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October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of Working Fully Remote in Brussels

#Brussels

#remote work

#Belgium

brussels

scenic view of brussels

Introduction

Are you tired of the daily commute and yearn for a more flexible work-life balance? Look no further than Brussels, the vibrant capital city of Belgium. Nestled in the heart of Europe, Brussels offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan charm and historical elegance. With its picturesque streets, cultural diversity, and renowned gastronomy, it's no wonder why this city is a popular choice for professionals seeking a change of scenery. But what if you could fully embrace the Brussels lifestyle and work remotely from the comfort of your own home? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of working fully remote in Brussels, from the convenience of telecommuting to the possible drawbacks of isolation. Whether you're a digital nomad or a local seeking a more flexible work arrangement, join us as we delve into the exciting world of remote work in the heart of Brussels.

Pros

brussels

scenic view of brussels


  • Safe and Secure Environment

  • In Brussels, one of the major pros of working fully remote is being in a safe and secure environment. The city takes great pride in its low crime rates and has implemented various measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.

    When working remotely, safety is crucial, especially when it comes to protecting personal and professional information. Brussels is known for its advanced technology infrastructure and has implemented strong cybersecurity measures, making it a very safe place to work online. Whether you're accessing confidential files or communicating with clients, you can have peace of mind knowing that your digital presence is well-protected.

    Additionally, as a traditionally safe city, Brussels offers a sense of security even when you step outside. The city's well-maintained streets and efficient public transportation system contribute to this feeling of safety. Whether you decide to explore during your lunch break or take a stroll after work, you can do so without feeling anxious.

    Moreover, Brussels is known for maintaining a high standard of living, which also contributes to its overall safety. With its well-preserved buildings, clean streets, and efficient healthcare system, the city provides a secure environment for both residents and tourists.

    Overall, when working remotely in Brussels, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being in a safe and secure environment. This allows you to focus on your work without unnecessary stress or worry, making it an ideal city for remote professionals seeking a secure workspace.


  • High-Speed Internet Connection

  • With its fast internet connection, Brussels is an ideal city for working fully remote. Whether you are attending video conferences, collaborating on projects online, or uploading and downloading large files, you can rely on the high-speed internet in Brussels to keep you connected and productive. No more frustrating lags or buffering issues that can disrupt your workflow. Instead, you can enjoy seamless communication with clients, colleagues, and remote teams around the world, ensuring efficient and effective remote work. The fast internet in Brussels not only saves you valuable time but also allows you to work with ease and confidence, knowing that you can access the resources and information you need without any hassle. So, if you choose to work fully remote in Brussels, you can count on its fast internet connection to support your productivity and enable you to thrive in the digital workspace.


  • Clean and Healthy Air

  • Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, offers numerous advantages for those working fully remote. One of the significant benefits of choosing Brussels as your remote work destination is the good air quality it provides on average.

    Breathing clean and healthy air can have a tremendous impact on both physical and mental well-being. When working from home, it's essential to create a healthy and comfortable environment, and Brussels excels in this aspect. The city's commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation ensures that the air quality remains at a high standard.

    Imagine starting your day with a deep breath of fresh air, free from pollutants and contaminants. This clean air promotes overall respiratory health and can boost your productivity and focus while working remotely. It allows you to experience a pleasant and invigorating atmosphere, which can positively impact your work-life balance.

    Additionally, clean air in Brussels contributes to a healthier lifestyle. The absence of pollutants like dust, smog, and other harmful particles reduces the risk of respiratory issues and allergies. It allows you to enjoy the benefits of working remotely while prioritizing your well-being.

    Furthermore, healthy air significantly impacts your mental state. Breathing in fresh air stimulates brain function and can enhance your creativity, problem-solving abilities, and overall cognitive performance. These factors are crucial when seeking to excel in your remote work.

    Choosing Brussels as your remote work destination not only provides a safe and productive work environment but also ensures that you have access to clean and healthy air. Take advantage of this perk to optimize your remote work experience and enjoy the benefits it brings to your overall well-being.


  • Spacious and Calm Work Environment

  • Brussels offers a spacious and calm work environment, making it an ideal city for those working fully remote. The city is not overcrowded, allowing for a more peaceful atmosphere compared to other metropolitan areas. The ample space in Brussels means that you can find comfortable workspaces such as co-working spaces or cafes where you can set up your laptop and concentrate on your tasks.

    With its low population density, Brussels provides ample room to breathe and move around. Whether you prefer working in a quiet corner of a park or need some space to stretch your legs during breaks, this city has plenty of options to offer. The abundance of outdoor spaces and parks allows you to escape the confines of your home office and enjoy some fresh air while maintaining social distancing.

    The calm and serene ambiance of Brussels can also promote focus and productivity. With fewer distractions and a relaxed work environment, you can concentrate better on your work and achieve higher levels of efficiency. The peaceful atmosphere creates a favorable setting for creative thinking and problem-solving, enabling you to deliver high-quality work.

    Additionally, Brussels is known for its safe streets and neighborhoods, which further contributes to the overall tranquility of the work environment. You can feel at ease while exploring the city during your breaks or commuting to nearby cafes. The sense of security adds an extra layer of comfort and allows you to fully concentrate on your tasks without any concerns.

    In conclusion, the spacious and calm work environment in Brussels provides an ideal setting for remote work. With ample space, peaceful surroundings, and a sense of security, you can enjoy a productive and fulfilling work experience while taking advantage of the city's various amenities and outdoor spaces.


  • Supportive Business Environment

  • In today's digital age, a reliable and fast internet connection is crucial for remote work. Brussels offers excellent internet infrastructure, ensuring seamless communication and productivity.

    3. Spacious and not crowded: Unlike some other major cities, Brussels is known for its spaciousness. Remote workers can enjoy ample personal and working space, which can be beneficial for focus and concentration.

    4. Very easy to do business: Setting up a business or working remotely as a freelancer is relatively straightforward in Brussels. The city has a well-established administrative system and supportive resources that ease the process of starting or expanding your professional activities.

    5. High quality of education: Brussels is home to several renowned universities and educational institutions. For remote workers with families, this means access to high-quality education for their children.

    6. Roads are very safe: Commuting to meetings or coworking spaces can be stress-free in Brussels, as the city has well-maintained and safe roads. This ensures a smooth travel experience for remote workers and reduces the risk of accidents.

    7. Great freedom of speech: Belgium has a strong commitment to freedom of speech, which extends to the capital city of Brussels. Remote workers can express their opinions and engage in open dialogues without fear of censorship or suppression.

    8. Democratic: Belgium is a democratic country, which means that remote workers in Brussels can benefit from a stable political system. The democratic values of the country provide a sense of security and predictability.

    9. Safe for women: Brussels is known for its safety and security, making it an attractive destination for female remote workers. Women can feel comfortable walking alone at night and enjoy equal opportunities in the workplace.

    10. Very friendly to LGBTQ+: Brussels is recognized as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the world. Remote workers who identify as LGBTQ+ can feel accepted and embraced in the city, contributing to a supportive and inclusive work environment.

    11. Not many people smoke tobacco: If you prefer a smoke-free environment, Brussels is a great choice. Compared to some other cities, the prevalence of tobacco smoking is relatively low, ensuring a healthier and fresher air quality for remote workers.


  • Excellent Education Opportunities

  • Brussels offers excellent education opportunities, making it an ideal location for remote workers with families or those looking to further their own education. The city is home to a number of prestigious universities and schools, both international and local, offering a diverse range of programs and courses.

    One of the advantages of working fully remote in Brussels is that you have access to a high-quality education system. Whether you are looking to enroll your children in top-notch international schools or pursue a degree yourself, Brussels has you covered.

    For families, the city boasts several renowned international schools that provide exceptional education and a multicultural environment, ensuring a smooth transition for expat children. These schools follow internationally recognized curriculums and offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, ensuring a well-rounded education for students.

    For individuals seeking to further their own education, Brussels is home to top universities and higher education institutions. These institutions offer a plethora of courses tailored to various fields of study, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. The universities in Brussels are known for their high academic standards, renowned faculty, and research opportunities.

    In addition to traditional universities, Brussels also offers a range of vocational schools and specialized training centers. These institutions provide practical and industry-specific education, equipping individuals with the skills required for success in their chosen professions.

    Moreover, Brussels is a multicultural and multilingual city, offering the chance to learn and practice different languages. This linguistic diversity is beneficial for remote workers, as it opens doors to new cultural experiences and enhances communication skills.

    Overall, the excellent education opportunities in Brussels make it an attractive destination for remote workers seeking to provide their families with a high-quality education or further their own personal and professional development. With a wide range of educational institutions to choose from, remote workers can find the perfect fit for their educational needs in Brussels.


  • Safe and Well-Maintained Roads

  • Brussels is known for its safe and well-maintained roads, making it an ideal city for remote workers. Whether you choose to commute by bike, car, or public transportation, you can feel confident that you'll have a smooth journey.

    One of the biggest advantages of working remotely in Brussels is the safety of its roads. The city has implemented strict traffic laws and regulations, which means that drivers are generally more cautious and respectful of one another. This creates a secure environment for both pedestrians and drivers, reducing the risk of accidents or mishaps.

    Additionally, Brussels has a well-developed infrastructure that includes an extensive network of roads and highways. This makes it easy to navigate the city and its surroundings, whether you're heading to a coworking space or exploring the countryside during your breaks.

    As a remote worker, having access to fast and reliable internet is crucial, and Brussels doesn't disappoint in this area. The city boasts excellent connectivity, allowing you to stay connected with your colleagues, clients, and online resources without any interruptions. This ensures that you can work efficiently and meet all your deadlines without worrying about connectivity issues.

    Moreover, Brussels has good air quality on average, thanks to its commitment to environmental sustainability. The city promotes green transportation options, such as cycling and public transit, which helps reduce air pollution. As a remote worker, this means that you can work in a clean and healthy environment, promoting better focus and overall well-being.

    In summary, the safe and well-maintained roads in Brussels provide remote workers with a stress-free commuting experience. With excellent connectivity and good air quality, you can work efficiently and optimize your productivity. So, if you're considering working fully remote in Brussels, you can rest assured that your daily commutes will be safe and hassle-free.


  • Promotes Freedom of Speech and Expression

  • Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is not only known for its beautiful architecture and delicious chocolate but also for its promotion of freedom of speech and expression. This makes it an ideal location for those working fully remote, as you can express yourself and share your thoughts without fear of persecution or censorship.

    In Brussels, the freedom of speech is highly valued and protected. There is a strong democratic culture that encourages the expression of diverse opinions and ideas. Whether you're attending virtual meetings, collaborating on projects, or engaging in online discussions, you can freely express your thoughts and contribute to meaningful conversations.

    Moreover, the city boasts a diverse and multicultural environment, making it a melting pot of ideas and perspectives. You will have the opportunity to interact with professionals from various backgrounds and learn from their unique experiences. This not only enriches your work but also expands your horizons and broadens your understanding of different cultures and viewpoints.

    Brussels also offers a vibrant art scene and a thriving community of artists, writers, and intellectuals. The city hosts numerous events such as art exhibitions, cultural festivals, and literary gatherings. As a remote worker, you can take advantage of these opportunities to network, collaborate, and immerse yourself in the creative atmosphere that fosters free expression.

    Additionally, the city provides excellent internet connectivity, allowing you to stay connected and engage in online platforms where freedom of speech is encouraged. You can participate in virtual conferences, webinars, and forums, sharing your ideas and contributing to the global exchange of knowledge.

    In summary, working fully remote in Brussels promotes freedom of speech and expression. With a democratic culture, diverse environment, and a thriving art scene, you'll find yourself in a city that values your voice and encourages you to express yourself openly. So, unleash your creativity and make the most of your remote work experience in Brussels.


  • Safe and Inclusive for Women

  • With its reputation for safety, Brussels offers a secure environment for women working remotely. This city has a low crime rate, making it an ideal place for women to feel safe while going about their daily routines. Whether it's walking alone at night or working late hours, women can have peace of mind knowing that they are in a relatively secure city.

    Not only is Brussels safe, but it also promotes inclusivity and equality. The city is known for its progressive and open-minded attitude, making it an inclusive and welcoming place for women of all backgrounds. In the workplace, women have equal opportunities for growth and advancement. Remote working allows women to have the flexibility to balance their professional and personal lives, without facing discrimination or bias.

    Brussels also takes measures to ensure the safety of women in public spaces. The city provides well-lit streets, efficient public transportation, and dedicated spaces for women, such as women-only train compartments and taxis. These initiatives contribute to a sense of comfort and security, allowing women to move around the city with ease.

    Moreover, Brussels has a strong network of support organizations and resources available for women. From women's rights advocacy groups to networking events focused on empowering women in business, there are numerous opportunities for women to connect, learn, and thrive in their careers.

    Overall, Brussels offers a safe and inclusive working environment for women who choose to work remotely. With its emphasis on equality, support systems, and safety measures, women can feel confident and empowered as they navigate their professional journeys from the comfort of their own homes.


  • Welcoming LGBTQ+ Community

  • Brussels boasts a vibrant LGBTQ+ community, providing a sense of belonging and support for remote workers. Various organizations, clubs, and social groups offer opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community even in a remote work setup. Networking events, workshops, and social gatherings ensure that LGBTQ+ professionals can build relationships and expand their professional circles.

    3. LGBTQ+-Friendly Spaces: Brussels offers a range of LGBTQ+-friendly establishments, including cafes, bars, clubs, and restaurants. Remote workers can easily find safe spaces where they can socialize, relax, and be themselves. Whether it's a tranquil coffee shop or a lively club, these venues provide opportunities to socialize and forge connections with other LGBTQ+ individuals or allies.

    4. LGBTQ+ Events and Festivals: Brussels hosts a multitude of LGBTQ+ events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusivity. From Pride parades to film festivals and cultural events, there are various opportunities for remote workers to participate and engage with the LGBTQ+ community. These events provide not only a chance to have fun but also a platform for remote workers to express themselves and support important causes.

    5. LGBTQ+-Centered Resources: Brussels offers a range of LGBTQ+-centered resources, including support groups, counseling services, and advocacy organizations. Remote workers can access these resources for guidance, mental health support, and assistance in navigating legal or societal challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

    6. LGBTQ+ Legal Protections: Belgium has comprehensive laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and public services. Knowing that their rights are safeguarded and that laws exist to protect them can alleviate concerns and provide peace of mind for remote workers.

    In summary, Brussels provides a warm and accepting environment for the LGBTQ+ community, making it an attractive destination for remote workers seeking a safe and inclusive work environment. With its supportive community, LGBTQ+-friendly spaces, events, and legal protections, Brussels offers a welcoming home for remote professionals from all walks of life.


  • Low Tobacco Usage

  • Not many people smoke tobacco.

    Brussels, as a city, has a relatively low tobacco usage rate compared to many other cities around the world. This is great news for those who are concerned about their health and prefer to work in a smoke-free environment.

    By working fully remote in Brussels, you can enjoy the benefit of less exposure to secondhand smoke. Whether you work from home or in a coworking space, you can breathe easier knowing that you won't be surrounded by smoke-filled air. This can significantly improve your overall well-being and productivity.

    Moreover, low tobacco usage means that you are less likely to encounter the unpleasant smell of tobacco smoke when enjoying outdoor spaces during your breaks or exploring the city in your free time. Instead, you can fully appreciate the clean air and beautiful surroundings Brussels has to offer.

    In addition to the health benefits, working in a city with low tobacco usage can also create a more pleasant social and networking environment. As smoking becomes less common, you are less likely to encounter individuals stepping outside for frequent smoke breaks during meetings or gatherings. This allows for more focused and uninterrupted interactions, fostering a more productive and professional work environment.

    Overall, the low tobacco usage in Brussels provides a healthier and more enjoyable work experience for those working remotely. You can breathe freely, both literally and metaphorically, without the worry of smoke-filled environments, and focus on your work while enjoying all that the city has to offer.

    Cons

    brussels

    scenic view of brussels


  • High Cost of Living

  • Brussels is notorious for being an expensive city to live in. The cost of housing, groceries, and transportation can quickly add up, making it challenging to maintain a comfortable standard of living. Rent prices in the city center can be exorbitantly high, which might not be feasible for remote workers who want to save on expenses. Additionally, dining out and entertainment activities can also be quite costly, especially in popular areas.

    However, it's important to note that while the cost of living can be high, remote workers have the advantage of being able to choose a more affordable living situation outside of the city center. By exploring the nearby neighborhoods and outskirts, remote workers can discover more budget-friendly options that offer a balance between quality of life and cost. Additionally, with careful budgeting and planning, remote workers can still enjoy the perks of living in Brussels while managing their expenses effectively.


  • Limited Recreational Activities

  • Brussels, while offering a host of advantages for remote working, does have one downside when it comes to recreational activities. The city, although vibrant and culturally diverse, may not provide as many recreational options as other cities. This can be particularly challenging for remote workers who are looking to balance their work life with leisure activities.

    While there are certainly attractions and events to explore, the options may be somewhat limited compared to more cosmopolitan cities. Those seeking a bustling nightlife scene or a diverse range of recreational activities may find themselves wanting more in Brussels.

    However, it's important to note that this limitation can be seen as an opportunity for remote workers to explore new hobbies or interests. The quieter environment can be conducive to focusing on personal growth and self-improvement. Remote workers can take advantage of the extra time and create their own recreational activities, such as joining local clubs, taking up outdoor sports, or immersing themselves in the rich cultural experiences available in Brussels.

    By embracing the quieter side of the city, remote workers can find unique and fulfilling recreational pursuits. Exploring the city's picturesque parks, visiting historical landmarks, or discovering local art galleries can all provide a sense of enrichment and relaxation.

    Furthermore, with Brussels' central location in Europe, it's relatively easy to plan weekend getaways to nearby destinations. Remote workers can take advantage of the city's excellent transportation links to explore other countries and cities, making up for the limited local recreational options.

    Ultimately, while Brussels may not offer an abundance of recreational activities, remote workers can find alternative ways to enjoy their free time and fully embrace the opportunities that a quieter environment can provide.


  • Cold Winters

  • Brussels experiences cold winters with temperatures often dropping below freezing. While some people may enjoy the winter weather, others may find it challenging, especially if they are used to milder climates. The cold weather may make it difficult to stay motivated and productive while working from home. It can also restrict outdoor activities, limiting opportunities for exercise and fresh air during the winter months. However, with proper insulation and heating systems in place, you can create a cozy and comfortable work environment within your home. Additionally, cold winters can be a good excuse to indulge in hot beverages and warm comfort food, creating a cozy atmosphere while you work.


  • Challenges in Making Friends

  • Making friends can be a bit challenging when working fully remote in Brussels. Due to the nature of remote work, you won't have the opportunity to meet colleagues or fellow professionals in person on a daily basis. This can make it difficult to establish connections with people outside of your work bubble.

    Moreover, Brussels is known for having a slightly reserved and formal social culture. It may take some time to break the ice and get to know locals. Language can also be a barrier, as not everyone in Brussels speaks English fluently. This can make it harder to establish meaningful connections and engage in conversations with locals.

    Another factor to consider is that Brussels is a multicultural city with a high expat population. While this can be an advantage when it comes to diversity, it can also make it challenging to find common ground and shared interests with others. Expats and locals often have different lifestyles, interests, and social circles, making it more difficult to find like-minded individuals.

    However, there are ways to overcome these challenges. Joining local clubs, groups, or hobby-based communities can provide opportunities to meet people with shared interests. Taking language classes, such as French or Dutch, can help you communicate with locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. Additionally, attending networking events, social gatherings, or participating in online forums related to your profession can help you connect with professionals working remotely in Brussels.

    While it may take some effort and time to build a social network in Brussels while working remotely, the city's diverse and cosmopolitan nature offers a range of opportunities to meet new people and create meaningful connections. Don't be discouraged by the initial challenges, as with persistence and a proactive approach, you can make friends and feel more connected to the vibrant social fabric of Brussels.


  • Subpar Healthcare Facilities

  • One of the downsides of working fully remote in Brussels is the quality of healthcare facilities. While the city boasts many excellent hospitals and medical professionals, the overall healthcare system in Brussels may not be at the same standard as some other major cities. This can sometimes make it challenging to access timely and high-quality healthcare services.

    It is important to note that the healthcare system in Brussels is still functional, but it may not be as efficient or advanced as in some other locations. Some people have reported long waiting times for appointments and treatments, and there could be limitations in the availability of specialized medical services.

    For remote workers who may not have access to employer-provided health insurance or comprehensive healthcare coverage, navigating the healthcare system in Brussels can be more complicated. It is advisable to thoroughly research and understand the available healthcare options, such as private health insurance or international insurance plans, to ensure that you are adequately covered.

    However, despite these challenges, it is worth mentioning that there are still many competent healthcare professionals and facilities in Brussels that can provide quality medical care. It is essential for remote workers to prioritize their health and take necessary precautions, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying up to date with vaccinations, and having an emergency plan in place.

    Overall, while Brussels may not have the most exceptional healthcare facilities, with proper preparation and awareness, remote workers can navigate the system and ensure that their healthcare needs are met.


  • Language Barrier

  • While Brussels is a vibrant city with diverse cultures, it can be challenging for non-French or non-Dutch speakers to navigate day-to-day life. Many locals may not speak English fluently, especially outside of the tourist areas. This can pose a significant language barrier for expats, making it harder to socialize, run errands, or fully immerse themselves in the local culture. However, it's worth noting that English is commonly spoken in international workplaces, so this may not be as much of an issue for remote workers who primarily interact with their global colleagues. Plus, learning a new language can be a rewarding experience and provide opportunities for personal growth.


  • Not Family-Friendly

  • Brussels may not be the ideal destination for remote workers with families. While there are some options for families, such as parks and museums, the city lacks extensive family-oriented activities and attractions. This can make it challenging to keep young children entertained and engaged, especially during extended periods of remote work. Additionally, the cost of living in Brussels can be quite high, making it difficult for families to afford spacious accommodations or suitable childcare services. Furthermore, the lack of English proficiency among locals can be an obstacle for families who do not speak French or Dutch, as it may limit their ability to communicate and connect with the community. Overall, while Brussels offers many advantages for remote workers, it may not be the most family-friendly choice for those looking for a city with a wide range of family-oriented amenities and services.

    brussels

    scenic view of brussels

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, working fully remote in Brussels comes with its fair share of pros and cons. On the positive side, Brussels offers a very safe environment with a strong focus on security. The city's fast internet connectivity ensures seamless remote work opportunities.

    Moreover, Brussels boasts good air quality on average, making it a refreshing and healthy place to work from. The spaciousness and lack of overcrowding contribute to a comfortable and relaxed work environment. The ease of doing business and high quality of education in Brussels are additional advantages for remote workers.

    Brussels is known for its well-maintained roads and overall safe transportation infrastructure, enabling a stress-free commute for those who choose to occasionally work outside their homes. Furthermore, the city values freedom of speech and democracy, making it an ideal place for remote workers who appreciate such liberties.

    It is worth noting that Brussels is a safe city for women and is generally friendly towards the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, the prevalence of smoking is relatively low, contributing to a healthier atmosphere.

    However, there are several drawbacks to consider. The cost of living in Brussels is high, which can be a significant concern for remote workers on a tight budget. Furthermore, the city might not offer as many recreational activities and entertainment options compared to other cities.

    Another challenge can be the cold winters in Brussels, which may not be ideal for those who thrive in warmer climates. Making friends might also be difficult for remote workers due to the city's size and potentially less social interaction.

    Additionally, the quality of hospitals in Brussels may not be up to the standards some remote workers are accustomed to. Language barriers could also pose a challenge, as not everyone in Brussels speaks English fluently.

    Overall, Brussels provides a safe and conducive environment for remote work, with its key advantages being safety, fast internet, and good air quality. However, factors such as cost of living, limited recreational activities, and potential difficulties in making friends should be taken into consideration.

    Despite these drawbacks, Brussels remains an attractive option for remote workers looking to experience the benefits of living in a vibrant and historically significant European city while continuing their professional endeavors from the comfort of their homes.

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