Sweden in the remote work landscape: leading, learning & leveraging

Sweden holds the 5th spot in the Global Remote Work Index 2023, showcasing a powerful balance between robust digital infrastructure and economic safety. Yet, there are certain areas for improvement. Explore Sweden's ongoing journey through the dynamic landscape of remote work.

Sweden in GRWI map


Key takeaways

  • Sweden ranks 5th in the Global Remote Work Index (GRWI).
  • The country's cyber safety rating is the lowest among all top 10 countries, ranking 21st globally.
  • Sweden has the potential for improvement in cybersecurity infrastructure, currently ranked 19th.
  • Sweden excels in economic safety, standing at 7th place worldwide, despite the high cost of living (ranked 79th).
  • The digital and physical infrastructure in Sweden is solid, with a global ranking of 9th.
  • The ranking for social security is 15th, yet Sweden stands much lower at the 64th position in the overall security subdimension.
Overview of countries GRWI measurement scores

Cyber safety

When it comes to cyber safety, Sweden demonstrates strength in response capacity (4th). The country's cybersecurity legislation is also in very good standing (9th), with comprehensive Swedish law covering various areas of cybersecurity. In terms of cybersecurity infrastructure (19th), Sweden still has potential for growth, and it is indeed expanding. In 2021, Sweden made a decision to establish a National Cyber Security Center to further enhance its cybersecurity capabilities.

Comparison with neighboring countries

Compared to its neighbors, Finland (11th) and Norway (20th), Sweden (5th) leads considerably in the overall GRWI rating. Apart from the social safety ranking (15th), where Finland (5th) and Norway (4th) also perform well, Sweden consistently leads in all other dimensions.

When it comes to cyber safety, Sweden (21st) closely follows Finland (29th), while Norway (46th) stays quite far behind. The main factor here is Norway's low cybersecurity response capacity (29th), while Sweden (4th) and Finland (6th) excel. Regarding economic safety, Sweden (7th) convincingly outperforms Finland (15th) and Norway (28th). The cost of living in these countries is an obvious factor when considering remote working options, and Sweden (79th) offers the most attractive choice among the three. As for digital and physical infrastructure, Sweden (9th) leads once again, with Norway (10th) following closely and even surpassing Sweden in internet quality (6th vs 11th).

The only area where Sweden (15th) lags behind Finland (5th) and Norway (4th) is social safety. This is primarily due to Sweden's lower general safety ranking (64th) compared to Finland (17th) and Norway (29th). However, in the areas of personal rights and inclusiveness, all three countries rank very high, with the only exception of Finland's slightly lower personal rights ranking (12th).

Comparison map with neighbouring countries

Finding a non-neighboring country with similar index results

Although Sweden and New Zealand have many things in common, they are a world apart in some GRWI rankings. Sweden (5th) is quite a way ahead of New Zealand (34th) in general GRWI ranking. It also has a considerably higher cyber safety ranking (21st vs 62nd). Yet, these two countries are surprisingly alike in other respects.

As far as economical safety is concerned, both Sweden (7th) and New Zealand (5th) rank high. While both countries are attractive tourist destinations, ranking 7th and 8th respectively, they are both expensive, ranking 79th and 90th in cost of living. Even so, they both have well-developed healthcare systems, ranking 1st and 10th.

In terms of internet quality (11th and 18th), e-government (13th and 14th), and physical infrastructure (20th and 26th), Sweden and New Zealand perform similarly.

Social safety-wise, Sweden (15th) and New Zealand (14th) are also very close. While both countries' citizens enjoy very high personal rights (2nd and 1st), Sweden (3rd) turns out to be more inclusive than New Zealand (11th), though not as safe (64th vs 48th).

Illustration of neighbouring countries GRWI

Top remote destinations for Swedish workers

Apart from a few particular setbacks, Sweden is an excellent place for remote work. However, if you seek even higher cybersecurity standards, a safer environment, or cost-saving options of living and internet affordability, you might explore alternatives.

Concerning cybersecurity infrastructure

While Sweden maintains a high standard of cybersecurity, both in terms of legislation and implementation, you might still require more advanced infrastructure and service. If that's the case, consider relocating to countries such as Germany, Estonia, or Lithuania , which could also be more budget-friendly.

In terms of cost of living and internet affordability

As part of Scandinavia, Sweden is among the world's most expensive countries to live in. If you are willing to optimize the cost of living and internet expenses, and you don't mind cultural changes, you might consider remote work options in Moldova or Tunisia. These countries offer a mix of low living costs, affordable internet, and an exotic cultural experience for Swedish workers.

Working remote employees illustration

Regarding general safety

Recent safety concerns have impacted Sweden's lower position in this year's GRWI. If safety is what makes you worried, you could explore other options. Countries like Switzerland or Japan rank very highly both in the area of general safety and tourist attractiveness. This could make your search for a calmer haven an exciting and beautiful work trip.

Or is it better to stay at home?

Overall, Sweden provides an amazing environment for remote work. It ranks highly in many areas, but most significantly, it offers the world's top-tier healthcare services, personal freedom and inclusivity. It also has a very sophisticated e-infrastructure and cyber response capacity. Taking these factors into account, this is a compelling argument to stay and work remotely in Sweden.


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Man explores Global remote work index details of 2023

Explore the full details of the GRWI 2023