Article in partnership with Day Translations.
According to Euronews, most of the top countries in the world for remote working are in Europe.
A 2023 study looked at 108 countries around the world scoring them according to their infrastructure levels and some qualitative factors that tend to influence the choice of location to work remotely.
Each factor was given a score; factors being evaluated included access to fast internet and to healthcare.
Top Three Scoring European Countries for Remote Working
The study found Denmark, The Netherlands and Germany as the three top European countries that provide the best value for money for remote workers. Denmark received the highest score and this was heavily linked to its high quality healthcare as well as its IT infrastructure. The Netherlands scored highly for social inclusion and safety, and Germany scored well for low cost internet access.
The study was sponsored by a technology company so we need to bear this in mind when analysing the results.
It is interesting that the same study has been quoted many times in the media, resulting in Denmark being considered as a desirable destination for remote working. For example, the report was picked up by Statista, which quoted its findings extensively.
These top three countries were followed by Spain, Portugal and Sweden with very similar scores, with the main difference between them being that, so far, Portugal has a comparatively better score for cost of living as it’s lower than the countries placed above it in the chart.
Denmark and Remote Working
Digging deeper into why Denmark is a good destination for remote working, we can see that there are a few things that need consideration.
One of the most glaring factors that may count against moving to Denmark even temporarily is the cost of living. A 2022 European study found that food prices in Denmark are 21% above the overall average across EU countries.
However, this is counterbalanced by the high quality of life and the many options for socialisations. Danish employers are very aware that workers have a personal life and they offer flexibility and autonomy in their contracts, with the option of working from home as a given. Working long hours is the exception to the rule and in Denmark the total hours you are expected to work in a week are only 37.
Job contracts also include paid paternity leave and five weeks paid holidays per year.
Generally speaking, the Danish people have an international mindset and it has been reported that 86% of the population in Denmark speaks English as a second language.
Denmark does not have a digital nomad scheme for non-EU citizens and to be able to work in the country you need to have the correct permit. The main requirement is that you need to work for a Danish company and you are responsible to comply with all the relevant legislation.
EU citizens as well as Swiss nationals can live and work in Denmark as digital nomads without hurdles, with the only requirement being that they need to register with the local authorities within three months of their arrival to confirm their intent to stay in the country.
Northern Europe Offers More to Remote Workers
It is no surprise that Estonia also features in the top ten countries for remote working as, over the years, it has been gearing up to offer some of the best infrastructure and has invested in innovation.
Other honorable mentions in the top ten are Lithuania, Ireland and Slovakia.
Northern Europe in general has higher costs of living and modern infrastructure, with some local variations.
Southern Europe, however, still has a major pull for digital nomads, particularly non-EU workers, because of the available digital nomad visas, cost of living, healthcare services and, more importantly, for the climate. CNBC listed the most desirable digital nomad destinations and the list featured Spain in the top spot, with Croatia, Portugal and Malta in the top ten places.