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Escape the Office:
Top Countries for Remote Work in 2023

Whether you’re someone who love working from home alongside your dog or you’re someone who dreads the never-ending Zoom meetings, one thing is for sure: remote working is here to stay.

Katie Jones
Content Writer

Whether you’re someone who love working from home alongside your dog or you’re someone who dreads the never-ending Zoom meetings, one thing is for sure: remote working is here to stay.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way we work, so much so that many businesses are now thriving with completely remote teams. With many proven benefits of remote working, including increased productivity, cost savings, and improved work-life balance, more and more companies are recognising the value of offering remote work options to their employees.

And with that comes the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best locations to live in as a digital expat for 2023. From remote working compliance to cost of living, civic infrastructure, and overall liveability, we’ve left no stone unturned in our search for the perfect destinations for digital nomads.

Is remote working effective?

It’s no secret that Elon Musk is not a fan. When the Tesla billionaire took over Twitter, he promptly ended Twitter’s “Work from anywhere” policy, claiming that remote workers are lazier than their in-office counterparts.

His point of view is bold, but not uncommon.

But this is a common myth that has since been debunked by many studies. In fact, a study by Stanford found that 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working remotely increased productivity by 13%, due to more convenient working environments, happier staff, and fewer breaks and sick days.

Without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 countries to work remotely from.


Landscape image of Canada

According to hiring platform WorkMotion, Canada had three of the top 20 cities to work remotely in – more than any other country, beating out Spain and Australia with two each.

One of the biggest tech hubs in the world, Canada is also among the top 10 happiest countries in the world.

The relatively high cost of living across the country may put some people off, but the lifestyle in Canada is second to none. Time spent hunched over your laptop can be offset by taking advantage of the wide range of natural landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to pristine lakes.


Landscape image of Portugal

There is a lot of charm to this southern European country aside from the low cost of living and year-round pleasant weather.

Portugal has taken huge strides towards creating a remote worker’s paradise over the last few years, having recently passed a revolutionary law that offers additional rights in the remote working world. These include banning out-of-office contact, outlawing surveillance, and forcing employers to cover the expenses of switching to remote work.

There is also a new one-year digital nomad visa which allows remote workers to live and work in the country for up to 12 months.


Landscape image of Spain

Who wouldn’t want to trade their stuffy office for a Spanish beach house with a sea view?

With the Spanish government’s recent startup law and visa for digital nomads, it would be hard for Spain to not make the list. These new laws have gotten rid of many bureaucratic obstacles to help attract international talent and encourage the creation of new fast-growing technology companies.

The country also boasts large co-working spaces, a favourable climate, some of the fastest Wi-Fi speeds in the EU, and a unique visa for self-employed people, making the administrative process easier. As a result of all the above, it should come as no surprise that the coastal city of Valencia was recently voted one of the best cities for expats in the world.


Landscape image of Finland

Scandinavian countries are consistently topping the happiness charts and winning at the work-life balance, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.

With some of the highest rates of remote workers in Europe (25.1%), flexible working has been championed by Finland for decades before the pandemic. This is due, in part, to the nation’s strong cultural values of trust, equality, and pragmatism, which align well with this style of work.

No matter your profession or the type of data you handle, Finland also provides a cyber-safe environment for remote work. With a low cyber-danger score of 12.6, the country has a minimal number of phishing sites and compromised computers per internet user, ensuring your data is safe and secure.


Landscape image of Thailand

Thailand’s vibrant local culture, cheap cost of living, and nonsensical exchange rate have made it one of the most established hubs for remote workers.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand offers several visa options for remote workers, digital nomads, and location-free entrepreneurs, which is expected to bring in the equivalent of around €26 billion for the local economy over the coming decade.

According to the overall ranking by Nomad List, five Thai cities feature in the top 100 places to live for remote workers. And when you’re not working, the country’s breathtaking natural splendour can provide inspiration and rejuvenation for those seeking a change of scenery.

To summarise:

Remote work has opened up endless possibilities for remote workers seeking adventure and a change of scenery.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all. Your perfect destination will depend on the kind of lifestyle and experience you’re looking to get. It’s important not to underestimate the significance of your priorities (whether that be social life, infrastructure, high-speed internet, or cybersecurity) as they all can play a crucial role in shaping your overall experience. By investing time in researching and finding the location that best suits your needs, you can create a work environment that sets you up for success.

Managing a remote global workforce comes with many challenges, but with the help of a PEO, we can help you deal with all the compliance, HR admin, payroll, and tax tasks that come with it.

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