Singapore a top Asian destination for remote work

The country ranks high on digital and physical infrastructure, but is found wanting when it comes to metrics such as economic safety and cost of living.
By: | October 20, 2023

Singapore has been ranked as one of the best places in Asia to work remotely, owning to its “world-leading” digital and physical infrastructure and e-governance.

According to the NordLayer’s newest Global Remote Work Index (GRWI) which looks to evaluate and rank countries on their attributes as a remote work destination, Singapore ranks 28th out of 109 countries studied, and is attracting digital nomads by possessing the fourth best internet quality in the world.

Other attributes such as an excellent cybersecurity infrastructure, tourism attractiveness and English language proficiency (both ranked third), make Singapore an ideal remote work location, said NordLayer.

Areas where Singapore are lacking, NordLayer added, include economic and social safety, as well as a need to improve inclusiveness and personal rights. The high cost of living has also been identified as a potential deterrent to stay and work in Singapore.

In South-East Asia, Singapore ranks higher than countries like Malaysia (ranked 41st), Thailand (49th) and Indonesia (68th), with all four countries ranking very high in terms of tourism attractiveness. Malaysia, however, was voted higher than Singapore with regards to economic and cyber safety due to the country’s lower cost of living and strong crime laws against cybercrime in comparison to Singapore.  Indonesia is seen as a more appealing destination for affordable remote work destinations thanks to the country having the lowest costs of living in the region.

In Asia, only South Korea (17) and Japan (22) ranked higher than Singapore, while no Asian country made it into the top ten list, which is assessed by four different judging criteria: cyber safety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety. 

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Donatas Tamelis, Managing Director at NordLayer, said, “[Remote work] is not just a trend — it is a fundamental shift in how we approach productivity and work-life balance. Embracing remote work empowers our teams to harness their full potential, regardless of geographical boundaries.”