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Australia drops 6 places in remote work rankings

But what country is the highest rated for remote workers? Honestly, it’s probably not that surprising.

user iconDavid Hollingworth and Kyle Robbins
Wed, 18 Oct 2023
Australia drops six places in remote work rankings
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A new report has revealed the best countries for remote workers, based on four statistics representing a range of work-from-home benefits and challenges.

And while Australia ranks well – coming 25th out of the 108 countries rated – it has dropped six places. That said, the pool of counties has also increased. Last year, VPN company NordLayer looked at 66 countries, but for its 2023 survey, it covered 108 countries.

When you look at it that way, Australia’s not doing too badly.


At the top of the ratings, however, is Denmark.

The rating system that awarded Denmark this honour is based on four measurements:

  1. Cyber safety, which covers infrastructure, resilience, and law.
  2. Economic safety, which measures tourism, English language proficiency, cost of living, and healthcare.
  3. Digital and physical infrastructure, which rates internet performance and affordability, infrastructure, and digital government.
  4. Social safety, which covers individual rights and safety.

The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland, and Slovakia round out the top ten.

However, Australia does take the lead in Oceania. It ranks fourth in economic safety thanks to being an attractive tourist destination and for its English language capacity (which does seem an odd measurement, admittedly).

“Furthermore,” NordLayer said in a statement, “the nation’s digital and physical infrastructure dimension, sitting at 18, is bolstered by an effective e-government system ranked seven and robust physical infrastructure at the 12 spot.”

But what really holds the nation back from remote work greatness is a poor ranking in cyber safety, which places it at 35 on the list, and a cost of living rating of 92 overall. Australia also scores low in personal safety, coming in at an alarming 53rd place.

“Even though some of the big tech companies recently brought their employees back to the office or introduced a hybrid work model, remote work is here to stay,” said Donatas Tamelis, managing director at NordLayer. “It’s 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.”

All that said, another recent survey has found that the days of remote and hybrid working could be coming to an end.

KPMG’s 2023 CEO Outlook survey, conducted with 1,325 global chief executives over one month, found such initiatives could be obsolete within the next three years as 64 per cent anticipate a full return to office in that time, a result which remains in line with that of the 2022 report.

While employees may feel off-sided by these findings, nearly 90 per cent of CEOs expressed a desire to provide rewards to employees who make an effort to return to the office with favourable assignments, raises, or promotions.

KPMG believes “this sentiment underscores the persistence of traditional office-centric thinking among CEOs”.

“It comes against a backdrop of the debate surrounding hybrid working, which has had a largely positive impact on productivity over the past three years, and has strong employee support, particularly among the younger generation of workers,” the report continued.

With the war for talent intensifying in recent years, KPMG International’s global head of people, Nhlamu Dlomu, said “the evidence suggests a one-size-fits-all approach to return-to-office could be detrimental” for employees hunting the acquisition and retention of elite-level staff.

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