The beginning of the 2020s was the rise of remote work, jumpstarting workcations, and opening the world for travel, career, and business opportunities. According to Gartner, the trend of remote and hybrid work shifted drastically in the past couple of years:
In pre-pandemic 2019, remote workers represented only 17% of worldwide employees. By the end of 2021, 32% of all knowledge workers were expected to represent the share of those working remotely and 51% working in a hybrid environment.
The latest trends for 2022 show that over half of employed people — 53% in the US and 52% of the European workforce will work remotely. In comparison, approximately 30% of knowledge workers in Asia will represent remote workers.
However, the How part usually becomes more complicated than the What. NordLayer introduces a tool to evaluate and select your following remote work location to make the most of remote work arrangements.
Global Remote Work Index (GRWI) allows exploring, comparing, and contrasting countries worldwide, considering the most important elements of physical and digital environments to live and work abroad.
This blog article will cover what information cornerstones support GWRI, what information you can find using this interactive tool, and how to enjoy the ride, so keep reading.
About the Index
The GWRI is assembled on data from 66 countries on six continents, analyzing the suitability of the main work and life-related aspects. The safety and reliability of physical and digital environments are evaluated coherently to collect a full view context of a chosen location.
Quality and safe remote work is defined by a country’s security infrastructure, economic and social attractiveness, online and physical presence availability, and a crisis management approach.
Therefore, the research bases the Index on four dimensions:
Cybersecurity dimension includes data for infrastructure capacity, cybercrime threat response, and existing legal measures.
Economic and social conditions dimension consists of overall safety, tourism attractiveness, English proficiency level, cost of living, and healthcare.
Digital and physical infrastructure contains internet affordability and quality, e-infrastructure, and e-Government availability.
COVID-19 response attributes vaccination rate and prevention, detection, reporting, and responding capacity.
Every section concludes the final country score, splitting 30% of the final result each, except the COVID-19 handling evaluation, which covers 10% of the total country score.
Data for the metrics are gathered from reliable and up-to-date studies. Read a detailed breakdown of the methodology, factor weights, and data resources in the Global Remote Work Index report:
Categories of GRWI
Global Remote Work Index is a dynamic instrument that summarizes all complex data in five main Index sorting criteria: Safety, Internet quality, Tourism attractiveness, Cost of living, and English proficiency.
Depending on the selection of an overall result or based on category, one can choose to see Global rank and GRWI score.
Global rank provides a country context among 66 states, from the most to the least attractive. GRWI score is a numerical expression of analyzed statistical data. These results can be used to identify the most suitable remote work location in the world based on your preferences.
Safety comes first, whether it’s a temporary stay or a long-term relocation. It’s an all-inclusive take from the government’s perspective on people’s security, healthcare, and education funding to reliable infrastructure development. The category includes response rate to crime, legal and cybersecurity measures, and COVID-19 handling results.
Workcation is impossible without an online presence during working hours — that was the deal before leaving your local office, wasn’t it? Affordable and good connection with mobile and broadband quality and download speed is crucial for satisfactory stay and job performance.
Internet quality includes the criteria of digital infrastructure like available online services and internet coverage within the chosen country.
If it’s not a business trip, the main point of traveling while working is new and exciting experiences. GRWI evaluates the competitiveness of travel and tourism of the countries. Most attractive destinations appear on the top vacation lists for good climate, sightseeing possibilities, and social life variety, visa requirements, so it remains an integral factor in choosing a workcation place.
Cost of living
The comfort of physical living correlates with developed commuting infrastructure, affordable housing, and co-working spaces selection, so it makes sense to go there. Affordability to cover basic needs is best reflected in the local prices or the currency’s stability.
Lost in translation can get you lost in unfamiliar places unless you are a proficient local language wielder. However, do native English-speaking countries seem not exotic enough? Remote work Index lists English proficiency levels among 66 countries, so communication doesn’t become an additional challenge.
The work and life compatibility
Work from anywhere (WFA) policy enabled exploring the globe while juggling work and social life. It’s a chance for a generation as a local office is no longer an obstacle for knowledge workers. But remote work is seen from different perspectives of employee and employer.
Employee point of view: make the most out of the experience
Naturally, besides work, employees focus more on beaches and food tasting they’ll discover after office hours when choosing remote work locations.
However, not all traveler-beloved places would be the best option for a workcation. While Portugal beats the score of many places in many categories, Malta tends to have a weak link cybersecurity-wise. Among the top 5 overall rankings, Spain has a great score according to all criteria, so it would be a win-win situation for remote workers and their organizations.
Employer point of view: new perspectives on business-as-usual
An organization enabling WFA must consider a few factors. There might be some requirements for taxes and other legal formalities. But the broader context of remote work also needs to be considered for employees’ safety and the environment to perform their daily duties.
Uncontrolled surroundings outside the workplace increase the risk of workers exposing themselves to various direct and indirect cyber threats. Therefore cybersecurity is a critical factor for a country.
Yet, security infrastructure is essential for either managing the potential risks to company security and searching for perspectives of business growth. The industry-specific global distribution to safely expand business opportunities is a new opening with the introduction of remote work.
Every organization will benefit from choosing distributed locations for business in EU countries as they take 18 first places in the cybersecurity category, according to GRWI. However, outside the European bubble, globally top-ranked states, the US and Singapore, are among the leaders of the remote work Index.
Find it useful
The idea behind the GRWI project was to have as much information as possible in one place for easier decision-making. Traveling and working can get too romanticized until obstacles come forward, creating more challenges and disturbances than initially anticipated. The GRWI makes the process smoother for traveling employees and organizations, supporting WFA policy.