Best Places to Work Remotely: Top Work from Beach Locations.
Over the later half of the 2010s, the term “digital nomad” started to pop up all over the shop. These were remote workers – normally freelancers – who decided to quit their desk jobs and travel the world. Digital nomads were the pioneers of the work-from-home model, except a lot of them decided to turn that into “work from anywhere”. Nomad “hubs” started to pop up around the world – from the sandy beaches of Bali to the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires.
Although remote working as a model for modern-day work was starting to pick up, it very rapidly grew into a necessity thanks to social distancing measures that all of us participated in. Nowadays, despite some companies turning back towards the traditional work-from-the-office model, there are plenty more that offer hybrid or fully-remote working options. Plus, utilising asynchronous working ensures that everyone is able to keep productive alongside a healthy work-life balance through “workcations”.
Companies like Revolut, Airbnb and Spotify have adopted a remote working model, allowing their employees to literally work from anywhere in the world – so long as it’s allowed as per local laws. Small- to medium-sized businesses can most definitely offer this working option to their employees, too, and with the help of a global outsourcing company, they can rest easy knowing that they will always maintain employment compliance.
Suppose you’re one of the lucky ones who get to call the world their office, congratulations! Some of the best places to work remotely include those that give people the opportunity to work from the beach. Although a common dream of many 9-to-5ers is the ability to work from the beach, you might be sceptical – which is fair! Let’s talk about why you should consider the option of scouting out a work beach.
Top 5 beach destinations to work remotely
Now you know the ins and outs of working from the beach, you must be wondering where you should book your next workcation trip. Aside from actually having beach-side spots where you can work from, you also need to keep in mind whether you’re legally allowed to work from those spots. Thankfully, some countries have thought this through and offer remote workers easy ways to legally work from there.
While remote workers are spoiled for choice in terms of beach locations around the world, there are only a few that they can go to and where they can rest easy knowing that they’re keeping compliant with local labour laws. With that said, here are the five best work from the beach locations that fit all the most important criteria:
You might not think of Croatia as a beach destination, but it most definitely is. More commonly known as “King’s Landing” from Game of Thrones, this Balkan country offers a lot more. Croatia’s vast coastline sits along the Adriatic sea, with coastal towns overlooking its vast, crystal clear waters. Zadar and Split are two towns to consider if you’d like to work from the beach.
Croatia is a part of the EU, making it super easy for EU citizens to move and work there. Fortunately, non-EU remote workers are allowed to stay and work in Croatia for up to 90 days without the need of a long-stay visa. If you’re a non-EU citizen who’s gone to Croatia and fallen in love, don’t fret! The Croatian government offers a “digital nomad visa”, which allows those who meet the requirements to stay in the country fuss-free for up to a year.
This Central American country is a popular holiday destination for a reason. Aside from its deep-rooted culture and mouth-watering food, Mexico is also home to some gorgeous beaches. From Tulum to Cancun, there is no shortage of amazing beach towns that you can work from.
Recently, Mexico has launched a way for digital nomads to stay and work in the country – meaning that remote workers can enjoy those many work-from-beach benefits that we mentioned earlier. Digital nomads who have earned more than $27,000 in the previous year or have had a monthly income of $1,620 or more in the preceding six months are eligible to apply for Mexico's temporary residence visa. The cost of the visa itself is about $30.
One of the original digital nomad hubs, Bali is known for its pristine beaches and amazing culture. Australians love Bali for its surf while Brits love it for its easy introduction to Southeast Asian living. Plus, the food and coffee is great too, and the Indonesian island is home to a vast number of work-friendly cafes and co-working spaces, some of which put remote workers right by the beach.
Working in Bali is tricky as a remote worker since there isn’t a solid “digital nomad” visa. Yet. Currently, remote workers are allowed to utilise a temporary visa for work but none of them facilitate long term stays. However, the government has announced that they’ll soon be offering a visa that allows remote workers to live and work in Bali for up to five years, so long as all aspect their income comes from sources outside of Indonesia.
Considered the best Caribbean island to work remotely from, Bermuda is a gorgeous island that offers plenty of choice when it comes to working from the beach. Pick almost anywhere on the island, and you’re sure to find a café that’ll let you work you right on the beach. Just don’t forget our tips from earlier since some of those places really do have you working with your feet right in the sand!
If you can provide proof that you are working and have health insurance, you will be allowed to stay in Bermuda as a remote worker for a period of one year. This requirement also applies if you want to bring a dependent with you. If, on the other hand, you are a student, you are required to present either a student certificate or a document proving your enrollment. This long-term visa will cost you just $263 to apply!
Alongside Bali, Thailand is also considered one of the first places that became a digital nomad hub. While you might find more comfort in the bustling city of Bangkok, this Southeast Asian country also offers tons of beach-side towns that you can work remotely from! It’s hard to pick the “best” Thai beach town to work from as they all offer their own unique features, from Phuket to Koh Phangan, Koh Lanta, Koh Samui… Basically any of the “kohs”! (It means “island” in Thai)
For a very long time, digital nomads wanting to work from the beach in Thailand needed to use the 60-day tourist visa and extensions. However, those on tourist or visitor visas weren’t actually permitted to do any form of work and that had remote workers at risk of legal implications if they got caught by the authorities. Fortunately for remote workers, starting from September 1st, the Thai government launched the “Long-Term Residency Visa” which allows digital nomads to both work and stay in the country for up to 10 years!
Why should you work from the beach?
Aside from the many benefits of working remotely, working from the beach specifically carries its own benefits. Whether you’re planning on taking a “workcation” or are already living in a place with a beach nearby, here are some of the biggest reasons why you should consider getting out and looking for a work beach:
1. Get away from the office
Whether it’s your company’s office or the one at home, there will be times when we just need to get away from our desks. Although we are indeed creatures of habit and routine, one brilliant way to prevent burnout is a change in environment – essentially breaking that routine. Changing things up gives your mind a chance to reset, and taking a day to work from the beach also allows you to enjoy many more benefits:
2. Try something new
When was the last time you tried something new? If you haven’t already tried working from the beach, then now’s definitely the time. Especially since having new experiences is beneficial to a person’s mental health.
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter, and when we expose ourselves to new experiences, we get a hit of it, which in turn makes us feel rewarded. Fear is typically the most significant barrier to trying something new – we are creatures of habit, after all. But once you overcome it and take the steps to getting yourself working on a beach, that flow of happy-hormones will even give you a boost in productivity!
3. Enjoy fresh air
We immediately notice when a room’s a bit stuffy and get straight to cracking open a window to let some fresh air in. We already know the benefits of fresh air – the least of which being gifting our lungs with a higher dose of oxygen. When you work from the beach, you’ll be exposed to a near-infinite source of fresh air. Better yet, you’ll breathe in ocean air – which is known for its healing properties.
But how exactly can the seaside air help to rejuvenate the lungs? It’s all within the make-up of that fresh, salty air. There are small amounts of salt, iodine, and magnesium in the ocean air because it includes minute amounts of seawater. When we breathe, we inhale these healing particles, which activates our immune systems to cleanse the gunk that's been accumulating in our lungs. Plus, ocean air accelerates oxygen absorption into your bloodstream, which also leads to increased serotonin levels.
4. Benefits of white noise
In a nutshell, white noise is a random signal that has the same level of intensity at all frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz, which are the hearing thresholds for humans. It is that static-like sound that you hear every time you look it up on YouTube or Spotify. And, fortunately, the beach is an infinite source of natural white noise, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of it.
The theory of why white noise is beneficial is that the random distribution of frequencies will filter out any outside noise and make it impossible for a mind that is hyperactive to concentrate on one particular thing and therefore, not allowing it to get distracted by conversations or the sounds of traffic. It has a relaxing effect, similar to what one might experience from practising mindfulness or meditation. With concentration boosted as you work from the beach, you’ll find that your productivity will increase tremendously.
5. Great view
One thing that we all could agree on is the beauty of a great view. For a lot of us, a beach is one of the most beautiful views that Mother Nature has to offer and spending time in natural environments can have a positive impact on both your mood and your mental health. So, why not utilise those great benefits and spend a day working from the beach?
Studies have shown that simply staring out into the ocean can put people into a state of Zen. This is because the colour blue tends to be associated with feelings of calm and peace. Plus, blue has also been found to boost creativity. Working on the beach gives you access to an near-endless view of the ocean blues, allowing you to enjoy these benefits while you work.
6. Stress reduction
All the above benefits of working from the beach leads to this final one – the opportunity to greatly reduce stress. Once you are able to reach that state of Zen, thanks to the view of the ocean blue and the great breathfuls of fresh, ocean air, you’ll find all your daily stresses melting away. Without the pent-up feelings of anxiety caused by stress, you’ll find that you’re able to concentrate better and produce some of your best work.
Working from a relaxing location like the beach will almost certainly lower levels of stress, which in turn will also lower the likelihood of burnout. When you are feeling stressed out by your work, you can take a walk on the beach, breathe in that healing ocean air, and experience the soothing breeze from the water to help you relax. Then, once you’ve found your place of calm, you can go back to doing great quality work. Rinse and repeat.
Tips for making working remotely by the beach easier
Despite all the benefits we’ve listed above, there are a few drawbacks to working from the beach. From the hot temperatures to the possibility that you might not be able to find a charging point, it might just be enough to put you off from working on the beach. But, don’t fret, there are many ways to ensure that your day at a work beach remains productive.
The key to the ultimate productive day is planning. With that said, here are five tips to making working remotely by the beach easier:
1. Pack a powerbank
In plenty of beach-side spots around the world, you’ll be able to find a hotel or a café to work out of. Although a lot of these spots will be equipped with plug-sockets which would allow you to work there all day long if need be, you might find some places with an inadequate number of plugs, or worse, none at all. This is where prepping your work from the beach day in advance comes in handy, by packing a powerbank.
While you might think that powerbanks only keep your phone charged, some modern-day powerbanks are actually capable of charging laptops, too! If you’ve got a laptop that’s chargeable via a USB-C cable, then you should definitely stick a (fully charged) powerbank into your backpack. Having a powerbank on hand can help prevent those frustrating moments where you’re in the zone and your battery dies on you.
2. Decide your location beforehand
Location, location, location – even more true when it comes to working from the beach. Regardless of where in the world you may be, planning your workday ahead of time, including deciding on where you’ll be working, will help solve a lot of issues you might face. There’s nothing worse than an unprepared remote worker, which puts the entire work day at risk!
In your free time, try doing some research. Tag a few locations on Google Maps that are conducive working spots, such as beach-side cafes or hotels. Pay attention to reviews on Google Maps, too! They would tell you whether a place is work-friendly or not. Since the digital nomad lifestyle has been practiced for over a decade, there would be plenty of country-specific lists full of the best places to get a day’s work done by the beach.
3. Get a portable wifi device
This tip specifically is one that falls under the category of “better to be safe than sorry”. Many digital nomad hubs have met the demand of the remote worker by putting in place modern infrastructures that are key to productivity like high-speed internet. However, there will definitely be the odd time where these will fail, making it really important to prepare in advance.
A portable wifi device could be a separate router on its own, or even just your phone. Our phones are capable of so many things, and being a portable wifi device is one of them. Just ensure that you are using a local mobile provider for affordability and subscribe to a good data plan. While ample data is important for maintaining a smooth working experience, it is also rather useful for day-to-day life, too!
4. Anti-glare screen protector
Some of the worst things about working on a computer is the glare you’ll face whenever there is bright light. Whether it’s from sitting in front of the window at home or sitting under bright fluorescent lights at the office, it’s something that can be disruptive to our workflow. Working from the beach can also put you at risk of working with the glare of sunlight as you tap away from your laptop. However, this is an easy fix.
In general, putting an anti-glare screen protector on your laptop is always a good idea, but it’s even more helpful if you’d like to work from the beach. A screen with an anti-glare screen protector will, thankfully, cut down on the amount of light—both direct and ambient—that reflects off of it. Not only will it decrease the glare faced when working in bright environments like the beach, it also helps with decreasing the amount of eye fatigue at the end of the day.
5. Waterproof bag
While we wouldn’t suggest going directly into the ocean with all your work gear, you should still consider getting a waterproof laptop bag for your work from the beach trips. Plus, you may never know what types of weather await you, especially if you’re in a tropical country. Rain or shine, you can feel at ease in the knowledge that your electronics will always be protected from the elements.
In addition, waterproof bags prevent dust, sand, and other minute particles from accessing the ports of your electronic devices. Even while it might not seem like a major concern at first, the battery life and performance of your laptop and phone could be negatively impacted as a result of this. So, definitely consider getting a waterproof bag!
If you’re a remote worker, we highly recommend giving yourself a day to try working on a beach. We’ve mentioned the various positive benefits of being by the ocean, from the fresh air to the calming sounds of the waves, and their effects on your productivity. Just make sure you’re prepared beforehand!
However, if you’re a business owner looking to allow your employees to enjoy these benefits of remote work from the beach, you don’t have to worry about maintaining compliance if you’re partnered with a great global outsourcing company. One of the most sought after working benefits is the ability to work remotely and even small- to medium-sized businesses can offer this benefit to their employees by engaging with these outsourcing companies. Not only will it be great for your employees, but remote work opportunities has proven benefits on the company itself!