Field: European Remote Job Market
- Expats rank the best and worst European cities in 2022 for careers, social life and safety
Remote working is on the rise around the globe – and dozens of countries have developed targeted ‘digital nomad’ visas.
But it’s important to choose a country that provides the necessary services for teleworking and suits your lifestyle.
InterNations – a global community for people who live and work abroad – has carried out its annual Expat Insider survey.
By quizzing 11,970 expats, the organisation has generated a ranking of 50 cities across the world.
The Expat Insider 2022 report analysed 50 expat destinations around the world and ranked them according to the quality of life for expats.
The survey asked expats to evaluate the ease of settling in, working abroad and personal finances in the city where they lived.
Valencia comes in as the best city in the world for expats in 2022.
However, those surveyed said they were unhappy with the job market and work opportunities. The city came in last place for career prospects.
Lisbon came in fourth in the overall rankings, but was one of the highest rated for the weather.
However, Lisbon drops down the rankings when it comes to working opportunities with 27 per cent saying they do not feel they are paid fairly.
Madrid comes in just ahead of Lisbon in the rankings for quality of life, and is similarly loved for its sunny climate.
Like Valencia, however, the city drops when it comes to working abroad. Nearly a third of expats say they are worried about job security.
Paris comes in second last in the rankings of best cities for expats, criticised for expensive housing and high cost of living.
Italy’s capital Rome was criticised for its job market and career prospects.
2. Digital nomads: Who can work remotely in Norway?
More and more people are embracing the perks of a digital nomad lifestyle. By leveraging modern technology, digital nomads are able to travel and work remotely, enjoying liberties that were far-fetched for the workforce of the 20th century.
Unfortunately, Norway is not exactly a “digital nomad-friendly” country when it comes to the immigration and labour rules that govern remote work.
As the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) points out on its webpage, all those planning to work remotely in Norway need to have a residence permit that gives them the right to carry out such work in the country.
That means that foreign nationals cannot work for their employer in their home country while in Norway on a visit or holiday, regardless of whether they’re in the country on a visa-free stay or if they have a visitor visa.
There are several different types of residence permits that provide workers with the necessary rights to carry out remote work, such as a permanent residence permit, a residence permit for work where remote work is part of your job, and a residence permit for family immigration.
Best options for digital nomads interested in Norway
Both EU and EEA citizens have the right to visit and work in Norway, and they also have the option of registering as self-employed persons in the country.
However, if you stay in Norway for longer periods of time, note that such “grey area” arrangements can lead to issues related to the payment of taxes and tax residency.
So, if you’re an EU/EEA citizen looking to stay in Norway for more than just a month or two, try to get your residency permit in place as fast as possible.
If you’re not an EU citizen, digital nomad sites often recommend Norway’s independent contractor visa as the closest thing the country has to a digital nomad visa.
3. iGB-Pentasia Salary Survey: World view 2022
Pentasia provides an overview of hiring trends and demand around the world, with focuses on a number of key markets.
The industry-wide talent shortage is strong, with hiring struggles found throughout Europe. In the UK, the market remains buoyant but Brexit restrictions have made it more difficult for continental employers to hire out of the UK. Salaries no longer vary between western and eastern Europe resulting in remote teams in different locations.
North America’s talent market has turned somewhat, with significant layoffs as companies steer towards greater profitability. However, this has not eased the talent shortage to anything like the level clients expect; it’s still hard to find good people and salaries continue to rise. Canada is also seeing growth, but as a more established region the candidate market is not as volatile as the US.
An exciting region with huge potential, Asia still faces issues with stability and regulation. Finding the right level of specialist candidates in many regions remains extremely challenging. Indian talent is increasingly strong and is commanding higher rates, though relocation remains challenging. Remote work has seen tech specialist candidates more easily integrate into European and US operations.
Rest of the world
A considerable premium is attached for those able to bring experience from established markets into emerging ones. In Latin America, countries such as Mexico and Brazil are evolving fast, which is likely to drive huge talent demand. Talent continues to be in demand with significant interest in Colombia and Argentina. In Africa, meanwhile, it’s Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria that stand out as highly active.
Field: Remote work culture
- Noisy workplace and better focus: How can neurodiverse employees benefit from working remotely?
One useful way to support neurodiverse workers is through remote working. Thirty-four per cent of neurodiverse workers say that there are less distractions when working from home (WFH), according to research conducted by O2.
Remote working has also helped reduce absenteeism and increase employment among neurodiverse workers – but it isn’t a complete cure-all.
O2’s research also found that WFH exacerbates other issues for neurodiverse employees, such as maintaining focus during virtual meetings (45 per cent), “Zoom fatigue” (44 per cent) and feeling overwhelmed by the reliance on instant messaging platforms (43 per cent).
To help, companies need to engender a culture of trust and flexibility and allow neurodiverse employees to work at their own pace, within an agreed framework of goals, targets or deadlines.
Field: Update of leading companies
- Why Maxis is looking to Europe for new developers on The Sims
It’s an expansion to the company’s already-expansive remote work policy that will allow devs from more locations to work on The Sims. Some new hires will be working on The Sims 4 or other versions of the franchise, while others will be working on the next Sims game.
It’s one thing to expand a remote work policy to hire in the countries you’re already based in, but it’s another to expand to a whole other continent.
Executive producer Phillip Ring said this shift in thinking was driven by the effect COVID-19 had on the workplace. Unlike some other developers, it apparently doesn’t see a hybrid working model that favors remote working as a threat to productivity. “It does come with challenges, but it was something where we saw so many benefits,” Ring said. “We were just like—let’s engage with these challenges, let’s figure out how we can make this work.”
It puts a new spin on what “the best talent” means in the recruiting process. Often, major recruiting teams are looking for experienced developers in similar game genres. This helps them reduce onboarding times and sort out what can often be a huge pile of very enthusiastic applicants.
Maxis’ choice to look at adjacent industries might be particularly relevant in the current hiring environment. It and other studios are competing for what are sometimes a very small pool of employees. A mix of industry retention challenges and limited promotion opportunities have meant some game development disciplines only consist of a few hundred experts across different continents.
And for his part, Ring is just excited to talk to developers not in the game industry who have a passion for The Sims. “Every time I get the chance to sit in on an interview, it’s always fascinating to see the generous people who’ve come through—where they’ve been, what experiences they have, and how those skills compare well to what we’re doing at Maxis.”
Field: Freelance Market
- Fintech on the way to ease freelancers pain of payment
To date, plenty of payment companies have already established their brands in the fintech world.
Names like Paypal, Stripe, Payoneer, or Wise are widely accepted both by individuals and companies. Few of them, however, are tailored to the needs of the freelancing representatives particularly. For international payments, Paypal charges a 3% currency conversion rate and other extra fees; Wise cannot request payments from non-users, and Payoneer and Stripe require a longer account set up process. Also, wire fees through Payoneer or Wise are on the payer since the payment goes directly to the freelancer’s bank account, local or international.
When it comes to fintech startups dedicated exclusively to freelancers, the U.S. seems to have a big variety of startups. Some tax-related solutions include companies like an AI-powered mobile tax engine FlyFin, a financial services firm Formations focused on helping freelancers reduce self-employment taxes, as well as a fintech company dealing with tax automation but also access to healthcare and retirement options, Catch. Another interesting example is New York-based Archie, the fintech that helps businesses digitally collect the information needed from freelancers, manage tax filing, keep track of project deliverables and time spent, and make payments directly to the self-employed workers.
Some European freelancer payment solutions include a multi-device mobile-banking app Wedo from the UK, an integrated payment and invoice management platform Denario from Germany, a German/French fintech licensed bookkeeping and invoicing service Finom, and a Berlin-based bookkeeping and tax services digital banking solution Kontist.
2. Leaving a Steady Job to Start a Freelance Career? Here Are 5 Things You Must Know
According to a recent survey, the global freelance market has an estimated value of $1.5 trillion.
Here are five things you should know:
1. Define your success
Knowing what works within the industry of your freelance career can give you insights on what to expect as KPIs and how to plan toward your freelancing career goal. Learning your market includes understanding your competition’s business and your buyer’s behavior and preferences.
2. You’re running a business
You have some tough decisions to make, especially about your finances. Leaving your day job means you are leaving a steady income and all the benefits. Your freelance earnings have to be enough to pay your bill.
3. Define your services
Building a rich portfolio for the services you provide can boost your ability to attract clients. Do as many jobs as you can to boost your portfolio. Also, get reviews from past clients for your portfolio. You can use a portfolio tool to organize your work for easy access.
As a freelancer, project management tools are your best bet for effective scheduling. There are lots of project management tools that can help you manage your productivity. Some are free, while others are premium. You can track the progress of your project using these tools and basically create your own virtual office. Some notable project management tools are Trello, Notion.io, Wrike, Proofhub and Hive.
5. Promote your business
Connecting with people in your freelance industry is a good place to focus your freelance brand promotion. This includes other freelance service providers and potential clients in the industry. For example, you can follow up on industry executives as potential clients or referrals. Also, connecting with other freelancers in the industry gives you insights into industry trends that can help you grow your career and expand your reach.