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The world’s top destinations ranked for UK remote workers looking to live the dream abroad

September 25th, 2017
Author: Economic Voice Staff

From city breaks to quiet lakes, figures from PeoplePerHour has identified the world’s best value locations when it comes to UK freelancers working from another country

India rates as world’s top destination for freelancers – the cost of living is just under £582 per month (18%) of the average self-employed UK salary – £1,200 less than the UK.

The UK is in the world’s top 10 most expensive places to reside with 60% of average earnings taken up by essentials.

Brits dream beach destinations; Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Jamaica are some of the cheapest places to live – Brits could expect to have more 70% of their annual earnings left.

In Europe, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Croatia all offer exceptional weather, lifestyle and value for money.

Computer equipment (PD)

Remote working in the UK is on the rise. Last month, the ONS Analysis of real earnings report found UK self-employed people increased by 23,000 to 4.81 million (15.0% of all people in work).

This increase in people ditching the daily grind in favour of freedom and flexibility means that the days of being tied to an office are over. For many, the visions of a beachside business call or a penthouse planning session are no longer a pipe dream but a reality. But with the world as your oyster, where can UK workers go to work from the destination of their dreams and make their pound go further while they are there?

Figures from the UK’s leading online freelance marketplace, PeoplePerHour, have identified the world’s  best and worst value destinations when it comes to cost of living when working abroad.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, comments:

The cost of living in the UK has been incrementally rising during the last few years, and with inflation making real-term wages fall for the third year in a row, people are constantly looking for ways to make their money go further. On the surface it might seem counter-intuitive, with the expenses of travel to take into account, but digital nomadism could be the answer for those with a willingness to move.”

World’s best destination for UK freelancers

Topping the chart as the most economical place to live is India. The cost of living is just 18% of the average self-employed income after paying local taxes*. Taking into account expenses such as groceries, dining out, utilities, rent and broadband the typical cost of living in India totalled just £523 per month – almost a whopping £1,200 less than that of the UK.

Other perfect destinations in the top 10 for Brits looking to combine their balance sheets with beaches include Mexico, where a typical meal out for two will set you back just £17.07, Brazil with the average rent coming in at £327.50 a month, Thailand £326.95 and Jamaica £283.39. With a relatively low cost of living combined with the scenery, culture,  weather and food, these places make some of the best value and most attractive destinations to live and work in.

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Mediterranean meetings

As the cold and dark nights draw into the UK, the figures also highlighted destinations closer to home for those longing to be back on their European holiday. Croatia, where the total cost of living per month comes to £992.00, Portugal £1035.90, Greece £1058.54 and Spain £1248.78 all rate highly. The summer is longer and hotter, the cost of living is lower and with all destinations around three hours flight time away, it’s no surprise to see them as a popular choice.

Brits wanting to start a new life in any of these countries could expect to have more 70% of their annual earnings left to play with once the everyday essentials have been covered, and with each one of these countries being popular tourist destinations, there’s no chance of expats being lonely!

UK listed as one of most expensive places

The UK, on the other hand, is at the other end of the scale when it comes to cost of living with nearly 60% of average earnings is taken up by essentials. However, it is way behind other, traditionally expensive destinations, such as; Singapore, where the cost of living is 76% of income and where a  bottle of wine will set you back around £16.81 on average, Hong Kong where the price of an average meal for two will set you back £35.08  and Switzerland, where even cheese will cost around £16.79 per kg.

Thrasyvoulou continued: ‘‘While the average British salary crept up by 4.25% between 2010 and 2015, the freelancer rates rose 26.83% in the same period, putting freelance hourly rates 36% above those of their employed counterparts. Taking this into account, the prospect of living abroad while working globally is becoming increasingly attractive to frustrated Brits."

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Remote working best destinations

* Average income calculated as £20.73 per hour for self-employed using PeoplePerHour according to analysis carried out by University of Westminster.

** Total cost of living is calculated taking the average grocery shopping costs for a family of four, utilities, rent, internet, eating out and cost of fuel.

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