Cape Town ranks 16th out of 75 of the best global cities in which to live and work remotely from, says a study by housing platform Nestpick.com. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
Cape Town ranks 16th out of 75 of the best global cities in which to live and work remotely from, says a study by housing platform Nestpick.com. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Cape Town among top cities for remote work

By Given Majola Time of article published Jul 2, 2021

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CAPE Town ranks 16th out of 75 of the best global cities in which to live and work remotely from, says a study by housing platform Nestpick.com.

The platform said, as first-hand observers of the growing relocation trend, the company decided to investigate further by using data to determine the cities that were not only the most attractive to foreign-employed workers, but also had the infrastructure and legislation that made it easy for them to live and work there.

The index provides an insight into a range of factors encompassing costs, infrastructure, legislation and liveability to reveal the cities best prepared to attract this new breed of work-from-anywhere resident.

Nestpick founder and chief executive Omer Kucukdere said yesterday the global pandemic had caused many people to reassess their personal priorities, revealing the benefits of remote-working flexibility and provoking the question, “Is it really possible to work from anywhere?”

Kucukdere said their study had found that technology and employers had moved faster than infrastructure, with many legal barriers still in place for migrants who wanted to bring their job with them.

“Moreover, high-earners are leaving business-focused cities to live in places that offer better day-to-day lifestyles, taking their purchasing power with them. This trend will only become more popular as time goes on, so we believe that we will see more and more cities adapting to these new working conditions, and benefiting from the economic boost that these workers inject into their economies,” he said.

Melbourne in Australia was the highest ranking city in the index, scoring highly on liveability factors such as safety, healthcare, culture and leisure activities. Its ranking was boosted by its remote-working infrastructure and the presence of a specific “digital nomad visa”.

Dubai and Sydney came in second and third.

Only 10 cities in the study offered a “digital nomad visa”: Zagreb, Prague, Lisbon, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Athens, Sydney, Melbourne, Dubai and Mexico City.

On average, Rio de Janeiro had the most affordable home-office space, at €119 (about R2 020) a month, followed by Saint Petersburg (€139) and Istanbul (€169). Las Palmas had the best overall weather conditions, while Tallinn had the best combined noise, air and light pollution score.

Nestpick said it began the study by selecting a list of 75 major global cities often cited as “most-livable” destinations, including those that had demonstrated a willingness to accept remote workers from around the world.

These cities were analysed according to three broad categories – costs and infrastructure, legislation and freedoms, and liveability – which combined to make them good places to relocate to and work remotely from.

For the first category, the basic costs and set-up requirements needed to work comfortably were assessed, such as the price and availability of adequate home-office space and the speed and capacity of the internet connection in each location.

The researchers then appraised the ease with which a foreigner was able to work remotely in each location, investigating whether countries offered a special visa for these employees, as well as specific remote-working infrastructure, such as tax deductions and regulations.

The ability to live safely and freely was often a deciding factor for potential migrants, so the extent of basic human rights and freedoms was also determined in each location.

The levels of security and support for gender equality and inclusivity of minorities and the LGBT+ community were also considered.

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