Remote work is still popular, especially among those who can travel at the same time.
It is well known that more Europeans than ever are working remotely. The trend has been significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is set to continue as people experiment with new ways of working.
Research shows that, on average, across the EU, 30% of workers worked from home regularly in 2022completely or in a hybrid model, with previous estimates placing that figure as high as 5.5% in 2019, before the pandemic began.
Of this growing population, a percentage will take remote work a step further, leaving their home country entirely.
With many countries upgrading their technical infrastructure and offerings visas for digital nomads the global economy has created a sustainable business model for many.
A recent study by virtual private network specialists ExpressVPN suggests 20 of the best overseas locations for expats, including remote employees and digital nomads, and two of them are in Europe.
Best International Locations for Remote Expat Employees
As with other Portuguese cities such as Lisbon and Porto feeling the pressure of rising costs and overcrowding, Madeira is becoming a more viable and accessible option for digital nomads and remote employees from abroad.
Its climate and delightful seaside landscape make it a captivating place to stay for expats and remote workers who are attracted to the combination of traditional culture in their home lives and modern culture within the workplace.
Thanks to recent improvements to its infrastructure, Madeira now claims to possess the fastest internet speed in the whole of Portugal. Foreign remote employees have the chance to occupy hybrid living and working spaces which combine both accommodation and workspace, starting at around €850 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, sits along the rugged but beautiful coast of the Baltic Sea.
The climate is colder than other cities on the shortlist, but the advanced digital infrastructure attracts remote workers and digital nomads.
With competitive internet speeds and online access to virtually all public services, Tallinn offers an affordable alternative to more expensive or touristy European cities.
A big plus Estonia On offer for digital nomads and remote workers is a flexible residency and visa policy. Digital nomads can qualify for e-residency status, allowing them to own and operate businesses without the required physical presence.
The island of Bermuda is appealing to adventurous remote workers and digital nomads who consider a complete departure from the traditional corporate environment.
While Bermuda is still primarily a tourist destination known for its pink sand beaches, it also offers competitive internet capacity and well-equipped co-working spaces.
Additionally, Bermuda tax codes do not include an income tax for residents. It is possible for remote workers to obtain a Work From Bermuda certificate, which allows them to work and live on the island for up to a year.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located in the northern hills of Thailand, Chiang Mai has become a popular destination for young remote workers and digital nomads.
There is a strong expat and digital nomad culture in Chiang Mai, although Thailand currently has no established visa program for digital nomads or temporary remote workers.
A government work permit is also required before foreign remote workers can earn an income in the country. A “special tourist visa” allows long-term travelers to stay in Thailand for up to 270 days.
Digital nomad Marjolein Dilven had this to say about her experience in Thailand: “In Thailand, the Internet was always flawless. Even when we were on small islands in southern Thailand, we had a pretty good connection for video calls and remote work. The cost of living in Thailand is significantly lower than in the United States and the remote working opportunities are endless.”
Often referred to as the “Island of the Gods”, Bali in Indonesia, it has become a popular destination for digital nomads and independent remote workers.
Bali’s thriving international community and abundance of co-working spaces make it easy for foreign workers to set up shop, find accommodation and build a social network within the city limits.
There is also a Digital nomad visa planned for Bali.
Bali’s government and private investors have significantly improved their digital infrastructure, with Wi-Fi access widely available in public areas and communal workspaces.
Jessica Bishop, author and founder of The Budget Savvy Bride, recalls her experiences.
“I have been living a digital nomad life working remotely for over five years,” he said. “I spent time in Southeast Asia, England, Europe, the United States and Mexico. Quality of life and cost of living were my main determining factor in choosing this lifestyle. Favorite place I stayed was Bali Indonesia — I spent about six months there, and more [the] with time zones being a struggle, I loved my time there and would love to return one day.”
However, some international remote workers and digital nomads express some reservations about working in Bali.
When asked about her personal experience in Bali, Marjolein Dilven of Radical FIRE said: “Although I expected Bali to be a great place to work remotely, their internet connection was very spotty compared to almost all other southern countries. East Asia. Plus, the cost of living isn’t that low when you stay in the more popular and touristy areas.”
The bustling city of Bangalore has been called Silicon Valley India thanks to its technology-friendly economy and well-skilled local workforce. Remote workers and digital nomads can easily find a niche in the city’s business district. Bangalore’s climate is relatively mild compared to other regions in India, making it a more comfortable environment for foreign workers.
The country also offers a long-term visa for foreign professionals looking to work remotely in India. While there is no specific visa program for temporary remote workers or digital nomads, a traditional work visa can be extended for up to five years.