Toronto, Valparaiso, Berlin, Honolulu top list of best places for remote work

HR company Remote has released a report on the best destinations for remote workers, ranking the cities around the world and in the US that are best equipped to facilitate the remote worker lifestyle.

Dozens of companies have pledged to keep remote work in some form since turning to it during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote’s global top ten ranking includes cities like Toronto, Madrid, Auckland, Madeira, Helsinki, Svalbard, Berlin, Valparaiso, Dublin and Sydney.

The company compiled the ranking based on seven metrics: internet infrastructure, attractiveness, safety, quality of life, openness, cost of living and special incentives for remote workers. Remote also created an interactive tool that allows people to create their own list based on their personal preferences and search for places that might match their desires.

For the US, Remote said Salt Lake City, Boston, Denver, Concord (New Hampshire), and Minneapolis topped the list. No city in the US made the global top ten list.

Remote admits that the list is heavily weighted toward cities in Europe and Oceania but Taipei, Bangkok, Jerusalem, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Muscat and Cape Town all made it into the top rankings.

Auckland, Honolulu, Sydney and Reykjavik all ranked highly based on Remote’s quality of life metric.

Many cities and countries have also created programs designed to provide financial and social incentives to draw remote workers. One town in Italy offers young families $34,000 to relocate while US cities like Topeka, Kansas provide up to $5,000 in funds to rent in your first year and up to $10,000 for a home purchase.

St. Louis, Missouri provides remote workers with housing incentives, in some cases offering city-owned property for $1. The island of Aruba had the best incentives for remote workers through its “One Happy Workation” program.

Colorado also financially rewards employers for having remote workers based in the state’s rural counties. Cities like Cabo Verde exempt remote workers from paying income tax while Ecuador has a professional visa program that provides the lowest monthly income requirement of any country at $400.

The report notes that 44 countries and 24 US states offer some kind of special remote work incentives that generally come in the form of digital nomad visas, tax incentives, relocation payments, housing incentives and more.

Antigua and Barbuda offer visitors the “Permanent Residency Program,” which requires people to spend 30 days onsite and have an annual income of at least $100,000. But if admitted, participants will not have to pay income tax on worldwide income or assets, no capital gains tax on worldwide income and a flat tax rate of $20,000.

Belize was cited as a good place to retire because of a program that allows those 45 and older to live and work in the country as long as their income is from outside of Belize. Anyone with pensions or annuity of more than $2,000 per month are eligible.

On the strange end, the report notes that Mishima, Japan offers remote workers about $775 per month for three years to relocate. Participants can either take the money in a lump sum payment of about $3,000 or in the form of a calf.

Remote CEO Job van der Voort said the ranking tool was designed to find “the perfect destination for everyone based on what they value most.”

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