The Best Islands for Remote Working Revealed

The Best Islands for Remote Working Revealed

With the growth rate of full-time remote work in the U.S. expected to increase by 65% between 2019 and 2024¹, a leading HR software company has revealed the best tropical islands to work remotely from this year. Taking into account factors such as population, average daily budget (spending money for food, transport and leisure), accommodation cost and WiFi speed, the Dutch-Caribbean island of Curaçao has been revealed as the best location for remote workers looking for a change of scenery while continuing to work for their U.S. based employers. 

Zenefits, an award winning company specializing in HR software, has conducted research to find the best tropical islands that are able to sustain remote working professionals, whilst they continue to work for their U.S Based employers. The study comes after data revealed that the growth rate of remote work in the U.S. is expected to increase by 65% by 2024, with 21.8% of workers expected to be entirely remote-based, compared to the pre-covid¹ figure of 13.2%.

The research considered seven factors; population², average temperature³, WiFi speed⁴, cost of accommodation⁵, average daily budget⁶, ease of travel to the island from the U.S.⁷, and things to do and see⁸ across 50 tropical islands with laws allowing visits from remote U.S. workers. Each destination was given a score out of 50 for each metric, making the maximum score possible 350 points.. Curaçao was revealed as the best island for remote work, followed by Koh PhaNgan in Thailand and Fernando de Noronha in Brazil.

With average temperatures of 84.2°F and WiFi speeds of 55.03 Mbps, (above the U.S. average of 42.86 Mbps⁹) it’s no surprise that Curaçao  tops the list as the best remote island for remote working. There’s plenty to keep visitors busy outside of work, with 578 attractions and sights on the island, from pristine beaches tucked into coves to expansive coral reefs rich with marine life, there’s always a spot to get that perfect Instagram shot. . For any nature lover, a visit to Curaçao wouldn’t be complete without heading to Shete Boka National Park to watch turtles laying their eggs at Boka Kalki.

The Thai island of Koh PhaNgan is another ideal location for remote working, where visitors can immerse themselves in Thai culture, whether that’s sampling the local cuisine or embracing yoga and spiritual schools. The low cost of living, with the average budget traveller only spending $17 per day (excluding accommodation), and a nightly accommodation cost of only $104.58, means that digital nomads and remote workers alike won’t have to break the bank to grab their own slice of this paradise. Working remotely would be made easy by average WiFi speeds of 52.16 Mbps, and once the working day is done  there’s wreck diving, stunning beaches and trekking routes to keep visitors busy.

Rounding off the top three is Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Brazil. The island only has a population of 2,707, which coupled with undeveloped beaches and incredible dive sights, makes Fernando de Noronha ideal for a remote island getaway. Although being remote in location doesn’t mean the island is cut off completely, with WiFi speeds of 54.56 Mbps it’s easy for visitors to remain connected and work remotely.

The top ten tropical islands for remote working and their scores out of 350 are:

  • Curaçao - 271 (pictured)
  • Koh PhaNgan, Thailand - 255
  • Fernando de Noronha, Brazil -243
  • Easter Island, Chile - 237
  • Aruba - 228
  • Lucia - 228
  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands - 225
  • Little Cayman, Cayman Islands - 224
  • Moorea, French Polynesia - 224
  • Jamaica - 221

A full guide to these islands, including a break down of the must see beauty spots and unmissable activities can be found here:

If cost is of concern, the cheapest island to spend a night on is Cabo Verde with an average nightly accommodation cost of $52.92, just $35.35 less than the average rent on a property in massachusetts10. For those looking to make the most of their time away from the office, Jamaica is the place to be with an incredible 1734 attractions across the island to enjoy. Alternatively, for those looking to escape the rat race entirely, Floreana Island, one of the Galapagos Islands, is the perfect place to call home for a short while, with a population of only 100 people.

Nadene Evans of Zenefits said, “With professionals around the country continuing to work remotely, and an expectation that this trend will continue with more and more companies offering solely remote working opportunities, it’s no surprise that many of us are becoming sick of staring at the same four walls day in, day out.

Perhaps now more than ever, with so many of us spending more time than were used to in our own homes, it’s no surprise that so many have a desire to travel somewhere new and experience alternative cultures. Although, limited vacation time can mean this isn’t always feasible. That’s why we decided to put together the ultimate list of destinations which aren’t just great for a vacation, but that remote workers can take up residence in for an extended time while continuing to work for their employers back home.”