Report reveals best and worst countries to work remotely based on cyber safety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety.
The U.S. ranks 16th in the world among countries that are best for remote work, according to new research by cybersecurity company NordLayer. Last year, the company created its Global Remote Work Index (GRWI) to reveal the best and worst countries to work remotely. The ranking is based on four criteria: cyber safety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety.
Here are the top 10 best countries for remote work, according to this year’s data:
- The Netherlands
NordLayer researchers assessed and compared 108 countries (up from 66 last year) using four index dimensions to compile the ranking. Under each dimension are various attributes (sub-dimensions) that, combined, help evaluate general remote-work attractiveness:
Cyber safety: infrastructure, response capacity, and legal measures.
Economic safety: tourism attractiveness, English language proficiency, cost of living, and healthcare.
Digital and physical infrastructure: internet quality and affordability, e-infrastructure, e-government, and physical infrastructure.
Social safety: personal rights, inclusiveness, and safety
How Does The U.S. Rank?
The U.S. experienced a drop in ranking this year, and now ranks 16th compared to third place last year. Two factors account for the drop:
- Cyber safety-wise, the U.S. ranks 33rd partially due to its drop in the legal measures ranking (down to 20 from seventh place in 2022).
- The U.S. ranked 37th for social safety factors, which substituted the COVID-19 pandemic handling factor from 2022. The main determinant was a drop in safety ranking (62 from 52), with inclusiveness (28) and personal rights (20) rankings also weighing down the overall results.
On the bright side, the U.S. ranks first for cybersecurity infrastructure and ninth for response capacity. In other more positive rankings, the U.S. is second in economic safety, fourth for healthcare, sixth for digital and physical infrastructure, second for affordable internet access, ninth for high-quality internet, and second for e-government.
Remote Work & cybersecurity habits
“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.”
Tamelis recommends the following cybersecurity practices for those interested in remote work:
- Always use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet connection and helps protect your personal information from prying eyes. It is especially crucial when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
- Ensure that all your devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, have the latest software updates installed. These updates often include security patches that can help protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Be cautious with public Wi-Fi and avoid accessing sensitive information such as online banking or entering passwords on public Wi-Fi networks unless you are using a VPN. Hackers can easily intercept data on unsecured networks.
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible for your email accounts, social media profiles, and other online services you use while traveling. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification during login.
- Use strong and unique passwords. Create strong passwords for each of your online accounts and avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. Consider using a password manager like NordPass to securely store and generate complex passwords.
“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,” Tamelis added. “Working remotely opens up new opportunities, but it also exposes us to potential security risks. Cybersecurity vigilance is our first line of defense.“