In my previous blogs, there had been much emphasis on the increasing popularity of remote work especially amidst the pandemic and The Great Resignation. Now more than ever, novice and experts alike aim for freedom whilst earning and traveling. Both start-ups and corporations have released new mandates related to changes in the current work setup. Many of these companies and employers are showing acceptance of the fact that remote work is here to stay. Moreover, several countries adapted to the shift by offering exclusive perks and benefits to visiting remote workers.
If you are aspiring or already working remotely, where are you heading to next? You might probably want to tick off some exotic place on your bucket list; however, you’ve got to check factors such as the internet speed, average cost of living, accommodation, and many more. After all, you wouldn’t want to get stuck in some far-flung, tourist-trap region. In this blog, I’ve put together some of the promising cities around the world for remote workers to be in 2022. Check out what they’re best at and if it fits you right, put that red pin on the map and book your next flight!
Best Internet Speed
Internet speed should be at the top of a remote worker’s checklist. No matter how remote you go, connectivity is essential especially when you need to attend virtual meetings, communicate with your team, or access cloud data storage like Google Drive. While some work may be done offline, every remote worker would still benefit from having a fast internet speed.
In this category, Monaco is hailed as the best city by Ookla for having an average broadband speed of 261.82 Mbps in 2021. With that speed, uploading and sending large files, streaming multiple HD videos, rendering video edits, and even gaming can all be done without the hassle. Though not your typical digital nomad hub due to the high cost of living, you will still find a community that caters to remote workers like CocoHub Monaco.
Most Co-working Spaces
Dictionary.com defines co-working as “an arrangement by which freelancers or remote employees…share an office or other workspace…” While remote work becomes the norm, co-working spaces in many cities have popped up to accommodate those who need better wifi connectivity, quiet working spots, or a venue to meet teams.
In the May 2021 Co-working Index of CircleLoop, London gets the top spot for having 313 co-working spaces this year. It is followed by New York with 229 and Hong Kong with 166. WeWork, a global co-working solutions provider, has 50 buildings and spaces in London alone. This city is the second most popular destination for digital nomads based on Nomadlist. Barring high living costs, some 10,000 nomads are currently in London and enjoying the privileges of working in one of the most developed economies in the world.
Lowest Cost of Living
The cost of living in a particular city is one of the most important determining factors for remote workers. Referring to the amount of money needed to cover basic needs such as food and accommodation, workers should be able to live within their means in order to survive in remote locations. Needless to say, the income should be able to pay for daily expenses.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan turned out to have the lowest cost of living among the 209 cities in the world surveyed by Mercer. Expatistan calculated the cost of living for a single person to be $709 per month. Furthermore, remote workers might be interested to know that the rent for a 45-sqm. furnished studio in Bishkek would only cost less than $200 per month. Lusaka, Zambia and Tbilisi, Georgia sit at the second and third spots of the cheapest cities in the world.
Besides the internet speed, co-working spaces, and low cost of living, safety should also be taken into consideration when choosing your next location. Having a peace of mind while in a foreign land is extremely significant for productivity and mental health.
The Economist Intelligent Unit, which conducts the annual Safe Cities Index, came out with this year’s results and Copenhagen, Denmark emerged as the winner with 82.4 points out of 100. The criteria included not only low crime rate but also digital and environmental security. Following Copenhagen are Toronto and Singapore.
Although leaning towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, the country Denmark remains to be the second happiest place in the world according to the annual World Happiness Report. Disregarding the financial aspect, this remote work location might just be your next special destination.
Working in a new environment requires mingling with the locals and a warm welcome goes a long way. This means help will come when you need it. Whether for a tip on the best spot in the city or for any emergency situation, the friendly locals are your first and most reliable go-to.
An infographic on World Population Review deemed Portugal as the Friendliest Country in 2021. This means that the country is welcoming of expats and making friends with them is easy. No wonder Nomadlist has Lisbon, Portugal as the most popular nomad stop right now with green bars on all key factors. It also has the most number of remote workers right now with an estimated 16,600. Many digital nomad creators and influencers on Instagram and YouTube have found a home in Lisbon, thanks to its culture, people, safety, and beauty.
Best Health Care
Like food and accommodation, a good healthcare system assures remote workers’ well-being with the provision of satisfactory medical attention when the situation calls for it. It signifies that there are enough care facilities with skilled professionals, medicines and equipment are readily available, and that other health factors are kept in check.
CEOWORLD magazine’s 2021 survey on countries with the best healthcare systems revealed that Korea’s penchant for medical dramas aren’t baseless. As it turned out, Korea has the best health care among 89 countries scoring 78.72 in the overall health care index. For remote workers raring to fly to this popular Asian destination, the capital Seoul and the tourist-favorite Jeju Island are highly recommended.
Best Visa Benefits
Recognizing the rise of the remote workers, many countries have implemented the granting of visas to digital nomads allowing them to receive special benefits. Antigua & Barbuda, for instance, includes the whole family in its Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) program.
Earlier this year, the tourism ministry of Bali in Indonesia mentioned plans of a 5-year visa validity and tax-free for overseas incomes. However, this is yet to become a reality but it is already widely anticipated. If the pandemic comes under control soon, then 2022 might be the year for Bali’s visa to come to fruition.
Googling the best cities for remote workers in 2022 will yield a lot of results depending on varying considerations. Weigh everything out and, ultimately, your next destination is the one that calls out to you the loudest regardless of statistics and other data.
Written By: Frances De Guzman