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Take a workation: Sydney among the best cities in which to work remotely

Sydney is the best Australian city to have a 'workation'.

Sydney is the best Australian city to have a 'workation'. Photo: Getty

Sydney has been ranked among the best ‘workation’ cities in the world, thanks to its sunny outlook and picturesque views.

Since hybrid work has been embraced, people have taken advantage of being able to travel while on the job, with ‘workations’ allowing them to work from abroad to prolong their holidays.

According to IWG, the largest workspace network in the world that pioneers the concept of hybrid working, workations have “exploded” in popularity in recent years.

Research from the company found 88 per cent of hybrid workers had “worked from anywhere” in the past year, and 57 per cent extended their holidays while working abroad.

Recently, IWG uncovered the top cities for a workation – and Sydney made the cut.

Although the New South Wales capital didn’t crack the top 10 – sitting at No.23 – it is the only Australian city that made it onto the list.

Each city was given a score based on nine categories.

For climate and happiness, Sydney scored 8.5, but the score for food, which was based on the average cost for lunch, and culture brought the overall mark down to 46.5 out of 90.

Sydney’s workation scores

  • Climate: 8.5/10
  • Culture: 2.5
  • Accommodation: 7
  • Transport: 5.5
  • Subsistence (average price of a coffee): 6.5
  • Broadband: 2.5
  • Food cost (average cost for lunch): 2.5
  • Happiness: 8.5
  • Number of IWG office locations (22): 3.

“One of the busiest cities in the country, Sydney offers travellers a unique blend of harbourside views, picturesque beaches and a food haven with various flea markets and festivals,” IWG said.

View of Sydney, Opera House, Circular Quay and Sydney Cove from small boat. Sydney, Australia

With both the harbour and the beaches, it’s no wonder Sydney made the list.

Top workation cities in the world

Spain’s Barcelona and Canada’s Toronto shared the top spot on the list, both with a score of 58.5/90.

IWG noted that Barcelona is particularly alluring due to its transportation system, “relatively low cost of living”, in comparison to other European cities and its “unique combination of sun, sea, sand, and cosmopolitan atmosphere”.

Barcelona, renowned for its vibrant cultural scene, breathtaking architecture, and almost year-round sunshine, continues to be a highly coveted destination, attracting millions of visitors each year,” IWG said.

“In recent times, it has become a thriving hub for digital nomads seeking the perfect blend of work and leisure for their ‘workations’.”

Toronto is an appealing option due to its “multicultural ambiance”, 8000 restaurants and abundance of coffee shops and flexible workspaces.

Toronto, on the other hand, boasts high scores in accommodation, happiness, and a wealth of flexible workspaces, making it an ideal choice for travellers,” IWG said.

“Canada’s largest city offers a diverse experience for digital nomads, with over 25 per cent of the city covered in forests and an impressive 18 per cent dedicated to parks, providing ample green spaces for relaxation amidst the bustling urban setting.”

Beijing also slipped into the top three, scoring well in the culture, accommodation and transport categories.

China also has a rich history that is appealing to many travellers, and is usually on the cutting edge in regards to technology.

Top 10 workation cities in the world:

  • Barcelona: 58.5/90
  • Toronto: 58.5
  • Beijing: 57.5
  • Milan: 57
  • New York: 56.5
  • Rio de Janeiro: 55
  • Amsterdam: 55
  • Paris: 55
  • Jakarta: 55
  • Lisbon: 54.5.

Workations might be the future?

Damian Sheehan, the IWG country head for Australia, said working from anywhere has been made possible thanks to technology, provided there is a decent internet connection.

He explains hybrid work give people the chance to work from wherever they will be the most productive, which isn’t always the office.

It is no wonder people are working while travelling, whether it be squeezing in some work while abroad to get some extra time away or embracing the digital nomad life, he said.

Mr Sheehan also expects that working from abroad will only become more popular.

“This trend is set to accelerate further, and we will continue to see more and more companies embracing WFA [work from anywhere] policies to improve employees’ work-life balance and increase their attractiveness as an employer,” he said.

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