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Countries Are Competing For Remote Workers With New Digital Nomad Programs

The pandemic, despite its challenges and losses, provided new opportunities for workers with a yearning for travel.   

Now, digital nomads are part of the lexicon and countries are more eager than ever to attract these traveling workers. 

Regions across the world have touted being the go-to destination for digital nomads thanks to their livability, fast internet, tax breaks, community and access to remote work tools. However, some parts of Europe want these workers to stay a little longer. 

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Countries such as Iceland and Croatia have launched their own digital nomad visas, which allows these remote workers to live and work within a country upon approval for sometimes up to several years.   

The work from anywhere trend isn’t just dedicated to the world’s largest cities ─ many of these programs focus on boosting economic and job activity in smaller villages and cities. 

Digital nomadism has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic, with 15 million workers identifying as digital nomads in 2021compared to the seven million in 2019. But this is more than a fleeting trend: a June Gallup survey showed that 22% of workers want to continue working untethered. 

“Countries are now competing for talent, just like companies used to compete for talent,” said Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor at Harvard Business School.   

This trend of digital nomad visas will continue ramping up according to Choudhury, who forecasts that up to three dozen countries will provide some form of digital nomad program in the near future. 

The Wall Street Journal

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