The rise of freelancing, contracting and the flexible workforce is seemingly unstoppable, as our way of working continues to ingrain itself into new cities and societies across the world. And the entire makeup of the global workforce has changed dramatically, as millions of us go in search of more freedom, choice and independence in the way we work.
As the global workforce fundamentally changes, so do the cities accommodating this new wave of worker. From flexible office solutions and thriving coffee-shop-cum-coworking spaces, to super-fast fibre-optic broadband services, cities around the world are increasingly built to attract ambitious freelancers and disruptive startups.
And as the cost of living in super-cities like London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore continues to rise, the new generation of worker is beginning to think outside the box, choosing to live in and work from affordable, developing cities.
So, here are the best 10 cities from around the world for freelancers, ranked on cost of living, job opportunities, lifestyle, safety and internet connectivity.
10. Porto, Portugal
Portugal’s second city, Porto, is fast-becoming a freelancer and startup hub, growing out of the shadow cast by the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. With stunning beaches, all year sunshine, low cost of living and ranking highly in safety, Porto sneaks into the top 10 cities for freelancers.
09. Vancouver, Canada
Liberal and with a growing and diverse population of skilled, professional workers, Vancouver is a city which welcomes freelancers and innovative startups. Enjoying sun and snow, independent workers heading to Canada can benefit from accommodating visas.
08. Bratislava, Slovakia
A surprise entry, Bratislava is quickly becoming a go-to for many of Europe's tech freelancers, contractors and startups. The city has been rejuvenated by Eastern Europe’s tech boom, enjoying super-fast internet, a very low cost of living and the lowest rate of tax in all of the cities on this list.
07. Marseille, France
The small, charming city of Marseille offers a great quality of life for freelancers and contractors looking to escape the hectic nature of life in the big cities. With a growing coffee-shop culture, enjoyable nightlife, decent internet connectivity and transport links, Marseille is a popular destination for those in search of a better worklife balance.
06. Bristol, UK
Bristol often flies under the radar, overshadowed by London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. But not for much longer. With a young, exciting and predominantly creative population, the city has an abundance of coworking spaces and startup accelerators, not to mention a coffee-shop culture that's hard to rival.
05. New Orleans, US
Arguably the Deep South’s most celebrated city, New Orleans has all the ingredients for a brilliant worklife balance. Throw in its unique and growing community of freelancers and digital nomads, and it’s easy to see why this Louisiana city is ranked the 5th best city in the world for freelancers. And that’s before we get onto the year-round sunshine...
04. Las Palmas, Spain
The capital of Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands is perhaps the biggest surprise on this list. Visit the island however, and you’ll begin to understand why it’s rated so highly; stunning scenery, a close expat and immigrant community and non-stop sunshine.
03. Seville, Spain
Another Spanish city, Seville has a lower cost of living compared to say Madrid or Barcelona, while enjoying many of the same advantages. Sunshine aside, the region of Andalucia has 18 coworking spaces, 35 startup incubators and a growing community of entrepreneurs, uburdened by the costs associated with the so-called bigger cities.
02. Miami, USA
Sitting pretty as the number two city in world for freelancers, Miami is also the number two city in the States for technology innovation and opportunity. With a high quality of life, not to mention close connection with Latin-America, Miami now houses Google, Uber, Twitter and Facebook offices, signalling its tech strength in depth.
Lisbon is, officially, the best city in the world to freelance. With its low cost of living, super-fast connectivity and thriving tech scene, the capital of Portugal has quickly become a go-to for young, ambitious freelancers and startups searching for something just that little bit different.
Where in the world do you dream of freelancing from?