Published: 15 MAY 2024
Commercial

In a 2022 report by Remote on the world’s best places for remote work, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ranked fourth. What is it that makes the region so good for digital nomads?

With new technology smoothing the path to remote working, knowledge workers are increasingly ‘free range’. No longer tethered to an office, people are roaming the world – especially the under-40s – while holding down a steady job via the internet.

Put another way, they are working wherever it suits them. In 2019 The Economist predicted that by 2035, there could be as many as one billion such digital nomads.

Several recent global studies have put Auckland high on the lists of cities amenable to remote working. ‘The best destinations for remote work’, published by HR platform specialist Remote, draws on data gathered from 100 cities worldwide, ranking them on a number of key criteria, including:

  • Internet infrastructure
  • Attractiveness (e.g., urban, natural, cultural)
  • Openness (social attitudes and government transparency)
  • Quality of life
  • Incentives for remote workers (special visas, financial incentives, etc.)
  • Cost of living
  • Safety (primarily vis-à-vis local crime)
  • Inflation rates.

While Auckland slipped a little on the cost of living, its performance in other areas meant that overall it was beaten only by Madrid, Madeira and Toronto.

In multiple ways, the region is ideal for digital nomads – those for whom work access is as simple as hot-desking and tapping into the Wi-Fi.

Broadband coverage 

For remote workers, ultra-fast fibre broadband is a deal-breaker, and Auckland is increasingly well provided for, thanks in large part to the success of the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband project, which at the time of completion in 2022 provided 87 per cent of the national population with fibre-optic connectivity.

4G+ is widely available across the region, with 5G also now across the central city and rolling out progressively through the suburbs – currently it is ‘on’ in selected areas from the East Coast Bays south to Pukekohe, and from Huapai east to East Tāmaki.

Shared offices 

Given the region’s geographical spread, workers are increasingly sourcing everything they need locally – from friendly cafes and eateries to business facilities. These include a growing number of shared workspaces, which suit both the work and social needs of remote workers.

Auckland is home to dozens of shared workspaces from the central city to the outlying suburbs. These include global chains such as Servcorp, Spaces, OfficeHub, BizDojo /Regus; and local outfits, among them Coworking, Level One HQ, sharedspace.co.nz, The Crate, The Hangar, The Office and Studio TwentySix.

At Wynyard Quarter, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has established its own innovation campus, GridAKL, which is specially tailored to nurturing startups, but also has office space for more established businesses. The GridAKL innovation network extends from the central city to GridMNK in Auckland’s south, Reserve Tāmaki in the east and Click Creative Tech Studios in the west. Users enjoy collaborating with like-minded people in a working environment that fosters a sense of community and boosts the potential for innovation.

Incentives for remote working

More than 30 countries worldwide have pioneered special visas for digital nomads, recognising the rising numbers of young professionals, particularly in the tech industry, who can work for themselves or an employer from anywhere via the internet.

In March 2024, the New Zealand Government mooted the possibility of offering a digital nomad visa. In the meantime, visitors are permitted to work in the country under a range of visa options if they meet specific criteria such as age and country of origin.  

Quality of life 

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland consistently ranks highly for quality of living. With everything from sports facilities and gyms to fine dining and entertainment close at hand, those who reside and work in the region also have beaches, regional parks and forest trails on their doorstep.  

Our work-life balance is globally recognised, too. A 2023 study by financial consultants Mercer placed Auckland third after Vienna and Zürich, noting its ‘exceptional quality of living’.  

And in the 2023 Work-Life Balance Index from Forbes Advisor, Auckland ranked fifth in the world – the highest-placed city outside Europe. Forbes noted Auckland’s ‘relaxed and friendly atmosphere’, ‘growing and diverse economy’, generous paid leave and holiday allowance, and ‘significantly’ low unemployment as key factors. 

Along with Remote’s vote of confidence, these reports place Auckland in the top five countries worldwide for digital nomads. 

 

Find out more

To learn more about opportunities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, get in touch with our team of experts.