Japan is the most popular destination among Singaporeans aspiring to be digital nomads
June 30th, 2024, Bhawna Singh

Japan is the most popular destination among Singaporeans aspiring to be digital nomads

With Japan recently launching the digital nomad visa in March 2024, the latest data from YouGov Surveys shows that the Land of the Rising Sun has emerged as the top choice among Singaporeans who have been or aspire to be digital nomads — individuals who travel freely while working remotely for extended periods.

Following Japan, Australia is the next popular choice (desired by 45% Singaporeans), closely followed by New Zealand (43%). South Korea (41%) and Thailand (40%) also rank high on the list of preference.

Our data reveals that 36% of Singaporeans say they have been digital nomads for some time in their lives. Shorter durations of travel are more popular with digital nomads, with a majority saying the longest they have lived this way was for less than a month (53%). A quarter has travelled and worked in this manner for 1-3 months (25%), one in ten for 4-6 months (11%), and another 11% for six months or more.

Singaporeans in Computer and IT related jobs such as coding, programming, web design, etc, were most likely to say have worked as digital nomads (at 21%). Engineers were the second most common profiles (19%), closely followed by Coaches and consultants (18%).

One in six media & communication professionals (17%) have also worked as digital nomads. This is notable higher among GenZ respondents as compared to others.

Virtual admin and financial services are other work fields common among digital nomads.

Working flexibly and enjoying benefits of travel without taking time off are considered as the biggest benefits of working as a digital nomad (57% and 56% respectively), followed by option to escape routine and change scenery (52%).

Meeting like-minded people (34%), minimising overworking (33%) and trying out new locations for a potential future move (33%) are some of the other benefits of working as a digital nomad.

Despite the benefits, almost all digital nomads acknowledged that this lifestyle had its own set of challenges. Almost half (48%) found it challenging to communicate and collaborate with colleagues in a different time zones. 44% found it difficult to stay away from family and friends for extended periods of time. 37% found it challenging to organise travel logistics while slightly fewer (34%) struggled to keep a routine following this lifestyle.

Those who have not previously worked under this arrangement agreed with the digital nomads as to what they saw to be the benefits for this lifestyle. 69% cited enjoying the benefits of travel without taking time off work as the topmost benefit, followed by flexible working (67%) and escaping routine (58%).

Those who have not previously worked under this arrangement agree with digital nomads on the perceived benefits of this lifestyle. Sixty-nine percent cite enjoying the benefits of travel without taking time off work as the topmost benefit, followed by flexible working (67%) and escaping routine (58%). They also agree with digital nomads on most of the listed challenges, although they are more likely than digital nomads themselves to view them as obstacles to working as a digital nomad.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online between 6 and 10 June 2024, with a national sample of 882 Singaporeans, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, and location to be representative of all working adults in Singapore(18 years or older) as per the latest population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.