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Which are the Top Cities and Countries to Work from Home in 2021?

As COVID-19 continues to impact public safety and the global economy, working from home has very much become the norm for millions of workers.

Being an unprecedented situation and a global health emergency, the idea of working from home will be a new concept for many countries. On the contrary, there will also be many countries and cities already familiar and well prepared when it comes to remote working.

Here are the top global cities that allow employees to work from home, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of remote working.

Handsome young man and attractive woman working from home together on laptop

What are the top countries to work from home?

Working from home can be both convenient and stress-free for many employees, depending on your line of work.

We have put together a ranking of the world’s best cities and countries when it comes to remote working based on multiple factors. Rankings of the world’s top 45 cities and countries have been assessed on:

  • The cost of living
  • Early stage funding
  • Broadband speed
  • Diversity
  • The cost of coffee (a vital factor!)

Estonia top choice for young entrepreneurs

Comparison website, GoCompare.com, has named Estonia as the world’s top target for millennial entrepreneurs.

This was followed by Toronto, Canadaand New Zealand. Singapore was fourth and London, UK, ranked as the fifth-best city for young entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.

Canada has four cities in top 10 to work from home

Canada has four cities in the top 10 with Montreal (6th) Vancouver (7th) and Ottawa (9th) joining Toronto.

USA has two top 10 entries for working from home

The United States has two entries, with Silicon Valley in eighth place and Boston, Massachusetts, coming in tenth.

Bottom of the list for working from home is Lagos, Nigeria; São Paulo, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

GoCompare used cost of living details from the Numbeo website, diversity ratings from an average of founder demographic saturation by start-up Genome and average internet speed measured by country.

Ranking of best countries to work from home

In order to develop the ranking of the best countries where to work from home, the following elements were considered:

“The ranking of cities is based on all the different data points, with highest weight given to cost (should be affordable), current temperatures (should be comfortable), internet speed (should be somewhat fast and usable) and safety (should have low crime). Other indicators are also important like low in racism, gay/LGBTQ+ friendliness, air quality, if it’s fun to live and if there’s good nightlife.

“Throughout the day the site keeps refreshing its data (including temperatures, humidity, internet speeds, exchange rates etc.) which means that at any moment you’ll see the best cities recommended to you. Scores are re-generated every 10 minutes.”

A man working from home talking on the phone

Prague best city to work from home

A separate ranking from the Powwownow names Czech Republic capital, Prague, as the top city in the world for remote working with a score of 52/75.

As well as being an attractive, historic city, Prague has a low cost of living, is within Europe’s Schengen zone and has fast internet capabilities.

Second is Johannesburg, South Africa, with 45/75, followed by Auckland, New Zealand (44), Amsterdam, Netherlands (43) and London, UK (42).

Bangkok top place to live, work from home and play

Meanwhile, Bangkok, Thailand, currently tops the Nomad List, a live ranking of the world’s most popular cities to live, work from home and play. The Nomad List examines 250,000-plus data points to form a list of the best places in the world to live, work and play that is updated based on user input.

Factors include the cost of living, internet speed, weather, safety for women, air quality and freedom of speech.

At time of writing, Canggu, Bali, is in second place and Berlin, Germany, in third. It is followed by Budapest, Hungary and Prague, in the Czech Republic.

The ranking shows considerable changes throughout the seasons. In the summer, places in the United States and Europe start moving up while in the winter, Asia and South America do very well.

Working from home statistics

Seven in 10 work from home at least once a week

Working from home is extremely popular around the world, with seven out of ten professionals spending at least one day a week working out of the office.

53% work remotely at least half each week

53% work remotely for at least half the week, according to figures from Swiss serviced office specialist, IWG.

1.87 billion flexible workers by 2023

In fact, in just five years, 1.87 billion people around the world will be using flexible workspace or 42.5% of the global workforce, states data from research experts, Strategy Analytics.

Why do people work from home?

Millennial career opportunities

Rising numbers of ambitious young people are looking to set-up and operate their own businesses and more than half of millennials are keen to move to a new country to improve their career opportunities, according to GoCompare.

“Whilst ventures can be set up anywhere across the globe, there are certain places that can give first-time business owners the best possible chance of success.”

Advancements in technology

Powwownow says, “Advancements in technology such as video web conferencing, mean you no longer need to be tied to the office desk or stuck for hours in rush hour traffic to complete your job role successfully. Remote working offers more choice in the way employees work, helping to create a balance between work and home life.”

Copenhagen, Denmark, was bottom of the ranking with a score of 32, followed by Zurich, Switzerland at 34 and Manama, Bahrain on 35.

The top 15 cities from The Expat Insider 2017 survey, published by InterNations, were given a maximum score of 15 for each category to calculate their overall score.

Coffee cup in girl’s hands sitting on a wooden floor

Advantages and disadvantages of working from home

Many workers find working from home highly convenient and comfortable, while others still prefer the office. The truth is that it depends on the environment and the commitment you generally put when working. Some may be more productive when working from home, in a quieter environment, while others may find themselves more productive in a fast-paced environment. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.

Working from home advantages

Remote work promotes freedom of movement

Nomad list is a company that promotes best places to live and work from home for people who travel on a regular basis. The website says “Nomad List’s mission is to promote the freedom of movement of people enabled by remote work. It provides services for remote workers and digital nomads to solve challenges like finding destinations to go, places to work, neighbourhoods to stay and building a community in a new place.”

Working from home is comfortable

The first thing that people think when planning to work from home is how much more comfortable they will be when working. Ultimately, it is your choice to find your workspace. You could choose your living room, couch, bedroom etc. But beware, don’t overlook your tasks by picking an overly comfortable workspace (your bed, for example). Remember that you are still working and expected to be active on your daily routine as if you were in the office.

Clothes

Needless to say, the fact that you can wear whatever you want when working from home is a big advantage. You no longer have to wake up earlier to decide what to wear, you can just wake up, clean yourself and start the working day from home.

Working from home disadvantages

Personal determination

Many employees find working from home highly convenient and comfortable, while some still prefer the office. The truth is that it all depends on your environment and what distracts and motivates you.

Some may become more productive when working from home, in a quieter environment. Others may find themselves to be more proactive in a fast-paced office environment. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of working from home:

Working from home advantages

Remote working promotes freedom of movement

Nomad list is a company that promotes the best places to live and work from home for people who travel on a regular basis. The website says “Nomad List’s mission is to promote the freedom of movement of people enabled by remote working. It provides services for remote workers and digital nomads to solve challenges like finding destinations to go, places to work, neighbourhoods to stay and building a community in a new place.”

Working from home is comfortable

The first thing that people think when planning to work from home is how much more comfortable they will be while working. Ultimately, it is your choice to find your workspace. You could choose your living room, sofa, bedroom etc. But beware, don’t overlook your tasks by picking an overly comfortable workspace (your bed, for example). Remember that you are still working and expected to be active on your daily routine as if you were in the office.

Needless to say, the fact that you can wear whatever you want when working from home is a big advantage. You no longer have to wake up earlier to decide what to wear, you can just wake up and pick out whatever you feel is most comfortable.

Working from home disadvantages

Personal determination

Many workers have reported that they realised that working from home leads to a considerable decrease in productivity and self-determination.

When working from home, it is normal to become more easily distracted than when you are in the office. After all, no one is really there to oversee what you are doing. Distractions could be the TV, music or other people living with you.

Some workers suggest finding a quiet and spacious environment to use as a workspace to avoid becoming distracted.

Boredom

When working from home, you may think that time will fly faster, but many employees who are used to working from home have found themselves becoming easily bored.

There are many social benefits of being in the office amongst other people. Having your fellow colleagues working alongside you can be motivating and better for your mental health.

Some workers find it difficult having no-one to talk to and miss the social aspect of an office environment. Of course, this varies amongst individuals, as well as types of employment.

Internet speed

If you are arranging yourself to work from home, don’t expect your internet speed to be faster than in the office. Slower internet speed could affect your approach to your daily tasks.

Intuitively, if you are working on your routine but have to bear longer loading times, you could find yourself more demotivated and more stressed than being in the office.

Businessman holding pen and pointing paper chart summary analyzing annual business report with using laptop working from home.

Continue to save on your cost of living

Are you working from home overseas? Wherever you live and work around the world, Halo Financial provides competitive currency exchange rates and award-winning service, so you always have a helping hand.

“We help clients create the right currency strategy for their individual needs, helping to mitigate risk, maximise exchange rate opportunities and protect our clients’ money,” says Dan Barker, head of Halo Financial’s Private Client and Partnerships teams.

“Our team has a wealth of experience in helping clients with their currency and more when migrating, moving abroad to work, or buying overseas property emigration – and beyond.”

For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/news