The guide to being a digital nomad in Hong Kong
Digital nomadism has allowed individuals from around the globe to embrace the remote working lifestyle. According to Forbes, the number of people who said they quit their job due to lack of flexibility was 32% in 2017. With their laptop as their primary means of work, these remote workers are not bound to living in one location. They decide how they divide their time in various locations, regardless of whether they are self-employed or working remotely for a company.
The South China Morning Post has named Hong Kong the world’s most connected place due to its popularity of computers, mobile, and wearable tech. More location independent workers are choosing Hong Kong as their next temporary home. But how exactly can you successfully live the digital nomad life in Hong Kong? Here are some tips and resources for your time here.
Secure a remote job or establish your own online business
Before you can make the temporary move to Hong Kong as a digital nomad, you have to decide on one thing – what is your work? Some companies allow their employees to work remotely. If you are self-employed, you get to decide where and when you work.
If you are looking for job options that allow remote work, consider using RemoteOK, Remote.co or We Work Remotely, the biggest remote job boards online. With these platforms, you can find a job that you can do from anywhere in the world. Simply enter your skills, find a job, and you’re set to make your way to Hong Kong!
Incorporating your own company in Hong Kong has its own benefits, including a favorable tax system and its location as the financial hub of Asia. If you already have an eCommerce business idea, consider our tips on how to start your eCommerce business in Hong Kong. With your online business up and ready to go, relocating to Hong Kong as a digital nomad will be easier than ever.
Perhaps the most important necessity for digital nomads is a fast and steady WiFi connection. After all, when your work is online, the last thing you want is patchy internet. Luckily, Hong Kong ranks 3rd in the world for internet download speed, with an average speed of 142.65 Mbps. In 2008, the Hong Kong government launched GovWiFi to provide free internet to everyone. You can find GovWiFi in more than 400 locations around the city in places such as the airport, libraries, hotels, and parks.
If you enjoy working in coffee shops, check out our list of 5 coffee shops to work from in Hong Kong. Coffee shops are a great option if you’re looking for a place to work for one day. Most have free WiFi but it often has time limits, while some may not offer it at all.
If you’re looking for a more definite option where a desk and unlimited WiFi is guaranteed, consider working at one of Hong Kong’s many co-working spaces! Most co-working spaces offer a day pass or part time hot desk membership. These often come with plenty of benefits such as high speed WiFi connections and free coffee. Besides, you can boost your productivity by surrounding yourself with other digital nomads and entrepreneurs! Read more about our favorite co-working spaces in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong digital nomad community
Being in an unfamiliar city surrounded by people you don’t know can be scary. Hong Kong has plenty of communities set up for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. One of our favorites is Paperclip HK, a startup campus that connects professionals through its workshop events, activities, and mentor clinics. For more networking and entertainment events, you can also check Eventbrite.
Hong Kong has a great deal of accommodations regardless of your budget. Hotels can get on the pricey side and if you are planning on staying for a few months, the bill accumulates very quickly.
Many digital nomads opt to stay in a hostel because they are budget-friendly and sociable. Most hostels are packed in the Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai areas, giving you the perfect way to stay in the city, within close proximity to the popular hangout spots. Hostelworld is one of many websites that provide plenty of hotels for you to choose from.
Moreover, some new co-living concepts have recently made their introduction to Hong Kong. Often in this setup you can have your private bedroom and bathroom. There are also beautiful spacious communal hangout areas that seem to come straight out of a design magazine. Check out Weave Co-Living or Mojo Nomad.
Couchsurfing is a great for those looking to meet and stay with local hosts. You get to join a community of couchsurfers and travelers from around the world. The best part? Your stay with the host is free! Potential hosts are verified for their payment method, home address, or mobile phone number, making it safe as well. Couchsurfing also hosts regular meetups in Hong Kong for you to meet other travelers, locals & nomads.
We also suggest doing a search on Airbnb. In an area like Central, apartments average around HKD800 a night but can go for as low as HKD200. On the other hand in an area like Tsim Sha Tsui, they average HKD450 per night.
Lastly, most expats or foreigners that want to stay in the city for a bit longer find their roommates or apartments through Facebook groups. The most popular ones are: FindYourRoomInHongKong & Hong Kong Apartments.
One of the most common questions amongst the nomad community is how much it costs to be a digital nomad. Cost of living varies greatly between cities and can influence your decision on where you to move next. Hong Kong can be on the pricier side as compared to other options in South East Asia such as Chiang Mai and Ho Chi Minh City. Nomad List has conveniently curated the costs of living in Hong Kong, along with metrics on other variables such as weather, safety, and quality of life.
To calculate how much it would cost you to live in Hong Kong compared to your current location, read this guide on the costs of being a digital nomad, written by two veteran digital nomads themselves.
Ready to come to Hong Kong? Make sure to open your Neat account for all your business needs. Open your Neat account from anywhere in the world before you come to Hong Kong and you’ll be set up with payment instructions in multiple currencies, Neat Visa card, and the ability to send & receive funds wherever your next adventure takes you!