The best countries for remote working are all in Europe

Denmark is the best country in the world for remote working
Denmark is the best country in the world for remote working
European nations occupy the entirety of the top 10 in this year’s Global Remote Work Index, with Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany leading the way

There can be doubt that the pandemic ushered in a new era in the workplace and, although a number of big-name companies have imposed return-to-office mandates, remote working is here to stay. 

A recent study from Upwork found that, over in the US, 36.2 million people will be working remotely by 2025 – up 87% on pre-pandemic levels. 

In an attempt to assess the best and worst places in the world for remote working, cybersecurity firm NordLayer uses the Global Remote Work Index (GRWI) to rank countries based on four metrics. 

Within each metric is various sub-categories which, when combined, help evaluate general remote-work attractiveness:

  • Cyber safety: Infrastructure, response capacity and legal measures
  • Economic safety: Tourism attractiveness, English language proficiency, cost of living and healthcare
  • Digital and physical infrastructure: Internet quality and affordability, e-infrastructure, e-government and physical infrastructure
  • Social safety: Personal rights, inclusiveness and safety
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This year’s index examines 108 countries – and those in Europe dominate the top of the list. 

Denmark leads the way for remote working

European nations occupy the entirety of the top 10 in this year’s GRWI. 

Leading the way is Denmark, which is lauded for its strong digital infrastructure and social safety. 

The country excels in sub-categories such as social inclusiveness, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-government and healthcare, outperforming other Scandinavian countries in most dimensions. 

Even with relatively high living costs, pricey internet and room for improvement in the cyber safety space, Denmark maintains a robust remote work environment.

The Netherlands ranks highly for remote working

This year’s runner-up, the Netherlands, also ranks second in the social safety category, reflecting its extensive personal rights and inclusivity.

The country also holds commendable positions for digital and physical infrastructure (8th) and economic safety (11th), ensuring it fends off competition from Benelux neighbours Belgium (12th overall) and Luxembourg (27th). 

Third-place Germany performs particularly well in the cyber safety and economic safety realms, ranking 4th and 6th respectively.

Despite standing 22nd globally in the digital and physical infrastructure category, Germany was found to offer the most affordable internet services in the world. 

Germany is one of the best countries in the world for remote working

The remainder of the top 10 is as follows:

  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Portugal
  • Estonia
  • Lithuania
  • Ireland
  • Slovakia 

Canada is the first country outside Europe to feature in the GRWI, finishing in 14th place ahead of the US in 16th. 

South Korea (17th), Japan (22nd), Australia (25th) and Singapore (28th) are the only other non-European nations in the top 30. 

See the full list: Global Remote Work Index 2023


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