SINGAPORE: In the ever-evolving landscape of remote work, Singapore is among the top 30 best countries to work remotely, according to NordLayer’s latest Global Remote Work Index 2023 report. The report, which evaluates 108 countries based on cyber safety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety, sheds light on Singapore’s strengths and areas for improvement in facilitating remote work, as reported by the Singapore Business Review.

The accolade is attributed to the country’s robust e-governance and impressive internet quality and affordability, making it an “appealing remote work destination.” In addition to its infrastructure, Singapore’s tourism attractiveness and English language proficiency contribute to its appeal as a remote work destination. These factors highlight the country’s global connectivity and accessibility, ensuring remote workers can seamlessly integrate into the local culture and work environment.

However, the report reveals a nuanced picture of Singapore’s remote work landscape. While excelling in digital and physical infrastructure, the country faces challenges in social safety and economic safety. In terms of social safety, Singapore ranks 40th globally, reflecting concerns related to personal rights, inclusiveness, and safety. Furthermore, the economic safety ranking places Singapore at 68th, indicating areas such as the high cost of living (96) that might pose challenges for remote workers.

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Comparatively, Singapore outperforms its Southeast Asian counterparts in the remote work index. Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia stand at 41, 49, and 68, respectively. However, Malaysia surpasses Singapore in economic safety (33) and cyber safety (22) thanks to its lower cost of living and robust legal measures against cybercrime.

When it comes to tourism, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand find common ground, with Indonesia emerging as the most appealing remote work destination due to its significantly lower cost of living.

Remote work has become a permanent fixture in the professional landscape, and Donatas Tamelis, Managing Director at NordLayer, emphasises its transformative impact. “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. 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,” Mr Tamelis said.

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He also noted the critical role of cybersecurity, stating, ” In the age of remote work, cybersecurity is not just an option. It’s a critical necessity to safeguard our data and protect our organization from evolving cyber threats. Working remotely opens up new opportunities, but it also exposes us to potential security risks.”

Mr Tamelis offers practical advice for remote workers, emphasising the importance of cybersecurity practices such as using a VPN, keeping devices updated, exercising caution with public Wi-Fi, enabling two-factor authentication, and adopting strong and unique passwords. As he aptly concludes, “Cybersecurity vigilance is our first line of defense” in this era of remote work, where there are many opportunities, so do potential security risks./TISG