It’s often said that remote workers can work from anywhere where there’s an internet connection.
But tell that to someone who wants to live and work in Bangkok or Bali right now.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of workers from their offices into their homes — and many have decided they want to change countries, at least temporarily. Catering to that trend, countries in Europe, the Caribbean and the Caucasus are trying to entice those workers with new “digital nomad” visa programs.
But to date, no Asian country has formally opened the door to this new remote workforce, leaving them to wonder whether to hold out for their preferred Asian destination, or to apply to live somewhere else that’s open to them now.
According to a global Booking.com survey of 20,000 travelers working from home during the pandemic, more than a third have considered working remotely from a different destination, Nuno Guerreiro, regional director at the site, told CNBC’s Global Traveler.
A woman works near the beach on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand.
lechatnoir | E+ | Getty Images
“From the research, we can tell that there’s an appetite to remotely work from a different destination, with respondents in Asian nations such as Thailand (60%), Vietnam (52%), Singapore (50%), China (45%) and Hong Kong (39%) surpassing the global average (37%) in expressing their interest in these types of arrangements,” he wrote via email.
Interest was also high from respondents from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Russia and the United States.
Asia was home to four of the top 10 best destinations for expatriates to live and work in 2019, according to expat networking site InterNations’ “Expat Insider 2019 Survey.”
1. Taiwan – best in the world for health care affordability
2. Vietnam – best in the world for personal finances
6. Singapore – best in the world for personal safety
9. Malaysia – scored well for affordable cost of living and housing
10. Czech Republic