The last two years have seen a monumental shift in how and where people work.
Through force of circumstance, businesses had to turn on a dime and swap the usual office environment for a remote working setup!
Like all big changes, it took some getting used to.
Fast forward to the end of 2021, though, and huge numbers of employees have seen the light! After swapping the long commute and office politics for newfound flexibility, control over their schedule, and, of course, getting work done in their pajamas, many people now want to make the switch permanent.
Are you one of them?
Well, why not go one step further and work from home, abroad?
With a growing number of countries offering special digital nomad visas to accompany stunning local attractions and a low cost of living, there’s never been a better time to experience the benefits of working online.
The tricky part’s deciding where to go first.
For help with the task, read on to discover the leading countries for remote work.
What is the Digital Nomad Index?
With so many potential destinations to choose from, a good place to start your search is a useful resource called the Digital Nomad Index.
Taking into account various factors, such as internet speeds, rental costs, special visas, and the Global Happiness Index, it attempts to rank the best countries around the world to work remotely!
You can see the full list here. In the meantime, the top 3 places for digital nomads (according to their calculations) are:
- United Kingdom
Each of these countries scores highly on the aforementioned ranking factors. However, Romania’s by far the best bet if you’re on a budget!
What Factors Contribute to Ideal Remote Work Conditions?
As you can imagine (and our previous section illustrates), not all countries are made equal when it comes to working remotely!
Whether we’re talking about political instability, sky-high taxes, or snail-paced internet speeds, there are definitely places to avoid.
Here are the key factors to consider if you’re wondering how to separate the wheat from the chaff:
A common misconception among aspiring nomads is that working remotely means you can set your own hours.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case! Why?
If you’re based in the UK and working for a US company, for example, you might have to work late into the night to attend meetings, make calls, and so on. Moreover, your company could, in theory, still have control over your working hours!
Anybody who wants full control and a regular schedule should think very carefully about the time zone in any country they wish to live in.
The United Arab Emirates charges zero income tax.
Austria, by contrast, charges a whopping 55%.
Need we say more?! One of the best parts of working remotely is that you can choose places that don’t take huge percentages of your salary each month.
Anybody wanting to skyrocket their potential to save money and generate wealth faster should think hard about the tax implications of moving to one country over another.
Cost of Living
Tax isn’t the only financial issue to keep in mind.
The overall cost of living makes a major difference too.
Remember, you can move somewhere your money automatically goes further! Thanks to the power of the US dollar vs weaker currencies, the average American can live like royalty in other parts of the world.
Vietnam, Mexico, Costa Rica, or anywhere in Eastern Europe are all good examples of cheap countries that also offer an awesome quality of life for thrifty digital nomads.
Distance from Family
Working on a tropical beach in South East Asia might sound ideal.
But what happens if a family emergency happens back home? Or your young nephew has a birthday and wants his uncle there? Or you’re missing home and want a hug from your mom?
All of a sudden, that distance from loved ones can become a burden.
If you know you’re more of a home bird at heart, then consider going somewhere closer to friends and family.
When you’re working online, internet speed and reliability are obviously 2 major infrastructural considerations.
But they’re not the only ones!
Assess things like public transport and medical services too.
Will you be able to get around easily? And will you be able to receive high-quality, affordable medical support in a modern facility if you fall ill?
If the answer’s “no” to either question, then it could be best to look elsewhere.
What Are the Top10 Countries for Remote Work?
The Digital Nomad Index will give you a good idea of the best places to work remotely. Nevertheless, here are the top 10 as we see them:
Cheap, cheerful, and forever popular among travelers, Thailand’s the go-to digital nomad destination for many.
A little-known gem for remote workers, expect beautiful natural surroundings, budget-friendly prices, and a brand new digital nomad visa.
This is arguably the most popular digital nomad spot in South America. You’ll enjoy stunning scenery, a colorful culture, and a thriving community of fellow ex-pats.
4. Sri Lanka
The internet might not be lightning-fast, but few countries compare in terms of the cost of living and the lovely locals! An easily obtainable digital nomad visa makes a difference too.
5. The UK
“Old Blighty” isn’t the cheapest country to work remotely. It does, however, offer awesome infrastructure and plenty of beautiful, historic) places to visit.
Ignore the media! Super cheap and offering everything a remote worker needs to succeed, it’s no wonder so many ex-pats choose it as their destination of choice.
Canada’s another expensive option on this list. However, the infrastructure’s first-rate and the quality of life around the country’s hard to beat.
8. The United Arab Emirates
Anybody looking for a high quality of life and no taxes will love the UAE!
9. Eastern Europe
Highly affordable and fascinating places to explore, countries like Bulgaria and Romania in Eastern Europe are rising rapidly in popularity among remote workers.
If Indonesia’s stunning tropical beaches don’t sell it, then plans for a 5-year visa with zero tax on foreign income might. Bali, in particular, is a firm favorite for nomads in this beautiful part of the world.
Work Remotely in These Perfect Places
Having committed to the decision to work remotely, the next big step for anyone on the hunt for adventure is choosing where to work from!
We hope this post will help in this regard. With the leading countries for remote work in mind, it shouldn’t be long before you’re happily earning money online and overseas. Are you an employer looking to streamline your hiring, onboarding, and payroll for remote teams around the world?
Contact us today to see how we can help.