For Knowledge Workers, Does It Really Matter Where You Live?

What makes a country ideal to live in? The infographic below shows the top 10 countries to work in based on statistics such as vacation time, parental leave, and work/life balance:

Best Countries to Work In

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This list, although quite helpful, only applies to traditional companies where people gather in a physical office or (any physical space for that matter), clock in certain number of hours a day, have to take leaves of absences and holidays are honored.

Thomas Friedman wrote in his seminal work The World is Flat: “Clearly, it is now possible for more people than ever to collaborate and compete in real time with more other people on more different kinds of work from more different corners of the planet and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of the world- using computers, e-mail, networks tele-conferencing, and dynamic new software.”

Indeed, the business world is seeing a shift towards enabling remote work, especially for professionals whose output is knowledge-based. Knowledge-based work could be in the form of a promotional video, or a piece of software code, or an essay, or even a financial model on Excel. Companies are slowly embracing that such knowledge workers are not necessarily bound by space and time. Therefore, working from outside the office is now acceptable, if not encouraged.

For the knowledge worker, the world is truly flat. And it seems vacation time and parental leaves are no longer factors. These are working conditions that a knowledge worker can tailor-fit to his/her needs.

So what does matter to the nomadic knowledge worker? It’s the livability of a city. We’re narrowing it to a city level because working conditions are most of the time dictated by federal laws, while livability is better described by city. The factors that contribute to the livability of a city include Internet access and speed, lower rent costs, and even cheaper electricity.

Here’s a list of most livable cities. Do take note that this list favors those in the tech industries – whether you’re a freelance developer, an employee of a tech company, or an owner of a tech startup. However, most of the other factors considered in this list refer to internet access and cost of living, which any type of knowledge worker.


Best Cities for Telecommuting

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At the end of the day, as a knowledge worker, where you’ll end up living (and working) is totally your choice.

The good news is, the world is changing with you. With developments in technologies enabling remote work and even virtual businesses, more and more workers and companies acknowledge the fact that output is king and location is irrelevant.

This is a great time to be a knowledge worker, because the world is your playground AND your workplace. Now, more than ever, you can work where your heart is.


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