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Best Global Cities for Remote Work

A recent study from WorkMotion finds that Barcelona tops the list of the best cities in the world for flexible work options.

By Maggie Mancini

WorkMotion’s latest study analyses the ease of complying with local employment laws, ranking the attractiveness of 85 global cities for remote workers. The ranking is based on compliance regulations, cost of living, infrastructure, and livability.  

WorkMotion uses proprietary data to illustrate current location trends by showing where remote workers are currently being hired from. The resulting index reveals which cities are facilitating virtual work best and which are the most attractive to relocate to. 

The top 10 cities for facilitating remote work are listed below.  

  1. Barcelona 
  2. Dubai 
  3. Prague 
  4. Madrid 
  5. Melbourne 
  6. Amsterdam 
  7. Lisbon 
  8. Sydney 
  9. Gran Canaria 
  10. Reykjavik 

Tokyo leads the top 10 cities with the most straightforward employment compliance regulations. The rest are listed below.  

  1. Tokyo 
  2. Barcelona 
  3. London 
  4. San Francisco 
  5. Paris 
  6. New York 
  7. Madrid 
  8. Lisbon 
  9. Buenos Aires 
  10. Berlin 

Dubai is the top city with the lowest tax rates for remote workers and the others that follow include the below. 

  1. Dubai 
  2. Hong Kong 
  3. Singapore 
  4. Cape Town 
  5. Tallinn 
  6. San Jose 
  7. Chang Mai 
  8. Bangkok 
  9. Austin 
  10. Miami 

“Although we had long anticipated the move to remote working and set up WorkMotion with this in mind, the pandemic accelerated the trend far faster than we could have imagined,” comments Carsten Lebtig, co-founder and managing director of WorkMotion. “Nowadays, almost a year after the pandemic officially ended, many people are still working in-office jobs enjoy flexible working and split their time between their home and office, with little to no effect on productivity levels. Some companies, meanwhile, have been able to reduce the size of their offices, cutting expenses while doing so. Now that the dust is settling, many companies are beginning to look further afield when hiring employees, comfortable with the idea that the best person for the job might be located in a different country. The study gives insight into which countries have the most straightforward regulations when hiring remote workers.” 

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