If you’re reading this in a gray office or a small WFH kitchen, just imagine being on a sunny balcony or a white sand beach instead. Remote working has become widespread during the pandemic, with many of us connecting from home as lockdowns limited travel. But with the travel industry reopening, working from another country has never been easier.
In fact, the digital nomad culture is booming all over the world, with countries like Croatia actively encouraging workers to choose their country as their new base. So if you want to add travel to your work-life balance this year, what are your options?
Choosing a country with good internet access, plenty of local cafes and cheap rent should be a top priority. But of course you also have to think about time zones. While the idea of working from Tokyo can be exciting, if your company works until London hours, you’ll be working well past bedtime.
What is the best country to work in 2022?
To help you make the right choice, the travel search engine KAYAK has launched the Work from anywhere Index. To develop it, they analyzed 111 countries, classifying them into six different categories: travel costs and accessibility, local prices, health and safety, remote working capabilities, social life and perhaps most importantly, weather.
To make things even easier, they have also created a time zone classification systemso you can make sure your workplace closely matches your home office location. Choose your time zone and the map will adjust accordingly, so you can see which countries suit you best.
Here are the top 10 countries overall, if you hope to live the digital nomad lifestyle in 2022.
The Western European country enters the top 10 with an impressive 83 points out of 100. Germany performed well in the health and safety category, ranking highly on political stability and LGBTQ+ rights. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t do so well in the weather category, scoring a wet 16 out of 100.
9. Czech Republic
One point higher than its neighbour, the Czech Republic has attractive local prices, with long-term apartment rentals averaging just £325 (€389) per month. Transport, food and restaurants are cheap here too, with the cost of a one-way train ticket around 80p (€0.96).
If you’re really looking for warmer weather, things are warming up nicely at number eight. Panama scores a mild 78 out of 100 on the weather scale and also stands out when it comes to accessibility, with an average of 234 weekly flights. You can read our guide to Panama here.
7. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been in the news a lot since COP26, thanks to its eco-certificates. 75% of the country is now covered in forests, and with great weather and strong LGBTQ+ rights, it’s a dreamy remote workplace. On the downside, Wi-Fi speeds can be slow, and there aren’t many museums or theaters either.
The tenth smallest country in the world narrowly misses out on the top five. The Mediterranean island of malta does well in the health and safety category with good political stability and a low number of road deaths – only 4 per 100,000 people.
The country only scores a measly 10 out of 100 in the social life category, however, with just 16 theatres, museums and galleries per 1,000 people. But since it is the most densely populated country in Europe, this is perhaps not surprising.
If you work to a European schedule, Japan may not be the country for you. But if you can work flexibly, there’s plenty to offer here. The country scores an impressive 94 out of 100 on the social life scale, with a whopping 149 cultural centers per 1,000 people and a whopping 1,707 bars and clubs per 1,000 people. While the average temperature is only 14°C per month, this means you can enjoy skiing in your down time.
On the heels of the first three, Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is ideal if you like things a little warmer. The average monthly temperature is 24°C while local prices are low. Renting a long-term apartment costs just £157 (€188) per month on average, while a mid-range three-course meal for two costs just £26 (€31). You can know more about Mauritius here.
At number three is the southeastern European country, Romania. With an impressive 92 points, the country scores high in all categories except weather. The average monthly temperature here is only 7°C, so if you want to work from the beach, this isn’t the place for you. If you don’t mind a cooler climate, rent and food are very cheap, and internet speeds are pretty fast too.
The ever-popular Spain ranks second, scoring high for LGBTQ+ equality. Air pollution is also low here, and a long-term rental apartment will set you back £424 (€507) per month on average. WiFi is fast and there are 807 clubs and bars for 1,000 people, so you’ll never run out of places to work. If you want to think outside the box, here are some of the the most beautiful villages you’ve never heard of.
Portugal takes pole position with an unbeatable 100 out of 100. The country ranks incredibly well in the categories of health and safety and social life with the lowest air pollution in the top 10, as well than high rates of English proficiency.
The Portuguese are also very keen to encourage remote workers, with the first digital nomad village launching in the Portuguese autonomous region of Madeira in 2021. And with an average monthly temperature of 17°C across Portugal, working from the beach (at least part of the time) is a distinct possibility.