Canada's remote work strengths: economic safety, inclusiveness & infrastructure

Unveiling Canada's unique positioning in the global remote work landscape, where resilience meets opportunities. Learn about the intriguing balance of strengths & challenges that shape Canada's remote work reality.

Canada in GRWI map


Key takeaways

  • Canada ranks 14th in the Global Remote Work Index 2023 (GRWI) with a strong performance in economic safety at 3rd place globally.
  • Canada's digital and physical infrastructure ranks decently at the 15th position, while social safety is positioned at 21st.
  • The country's cyber safety, although not its main strength, is placed at 32nd.
  • Despite good performance across different aspects, Canada struggles with a high cost of living (83rd), internet affordability (49th), and overall safety (50th).
  • Canada's overall GRWI performance aligns mostly with well-performing economies globally, even though there are some areas for improvement.
Overview of countries GRWI measurement score

Cyber safety

While Canada's overall cyber safety ranking is not the best, it reflects tough competition rather than the country's actual situation. Canada ranks very well for cybersecurity infrastructure (5th), and not that bad in response capacity (12th). In the face of the growth of new technologies, including the 5G internet service, Canada continues to enhance its cybersecurity legislation, which currently ranks 18th. In 2022, Canada passed "Bill C-26" to address these new challenges.

Comparison with neighboring countries

Canada's (14th in the overall ranking) and it's only North American neighbor, the USA (16th in the overall ranking) perform similarly in terms of cyber safety (32nd and 33rd respectively) and economic safety (3rd and 2nd), with slight differences in the subcategories. When it comes to digital and physical infrastructure, however, the USA (6th) has a slight advantage over Canada (15th) due to a significantly better internet affordability (2nd vs 49th). The only area that Canada slightly surpasses its southern neighbor is e-infrastructure (19th vs 23rd), with all the rest of the economic subcategories to the US's advantage.

However, Canada (21st) surpasses the USA (37th) in social safety. While in terms of personal rights (19th vs 20th) and general safety (50th vs 62nd), Canada performs better than the USA, the most telling factor is social inclusivity (10th vs 28th). In summary, this comparison points to a mild correlation between the reality and the stereotypes of Canada being more socially friendly and the USA being more economically focused.

Comparison map with neighbouring countries

Finding a non-neighboring country with similar index results

Both famous for the friendliness and relaxed culture, Canada and Australia are two non-neighboring countries that are surprisingly alike in many respects of the GRWI ranking. While Australia (25th) ranks slightly behind Canada in the overall ranking, it strikingly resembles its northern neighbor. In particular, Canada (32nd) and Australia (35th) both exhibit similar positions in cyber safety, with minor differences (no more than three positions) in each subcategory. The same can be said in terms of social safety and economic safety, where Canada is only a few positions ahead of Australia, and almost identical across subcategories.

The main difference between these two becomes apparent when it comes to digital and physical infrastructure. While Canada (15th) is slightly ahead of Australia (18th), it gives way significantly in the aspect of internet affordability (49th vs 21st). Canada performs worse in e-governance (12th vs 7th) and physical infrastructure (21st vs 12th). However, it surpasses Australia in internet quality (15th vs 27th) and e-infrastructure (19th vs 25th).

Illustration of neighbouring countries GRWI

Top remote destinations for Canadian workers

Generally speaking, Canada strikes a good balance across the board in all categories, defining a good place for remote work. It sparkles in economic safety, but not so much in cyber safety. To those seeking higher cybersecurity or better internet quality, affordability, and a higher general safety, there are some attractive options outside Canada.

Regarding cyber safety vs cost of living

There are quite a few options for those who seek better cyber safety and a more affordable place to stay. Countries like Slovakia (1st), Lithuania (3rd), or even Saudi Arabia (5th) that rank highly in cyber safety while also offering a relatively low cost of living might be worth considering.

Considering internet quality & affordability

Those who want the best quality and affordable internet service may consider moving to South Korea , which performs well in the digital and physical infrastructure (2nd). Alternatively, you can go south to the United States, which also surpasses Canada in internet quality (9th) and especially—affordability (2nd).

Working remote employees illustration

General safety vs cost of living

Suppose you are looking for a place that ranks higher than Canada in the general safety front and has a relatively low cost of living. In that case, you should look to southeastern Europe and places like Slovenia (7th in safety and 65th in cost of living) or Croatia (11th and 58th, respectively). You would also be moving to places with stunning natural beauty and views of the Alps (Slovenia) or the Adriatic Sea (Croatia).

Or is it better to stay at home?

All things considered, staying in Canada is a very reasonable choice. Apart from the somewhat steep cost of living, the country excels in economic safety (3rd). It is an inclusive place (10th) with a sound healthcare system (9th) and a reasonably developed digital and physical infrastructure (15th).


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Man explores Global remote work index details of 2023

Explore the full details of the GRWI 2023