These are the best cities for remote-working – including Cape Town

Global housing rental platform Nestpick has published its work-from-anywhere index, ranking the best cities for digital nomads to live and work.

The Nestpick index ranks cities according to three broad categories:

  • Costs & Infrastructure;
  • Legislation & Freedoms;
  • Livability.

“For the first category, we looked into the basic costs and set-up requirements needed to work comfortably with the minimal extra expense, such as the price and availability of adequate home office space and the speed and capacity of the internet in each location,” it said.

The second category looked that the ease at which a foreigner is able to work remotely in each location, investigating whether countries offer a special visa for these employees, as well as specific remote-working infrastructure such as tax deductions and regulation.

“Being able to live safely and freely is often a deciding factor for potential migrants, so we analyzed the extent of basic human rights and freedoms in each location, as well as the levels of safety and support for gender equality and inclusivity of minorities and the LGBT+ community.

“After evaluating these structural and legislative elements, we turned our attention to the factors which make a city a great place to live, such as access to culture and leisure events both before and during the pandemic, as well as the general weather and levels of air, noise and light pollution.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the livability of many metropolises, the group also took note of the percentage of the populations that are fully vaccinated in each location, as well as those that had low infection rates.

The overall rating shows that Melbourne in Australia is the top city for remote-working, scoring highly on all three metrics and because Australia has a dedicated digital nomad visa.

Dubai in the UAE and Sydney in Australia rounded up the top three.

Cape Town

Cape Town in South Africa is one of only two African cities on the list – ranking 16th ahead of heavy hitters such as New York, Barcelona and Edinburgh.

The city scored well for its low cost of living, good weather, and the rights afforded to its citizens.

“This once again proves that we are a top-class, affordable destination for digital nomads and bolsters our call for a remote work visa – which was also a factor in Nestpick’s index,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, James Vos.

He said that the city would continue to push the national government to make immigration changes to encourage more digital nomads.

“Digital nomads typically stay longer than 90 days in a destination. As such, I am making submissions to National Government to make provisions in the Immigration Act to allow for a Remote Working Visa for a period longer than three months.

“The city also recently hosted a Remote Work Webinar in which we heard from stakeholders at key tourism and hospitality organisations about how and why to appeal to digital nomads.

“The remote work model isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay. Let’s fully capitalise on what we as a city can offer these 21st-century workers. ”

Vos said that encouraging more remote workers to Cape Town will help boost the economy. “They will also amplify the message among their friends, family, and networks about Cape Town being a prime destination for work and play,” he said.


Read: The area that will be key to South Africa’s recovery: Ramaphosa

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These are the best cities for remote-working – including Cape Town