Asia, Switzerland top Cost of Living survey

Singapore skyline

Residents of tiny Singapore might not be surprised to learn that their city-state home has been named the world’s most expensive city by the EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey (registration required, but the report based on the survey is free to download).

The 13 page report shows that Asian metropolises and European cities dominate, with eternal rivals Singapore and Hong Kong ahead of the pack in cost of living terms:

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Zurich
  4. Geneva
  5. Paris
  6. London
  7. New York
  8. Copenhagen
  9. Seoul
  10. Los Angeles

According to the EIU, the survey is run twice yearly, comparing more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. Its purpose is to help HR and finance managers to put together cost-of-living allowances and compensation packages for expats.

Despite the high cost of living, Singapore is the best city for Millennials employment, says The Guardian. The same article named Hong Kong as the best city for public transport and education/training prospects.

How location independent people can find and join a cause

Two females form a heart on the beach

At the Digital Nomad Conference in Bangkok recently, Steve Munroe from Hubud, Bali’s first co-working space, spoke of digital nomads wanting to give back, but were unsure how. He then elaborated on a solution, Hubud’s co-giving programme, designed to “connect” talent to the local community:

Not everyone is in Bali, of course. But irrespective of location and borders, nomads all over the world may now find and join a cause though the emergence of big online platforms. While digital is no substitute for offline action (on its own it has limited impact, and there is very little in the form of nuance), every little helps:

  1. Described as “the world’s platform for change”, is a tech site used by more than 100 million users worldwide and the biggest for online petitions. More than 38 million have started or signed a “winning” petition. has a presence in markets such as Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and the UK.
  2. Avaaz. Used by 42,932,198+ worldwide, according to Wikipedia (love the +), Avaaz is a global online movement through which members receive alerts to act on global issues.
  3. Care2. Care2 is apparently just behind Avaaz in reach, providing a platform for 34,453,780 members to start petitions and support each other’s campaigns. Issues are mostly environmental and health related.
  4. An online climate change movement, which would surely appeal to digital nomads based in stunning natural locations such as Krabi and Bali, has supporters in 188 countries worldwide. The website facilitates online campaigns and grassroots organising
  5. A platform with a strong presence in Southeast Asia especially, Campaign has more than 120,000 supporters in 25 countries. The site allows members to create and support hashtag movements.
  6. 38 Degrees. A UK-based platform, 38 Degrees is (very cleverly) named after the angle at which an avalanche happens. Its online members work together to take action on issues they care about in Britain.

Microsoft, London Loves Business produce guide to flexible working

Lady with a laptop

Microsoft and business website London Loves Business have joined forces to release an ultimate guide to flexible working. At which point I should stop and reveal that I used to work for Microsoft, about a decade ago, but I’ve not had contact with them over this (but yes, I do have a soft spot for them still, though ironically I wasn’t able to work flexibly with them at the time).

The tech giant asks us to consider the following:

Take a moment and hark back to the time you’ve had the best ideas of your professional life. Where were you at the time? Taking a walk? Having a discussion with your friend over a pint of beer? Or, better still – in the shower?

I suspect many of us will probably think anywhere but the workplace, but surprisingly – in my case at least – my best ideas have come about while in the office. This is because of stultifying boredom on occasion, often producing radical ideas out of desperation. (Should I be saying this?)

Accompanying the release of the guide is an article published by London Loves Business with 8 fail-safe ways to make flexible working work for your workforce (that’s a lot of work).

The guide itself is a fun and colourful PDF (2.2 MB) with an overview of flexible working and its benefits, advice on choosing the right Microsoft technologies and case studies of businesses using Microsoft products (including the funky sounding Pooch & Mutt). Appropriately, the guide was written and researched from Pret a Manger and the train (presumably the author was fortunate enough to have a seat).