Barcelona may be the perfect destination for a “workcation.” If you want to take a “workcation,” Barcelona may just be the ideal destination.
That’s according to IWG, a flexible workplace company, which compared 26 cities around the world, grading them on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following categories:
- Food and drink
- Broadband speed
- Availability of flexible workspace
- “The categories were chosen to consider the optimal environment for working abroad including basic livability requirements,” said Darren Rogers, IWG Singapore’s country manager.
There are other factors that may impact productivity such as broadband or the availability of flexible workspaces. IWG said that Barcelona, with its lively cultural scene and sunshine almost all year round, was the top choice for people “looking for the perfect balance between work and leisure”. IWG conducted a survey of more than 1,000 hybrid employees, and found that nearly three-quarters (57%) had taken workcations over the past year. This meant they worked from abroad to extend their holidays. “The horizons for today’s workers no longer confine themselves to their home countries,” said Rogers.
We have seen how employees around the world value the ability to extend their holiday with workcations. In return, employers benefit too with highly-engaged and happy teams. The research revealed that broadband speed was the most important factor for digital nomads, surpassing both cost of living and climate. Rogers said that hybrid work allows workers to work wherever they are most productive, including overseas.
Singapore scored highest for broadband speed (9) followed by New York (8.5) and Hong Kong (8).
Singapore is ranked 21st on the list, with high scores in other categories like happiness and transport. IWG said that Singapore is Asia’s leading financial hub and has the best airport in the world. It is also a popular gateway to Southeast Asia.
Barcelona and Toronto — the top two cities — registered particularly strong scores in broadband speed and accommodation prices.
Top 10 cities for workcations:
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- For example, the average rent per month in Barcelona costs $1,158 and $1,769 for Toronto — compared to New York’s $3,632 — the most expensive on the list.
- The ‘allure’ of Barcelona
- Barcelona’s allure also lies in its “unique combination of sun, sea, sand and cosmopolitan atmosphere,” said IWG.
- According to the study, the Spanish city scored well for the cost of transport and has “relatively low cost of living” compared to other popular European cities.
- A cup of coffee in Barcelona costs $2.68 on average, compared to $4.92 for Los Angeles and $4.57 for Beijing, IWG added.
- Other than relatively affordable accommodation, Toronto also boasts high scores in happiness and “a wealth of flexible workspaces,” said the study.
- “Canada’s largest city offers a diverse experience for digital nomads, with over 25% of the city covered in forests and an impressive 18% dedicated to parks, providing ample green spaces for relaxation amidst the bustling urban setting,” the study showed. The study found that Spain and Canada both introduced digital nomad programs in the past year to appeal to professionals who are able work anywhere. Beijing, the Chinese capital and best Asian city to workcation, rounds out the top three. IWG said that it “performed extremely well” in areas such as culture, accommodation and transport costs. The city is home to 1,484 museums and galleries, which ranks second on the list after New York. According to the study, rent costs $1,204 per month on average. IWG said that the city’s “world-class art scene” with its numerous cultural venues and galleries offers travelers a unique experience. They can get a taste of China’s rich history and modern innovation.
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