the locals (SoCal) so I had some quality of life. Mondays would be busy as I caught up on the extra day that Australia had been working so I kept that day reasonably free of other meetings etc. and just focussed on responding to all of the 'urgent' email requests.

If there was a local public holiday I would take it, but just give my counterparts on the West Coast and in Australia plenty of notice that I wouldn't be in the office. They did the same. It worked fine.

I would schedule telcons with Australia and West Coast for the same day each week so that expectations were clear. Trying to talk on the phone in a unscheduled way was just frustrating, so best to make it a scheduled thing and do everything else by email.  Telcons were usually midweek, early in the day for Australia, afternoon for me. I tried to be in my office for the first 1.5 hours of Australia's workday, just in case they did need to get me on the phone for something important.

I stuck to reasonable working hours, but on the odd occasion I'd have to dial into a telecon at weird hours (like midnight). I didn't mind if this was very occasional and for extraordinary reasons, but I would not make a habit of it.

Good Luck. Sounds like a great opportunity.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4606
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 08:08:34 PM »
Why on EARTH would you volunteer to work on Saturdays when your spouse doesn't? You are going to be miserable. Because not only are you going to be in another country you are only going to effectively get 1 day a week off with your wife to even explore/socialize. Worst. Idea.Ever.

How early does your wife work? I'd suggest basically copying your wife's schedule at least 3 or so days of the week.

Your boss probably won't care, and if so, will say something.

For holidays I'd suggest figuring out how many paid holidays you get now. Find out what normal holidays in Australia look like, too. If the numbers are comparable just suggest you take the same number of holidays but take the AU ones. YMMV here but I suspect your boss might have some problems if you end up taking lots more paid holidays in AU than the rest of your team in the USA.

CptCool

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 01:32:28 PM »
I would definitely get a new job in Australia unless your boss is willing to give you a significant pay raise. The minimum wage in Australia is ~1.75x that of the US. That means everything is more expensive. The USD-->AUD exchange rate is close to 1:1. Not a good exchange rate when the difference in earning power is so different.

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 01:59:28 PM »
All great advice here.  I read these posts right before my meeting with my boss this afternoon and he agreed to everything.  I'll take Mon-Fri Australian work week (Sat Sun off) and I'll get Australian holidays off rather than US holidays.


Here comes the 2nd part of my question...

my US based company agreed to me working remotely from Australia. Ends up there are lots of issues for my company in doing this (Superannuation instead of 401k, taxes, etc) since we dont have an Australian office. Instead, we have a sister company based out of Australia that is going to "hire me" and invoice my current company for my compensation.

I'm wondering what implications this will have on my compensation, or what I should look into and ask about..

Right now I max my 401k. In Australia their equivelant is called SuperAnnuation, where the company is required by law to add 9% of your pay to an account. When you leave the country (2 years for us) you get a check for that amount (taxed first though). This stinks for me because for 2 years i'll miss out on 401k contributions.

Anything else I should be concerned with?  I wont be contributing to Social Security anymore (paid in AUD), CAn't contribute to Roth IRA for two years (ouch!)

MsRichLife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Age: 42
    • Living My Rich Life
Re: Help me plan my work hours (Working Remotely!)
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 05:55:25 PM »
All great advice here.  I read these posts right before my meeting with my boss this afternoon and he agreed to everything.  I'll take Mon-Fri Australian work week (Sat Sun off) and I'll get Australian holidays off rather than US holidays.

Great news

my US based company agreed to me working remotely from Australia. Ends up there are lots of issues for my company in doing this (Superannuation instead of 401k, taxes, etc) since we dont have an Australian office. Instead, we have a sister company based out of Australia that is going to "hire me" and invoice my current company for my compensation.

I'm wondering what implications this will have on my compensation, or what I should look into and ask about..

Right now I max my 401k. In Australia their equivelant is called SuperAnnuation, where the company is required by law to add 9% of your pay to an account. When you leave the country (2 years for us) you get a check for that amount (taxed first though). This stinks for me because for 2 years i'll miss out on 401k contributions.

Anything else I should be concerned with?  I wont be contributing to Social Security anymore (paid in AUD), CAn't contribute to Roth IRA for two years (ouch!)

I don't know a whole lot about how compensation works in the US, but in Australia the 9% Superannuation doesn't come out of your quoted salary. i.e. if you are offered a job for $120K pa then that's what you get (minus tax of course). Your employer will take care of the 9+%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superannuation_in_Australia

However with my Super fund I have to make personal contributions of 5-10% of my wage. I don't know if that's standard for all industries. I'm not a Super expert so hopefully someone else will wade in with better information.

As CptCool also pointed out, remuneration in Australia is much higher than the US. You might want to look into how much people in your industry with equivalent experience and skills get paid in Australia. Given that you lose some of your other remuneration benefits (I.e. social security, 401K etc), you might need to seek a higher salary.

Also be aware that the Australian dollar 'floats' against the $US. It has been exceptionally high these last few years (1:1), but we are starting to see it drop and it could revert to historical ratio of 0.7-0.8:1.

http://www.exfin.com/historical-forex-aud

If you are moving back to the US when $AUD is low then that will hurt you financially. Is your wage also going to 'float' as the Aussie dollar weakens? If not, you might need to seek higher Salary to cover that eventuality.