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Work from wherever: These are the best places to be a digital nomad in 2022

A woman works by a swimming pool
A woman works by a swimming pool   -   Copyright  shellygraphy/Shutterstock
By Nichola Daunton

If you’re reading this in a grey office or a tiny WFH kitchen, just imagine being on a sun-kissed balcony or a white sand beach instead. Remote working has gone mainstream during the pandemic, with many of us logging on from home as lockdowns limited travel. But with the travel industry opening up again, working from another country has never been easier.

In fact, digital nomad culture is thriving across the globe, with countries like Croatia actively encouraging workers to choose their country as their new base. So if you’d like to add travel to your work-life balance this year, what are your options?

Choosing a country with good internet access, lots of local cafes and cheap rent should be top priorities. But of course, you need to think about time zones too. While the thought of working from Tokyo might be thrilling, if your company works to London hours, you’ll be working way past your bedtime.

What is the best country to work from in 2022?

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Barcelona, SpainCanva

To help you make the right choice, travel search engine KAYAK has launched the Work from Wherever Index. To develop it, they analysed 111 countries, ranking them against six different categories: travel costs and accessibility, local prices, health and safety, remote working capabilities, social life and maybe most importantly, weather.

To make things even easier, they’ve also created a time zone ranking system, so you can make sure that where you’re working from is closely aligned with wherever your head office is. Choose your time zone and the map will adjust accordingly, so you can see which countries work best for you.

Here are the top 10 countries overall, if you’re hoping to live the digital nomad lifestyle in 2022.

10. Germany

The western European country makes it into the top 10 with an impressive 83 points out of 100. Germany performed well in the health and safety category, ranking highly when it comes to political stability and LGBTQ+ rights too. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t do so well in the weather category, scoring a damp 16 out of a 100.

9. Czech Republic

With one more point than its neighbour, the Czech Republic has great local prices, with long term apartment rental just £325 (€389) per month on average. Transport, food and restaurants are cheap here too, with the cost of a one way train ticket around 80p (€0.96).

Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61
A man works in a hammockWestend61/Getty Images/Westend61

8. Panama

If warmer weather is what you’re really after, things are heating up nicely at number eight. Panama scores a balmy 78 out of 100 on the weather scale and does well on accessibility too, with an average of 234 weekly flights. You can read our guide to Panama here.

Panama scores a balmy 78 out of 100 on the weather scale and does well on accessibility too, with an average of 234 weekly flights.

7. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been in the news a lot since COP26, thanks to its glowing eco-credentials. 75 per cent of the country is now covered in forest, and with great weather and strong LGBTQ+ rights, it’s a dream remote working location. On the downside though, WiFi speeds can be slow and there aren’t many museums or theatres either.

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Marsans Harbour at sunset, MaltaCanva

6. Malta

The tenth smallest country in the world just 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 traffic deaths - just 4 per 100,000 people.

The country only scores a measly 10 out of 100 in the social life category though, with just 16 theatres, museums and galleries per 1,000. But as it’s the most densely populated country in Europe, maybe that’s not surprising.

5. Japan

If you’re working to a European time schedule, Japan might not be the country for you. But if you can work flexibly there are many things on offer here. The country scores an impressive 94 out of 100 on the social life scale, with a huge 149 cultural centres per 1,000 people and an enormous 1707 bars and clubs per 1,000 inhabitants. While the average temperature is only 14C a month, this means you can enjoy some skiing in your down time.

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A woman works on a inflatable chairCanva

4. Mauritius

Hot on the heels of the top three, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is great if you like things a little warmer. The average monthly temperature is 24C while local prices are low. Long-term apartment rental is just £157 (€188) per month on average, while a mid-range, three course meal for two is just £26 (€31). You can read more about Mauritius here.

The average monthly temperature is 24C while local prices are low. Long-term apartment rental is just £157 (€188) per month on average,

3. Romania

At number three is the southeastern European country of Romania. With an impressive 92 points, the country scores highly in every category but weather. The average monthly temperature here is just 7C, so if you want to work from the beach, it’s not the place for you. If you don’t mind a cooler climate though, rent and food are very cheap and internet speeds are pretty zippy too.

2. Spain

The ever-popular Spain makes it to number two, scoring highly for LGBTQ+ equality. Air pollution is also low here, and a long-term rental apartment will set you back £424 (€507) a month on average. WiFi is fast and there are 807 clubs and bars per 1,000 people, so you’ll never run out of places to work from. If you want to get off the beaten track, here are some of the most beautiful villages you’ve never heard of.

1. Portugal

Portugal takes pole position with an unbeatable 100 out of 100. The country scores incredibly well in the health and safety and social life categories with the lowest air pollution in the top 10, alongside high rates of English proficiency.

The Portuguese are really keen to encourage remote workers too, with the first digital nomad village launching in the Portuguese autonomous region of Madeira in 2021. And with an average monthly temperature of 17C across Portugal, working from the beach (at least some of the time) is a distinct possibility.