Bloomberg Línea — The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a migration to remote working around the world by allowing employees to move their location temporarily or permanently. However, conditions vary widely for digital nomads from country to country.
Cybersecurity company NordLayer has compiled a global ranking of the countries with the best conditions for the ‘home office’.
The Global Remote Work Index ranks the best-scoring countries to accommodate remote employees and is a tool for digital professionals to assess and compare 66 countries’ attractiveness as remote work locations.
The index helps determine where to travel and work next and uses data complied by scientists using only reliable, up-to-date studies.
The four aspects taken into consideration to compile the ranking, and the ideal characteristics for each category are:
- Cybersecurity: A safe remote work location has adequate infrastructure, response, and legal capacities in protecting remote workers, their data, privacy, and online work from cybercrime.
- Economic and social conditions: The country has political stability, affordable local prices, and is accessible. The population of such destinations is accepting and easy to communicate with, while the socio-economic structures in place ensure high scores in the social life category.
- Digital and physical infrastructure: It’s comfortable to be there – online and offline. Co-working spaces with quick internet speed are crucial for remote workers, and good general infrastructure and social life are essential for comfortable living.
- COVID-19 response and handling: It’s a COVID-safe destination. There are no guarantees, but countries with high overall vaccination rates and swift pandemic response history are safer to be in during the pandemic.
“For some, it’s all about the cultural experience; for others, it’s about cybersecurity, social life, infrastructure, or high-speed internet. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer,” according to the authors of the index.
Germany is the best place to work remotely, according to the NordLayer ranking, followed by Denmark and the United States, while Algeria is placed last.
In Latin America, Uruguay achieves the highest ranking, in 47th place, while Chile is ranked 48th and Mexico 50th. Brazil ranks 51st, Argentina 54th and Ecuador 64th, just two places above lowest-ranked country Algeria.
According to the report, Latin American countries are not necessarily unsafe to work digitally, but they are taking longer than other countries to adapt and develop digital practices and standards for digital nomads.
The global ranking
Germany took the top spot, boosted by the country’s cybersecurity, economic and social conditions.
“No one has the perfect scenario, but Germany has good enough conditions for remote workers these days,” the study said. It further noted that the country “successfully balances deficiencies in digital infrastructure with high standards in cybersecurity domains,” the report states.
Second-placed Denmark was boosted by its digital and physical infrastructure. While the United States, which came in third place, was helped by its response to Covid-19 and its economic and social conditions.
In total, European nations took eight of the top 10 spots.
In cybersecurity, smaller European countries such as Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia are the most secure. In digital accessibility, South Korea, ranked 11th overall, has the fastest internet, while Israel, ranked 37th, is the most affordable.
“The trend is clear, since the beginning of Covid-19, remote or hybrid work has become inevitable even in those companies that previously preached the importance of face-to-face interactions,” NordLayer’s chief technology officer, Juta Gurinaviciute, said in a statement.
Prithwiraj Choudhury, a Harvard Business School professor and remote work expert, points out that within a decade it’s possible that offices will be used for one thing and one thing only: quality time with coworkers.
“Probably within 10 years we’ll stop calling this remote work. We’ll just call it work,” says Choudhury, who also asserts that companies that don’t adapt run the risk of higher desertion among staff.