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Greece Not Yet the Ideal Destination for Digital Nomads, Says Study

Photo © GTP

Slow internet, poor connectivity and lagging social and economic conditions are keeping Greece off digital nomads’ wish lists, according to the Global Remote Work Index released recently by cybersecurity experts NordLayer.

More specifically, despite garnering good scores for climate and cybersecurity, Greece is ranked 32nd on a list of 66 countries topped by Germany, Denmark, the US, Spain, and Lithuania.

Eight out of the 10 most attractive countries in the world for remote workers were in Europe.

However, despite ongoing efforts by the Greek government to attract digital nomads and boost tourism revenue, Greece still has a long way to go. The country’s top advantages according to the report are the good quality of life, mild weather and the natural environment.

Greece also did very well in terms of cyber security, ranking 5th among 66 countries as well as infrastructure capacity and cyber threat response.

GRWI: Cybersecurity, Top 10 ranking

However, dragging Greece down on the list are the delayed development of a fiber optic network and the cost of communications as well as social and economic conditions and digital and physical infrastructure which found Greece in the 44th and 49th spots respectively on the list behind Turkey.

Other performance indexes included Covid-19 response and handling, where Greece came in the 34th place; legal framework; overall feeling of security; tourist attractiveness; level of English in use; and cost of living and health.

Earlier this year, the Greek Tourism Ministry entered an agreement with digital payments company Visa to bring its executives to Greece, where they will work remotely as part of the ministry’s ongoing digital nomads initiative. Among others, Greek authorities are also looking to launch a special visa that will facilitate movement for digital nomads.

Similar data released last year at the 1st Digital Mobilities Conference organized by the Digital Nomads Observatory found that although digital nomads were warming up to Greece, much more needed to be done.

Keita Yamada, 33, Japanese: Customer Support at global remote work facilitator Doist.

Photo: This is Athens / Thomas Gravanis

According to research firm Gartner, after the outbreak of Covid-19, remote or hybrid work has increased. In 2019, remote workers accounted for 17 percent of the total worldwide reaching 32 percent (remote) and 51 percent (hybrid) in 2021. Findings indicate that by the end of 2022 more than half of employees in Europe (52 percent) will be working from afar. A few key takeaways from the report: Qatar was found to be the safest country, South Korea has the fastest internet and Israel the most affordable internet.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. Elena Reply

    Greece is so behind the times in many things, not opening up enough to embrace other countries food in supermarkets, lack of clear price labelling in shops especially hardware stores, slow internet, lack of alternate language choice eg English when paying bills still mostly Greek, so behind very frustrating for long term stays, you need to catch up with other countries Greece or you’ll get left behind!

  2. Tony Reply

    If you had any sense of how to search Google and release your chain from Amazon, you would find great bargains even cheaper than bloody Amazon.
    Get real my friend…Amazon doesn’t rule the world, not outside US anyway…

  3. Cathy Reply

    Can’t believe Greece ranked so low for handling of the pandemic!

  4. Brian Hogan Reply

    There is total confusion here by equating Digital Nomads to Remote Workers when they are totally different.

    My experience is that Greece is fantastic for Digital Nomads and my web-App provides examples of DM friendly hotels on 6 Cycladic Islands.

    OK the wifi was not great at most hotels but I didn’t need it as my Travel SIM worked EVERYWHERE which was important for me as a Street View Trusted Pro Photographer and only cost 20 Euros for a month

  5. Ike Reply

    Greece is also expensive for digital nomads in many areas.

    For example, barely delivers to the country, due to the slow pace of package delivery and customs.

    This means ordering tech products (laptops, hard drives, etc.) almost impossible.

    Nomads are forced to buy from physical, local stores at prices that are sometimes 50% higher than what you can order from Amazon and other online retailers.

    Similarly, basic pharmaceuticals (paracetamol, vitamins, etc) are often 100%+ higher than in places like the US.

    I love Athens and have lived there for years, but much of the economy is not set up for long-term visitors.

  6. Marsa N Reply

    As long as connections on the islands are poor and unreliable, like here in Crete where I have been working now for almost 6 month and infrastructure is poorly taken care of it doesn’t attemp people to move and work here. First and the most Greece has a huge work to put all the waste managenemt in order. It’s total disaster. Also the lack of acommondations and huge rise of rents is a problem.

  7. Fred Smith Reply

    Snail’s pace internet speeds in the Centre of Athens. 15+ years behind. Just this week laid fibre optic cable in our neighborhood. How many years to get gigabit service to our apartment? We’re a long ways off and that is in the centre of Athens near major web service companies. Visited Ios a few weeks ago—terrible internet service. Literally modem speeds, video conferencing not possible, downloading even small emails took forever.

    Digital nomads is a dream. Huge, erratic electricity bills and internet speeds of the 1990’s is the reality.

  8. Lycas Nathalie Reply

    Bonjour, kalimera, hello !

    De la même manière qu’il existe dans tous les pays cités en tête de liste des zones géographiques moins couvertes par la fibre et en phase de l’être, selon les régions la Grèce se prête de façon égale à ce choix de vie professionnelle : des villes comme Athènes, Thessalonique, Patras sur le continent et de nombreuses îles tous archipels confondus répondent parfaitement aux critères, art de vivre en prime comme le souligne l’article ! Bienvenue aux nomades nouvelle génération reliés par leur fil d’Ariane ! Nathalie Lycas

  9. Celeste Tat Reply

    very interesting!

  10. Carl+Simpson Reply

    Greece will remain stagnant as long as this government keeps collecting tax from fuel which is making Greece unaffordable to both tourists and locals alike.

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