Although many companies are pushing for in-office work, the trend of remote work keeps climbing, influencing urban landscapes globally.
Nomad List, specialists in tracking remote work populations, determined the top emerging hubs for remote work by analyzing around 300,000 user check-ins over the past two years.
Cities like Valencia, Spain, and Sardinia, Italy have been welcoming to digital nomads, yet none from Europe made the cut.
Surprisingly, the bulk of these rapidly emerging remote work centers are in Asia. The single outlier? Montevideo, Uruguay, securing the sixth place.
No. 1 Fastest-Growing Remote Work Hub: Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo claimed the premier position as the favourite hotspot for digital nomads.
From 2018 to 2022, Tokyo experienced a 67% surge in digital nomads, as stated by Nomad List. Last year alone, Japan’s capital witnessed a whopping 369% growth in remote workers.
Though Japan has not rolled out a dedicated digital nomad visa, it does facilitate visa-free travel for citizens of 70 countries, permitting stays of up to 90 days, as per Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Living in Tokyo is around 47.9% cheaper than in New York, excluding rent, as reported by Numbeo. Beyond affordability, Tokyo provides a platform for nomads in one of the world’s most robust urban economies, as highlighted by Bloomberg.
In 2023, Tokyo is the base for 29 Fortune 500 firms, outshining New York’s 16. Worth mentioning, Japan only resumed international travel in October 2022 after a prolonged pandemic-induced shutdown.
The leading 10 remote work hubs for 2023 are:
1- Tokyo, Japan
2- Da Nang, Vietnam
3- Seoul, South Korea
4- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5- Penang, Malaysia
6- Montevideo, Uruguay
7- Manila, Philippines
8- Hanoi, Vietnam
9- Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
10- Ljubljana, Slovenia
Da Nang, Vietnam secured the second position. Recording a 99% growth over five years, and a 107% rise in 2023, Da Nang is increasingly attracting digital nomads.
Nationals from nearly 200 countries, including the U.S., can conveniently obtain online tourist visas for a maximum 90-day stay.
Da Nang, ranking fifth in size in Vietnam, ensures free internet downtown. Recognized for its pristine beaches, it’s among Vietnam’s most habitable cities.
Additionally, the iconic Golden Bridge, resembling being cradled by massive stone hands, is nearby.
Seoul, South Korea, occupies the third spot on the list. Being South Korea’s metropolis, Seoul is the nexus for tech giants like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG.
The 2023 Economist Intelligence Unit cites Seoul among Asia’s top livable cities, boasting ultra-fast internet and widespread public Wi-Fi. Per Numbeo’s data, Seoul’s living costs are about 27.4% less than New York’s, sans rent.
Similarly to Tokyo and Da Nang, Seoul permits U.S. travellers a 90-day visa-free stay.