With colossal advancements in technology and a pandemic-related, remote-working trend that is clearly here to stay, virtual work has become an increasingly popular trend in recent years, to say the least. According to a recent report published by McKinsey, 58% of Americans report being given the opportunity to work from home for one day a week or more, while 35% can reportedly work exclusively in a remote capacity.
For those lucky enough to opt for full-time virtual work, the world may just be their oyster, with many even considering migration in the pursuit of a better, or more preferred quality of life.
Of course, one of the greatest perks of virtual work is that it can be done virtually (see what we did there) anywhere in the world. Still, finding the right location can make a huge difference, and there are some considerations to bear in mind when weighing up where you might jet off to next.
- Virtual work scene: Before you choose a new location, it’s essential to find out what its remote-working culture is like. Check for the availability of co-working spaces and networking events. Co-working spaces offer a professional environment to work with other remote workers, while networking events can provide you with a wealth of new business and collaboration opportunities.
- Home office design: Creating a comfortable and efficient workspace is crucial for productivity and overall well-being. Consider the availability of home office design resources such as furniture stores and interior design services.
- Internet connectivity: A reliable and fast internet connection is, of course, crucial for virtual work, so make sure that the location you have in mind has a good internet infrastructure before you make any firm plans.
- Cost of living: Take into account the cost of living in the location, as some cities can be considerably more expensive than others – no point setting your sights on a place that would see you having to live off beans on toast.
- 24-hour stores: Having access to 24-hour stores can be a huge convenience, especially for virtual workers who may need supplies or snacks at odd hours. Consider this and any other conveniences and access to services that are important to you.
- Local culture and attractions: Consider the local culture and attractions on offer to ensure that the location aligns with your personal interests and lifestyle – all work and no play is no good for your health; you’ll want to base yourself somewhere that you can get immersed into activities that make you happy.
Without further ado, here are 8 of the most standout places to work virtually in 2023.
1. The UK
Many globetrotters call London home because it serves as a major center for international finance, technology, and business. London is home to a wide variety of world-class museums, theaters, and restaurants, and its population is excitingly diverse and multiethnic. London’s sophisticated public transportation system also makes it super convenient for remote workers to dart around the city with ease.
Of course, it’s not just London that draws virtual workers to the UK. Cities like Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh have strong economies and offer up a rather different city energy. Birmingham is a center for manufacturing and engineering, while Manchester is famous for its music and sports. Edinburgh is also a virtual working favorite and is a cultural and academic center recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Germany’s highly skilled workforce, conducive business environment, convenient Central European Time zone, and state-of-the-art internet infrastructure make it a great place for remote workers to establish themselves. The German workforce is highly educated and linguistically diverse, making it simple to communicate and collaborate with international coworkers. There are many cutting-edge businesses in the country, and the government encourages and facilitates their growth.
Spain’s multilingual workforce, low cost of living, and friendly, pro-business environment make it an appealing location for remote workers; the wonderful Mediterranean climate is sure to be a big draw-card, too.
Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most popular cosmopolitan destinations for remote workers in Spain. Madrid is the Spanish capital and a popular tourist destination for its museums, lush green spaces, and vibrant nightlife. In contrast, the port city of Barcelona in northeastern Spain draws visitors in with its stunning architecture, beaches, and lively nightlife. There are plenty of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in both cities due to the high quality of life they provide.
Due to its secure economy, high standard of living, business-friendly environment, and robust digital infrastructure, Switzerland is a popular choice for remote workers. In addition to its highly educated and multilingual workforce, Switzerland’s major cities, such as Zurich and Geneva, boast a high quality of life thanks to its many enticing cultural and recreational offerings. Switzerland is renowned for its political stability, low crime rate, and high-quality healthcare system.
With its high standard of living, skilled workforce, Central European Time zone, strong digital infrastructure, and favorable work scene, Austria is a favored spot for virtual workers. Cities like Vienna, Graz, and Salzburg have a lot to offer in terms of culture and lifestyle, and the beautiful alpine scenery is just the icing on the cake. Austria also has a stellar reputation for its healthcare system and general sense of security.
If you love chocolate, waffles and beer, Belgium could be for you. Additionally, because of its central location in Europe, advanced digital infrastructure, multilingual workforce, and pro-business vibe, Belgium is an attractive remote-work destination. Cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent deliver a high standard of living, diverse cultural options, and reliable public transport.
7. The Netherlands
In terms of digital infrastructure, skilled labor force, progressive business environment, and overall quality of life, the Netherlands is among the top countries in which to work remotely. Large Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht are home to a plethora of art galleries, museums, and parks. The country boasts a robust healthcare system and is well-known for its friendly culture and tolerant outlook.
France’s wine, cheese, and pastries are only a few of the reasons why basing yourself there for virtual work could be the dream. The Parisian ‘City of Love’ is teeming with all things cosmopolitan chic, cultural, artistic, and more. Other major cities, such as Lyon and Marseille, offer a great quality of life with culture, entertainment, and lots of open green spaces. France’s internet infrastructure, talented workforce, and Central European Time zone also make it an excellent virtual work location.
So many great options
These are just eight of the best virtual work destinations chosen for 2023, and there are many more options that offer up a unique, high quality of life with fabulous weather and a progressive, well-established business culture. Just be sure to check out what’s specifically on offer regarding remote-working tools and services before you get moving.