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Barcelona, ​​Toronto and Beijing named best ‘workplace’ cities in new study

Working while traveling has exploded with the popularity of remote and hybrid working. If you want to take a “working holiday”, Barcelona might just be the ideal destination.

This is according to IWG, a flexible working company, which compared 26 cities around the world, rating them on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following categories:

  • Climate
  • Culture
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Food and drink
  • Happiness
  • Broadband speed
  • Availability of flexible workspace

“The categories were chosen to take into account the optimal environment for working abroad, including basic habitability requirements,” said Darren Rogers, country director of IWG Singapore.

“There are also factors that can impact productivity, such as broadband and the availability of flexible workspaces.”

Barcelona, ​​known for its vibrant cultural scene and almost year-round sunshine, comes out on top for those “looking for the perfect mix of work and play,” IWG said.

IWG also conducted a survey of more than 1,000 hybrid workers, which found that almost three in five (57%) took a vacation from work in the past year, where they extended their vacation while working abroad.

“The horizons of today’s workers are no longer limited to their own country,” Rogers added.

“We’ve found that employees around the world really value the ability to extend their holidays with a working holiday and in turn, employers benefit too, with highly engaged, happy and productive teams. »

Best cities for remote work

The study found that broadband speed is the most important essential for digital nomads, ahead of cost of living and weather.

“The rise of hybrid work now allows workers to work wherever they can be most productive, even overseas,” Rogers added.

“This is made possible by cloud technology, which requires a reliable, high-quality Internet connection.”

More than half of workers interested in 'quiet travel' this year

Singapore scored the highest for broadband speed (9), followed by New York (8.5) and Hong Kong (8).

Singapore is ranked 21st on the list, with high scores in other categories like happiness and transportation.

“Singapore is also Asia’s leading financial center, and the cosmopolitan city is home to the world’s best airport, which is often considered a gateway to easily access the rest of Asia, including South Asia -East,” IWG said.

Barcelona and Toronto – the top two cities – scored particularly high in terms of broadband speed and accommodation prices.

Top 10 Cities for Workplaces:

  1. Barcelona
  2. Toronto
  3. Beijing
  4. Milan
  5. new York
  6. Rio de Janeiro
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Paris
  9. Jakarta
  10. Lisbon

For example, the average monthly rent in Barcelona costs $1,158 and $1,769 in Toronto – compared to $3,632 in New York – the most expensive on the list.

The “charm” of Barcelona

Barcelona’s appeal also lies in its “unique combination of sun, sea, sand and cosmopolitan atmosphere”, said IWG.

According to the study, the Spanish city scores well in terms of transport costs and a “relatively low cost of living” compared to other popular European cities.

A cup of coffee in Barcelona costs $2.68 on average, compared to $4.92 in Los Angeles and $4.57 in Beijing, IWG added.

In addition to relatively affordable housing, Toronto also boasts high happiness scores and “a wealth of flexible workspaces,” according to the study.

“Canada’s largest city offers a diverse experience for digital nomads, with over 25% of the city covered in forests and an impressive 18% devoted to parks, providing plenty of green space to relax in the midst of an urban environment lively,” the study showed.

“Digital nomad” visas are easier to get than ever, especially if you’re rich

Spain and Canada launched new digital nomad programs last year, attracting working professionals who can do their jobs anywhere.

China’s capital, Beijing, rounds out the top three and is also the best Asian city for workplaces. It “performed exceptionally well” in categories such as culture, accommodation and transport costs, IWG said.

The city has a total of 1,484 galleries and museums, the second largest list behind New York. Rent costs an average of $1,204 per month, according to the study.

“The city’s world-class arts scene, with its numerous galleries and cultural venues, offers a remarkable experience for travelers seeking insights into China’s rich heritage and contemporary innovation,” IWG said.

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