Gran Canaria is growing as a base for distributed teams: the success of the workation model among Swedish companies

The ‘Workation’ concept combines the virtues of a leading holiday destination with the possibility of remotely working from the island, and it has been a real game-changer for the island’s offer, raising thus the engagement of housing/accommodation providers, add-on services and the island’s customers. The major beneficiary has been Gran Canaria as a safe, flexible, dynamic destination where life and work can be integrated in a unique way.

The efforts of hotel and non-hotel establishments, with the leadership of employers’ associations and the Gran Canaria Tourism Board, have made it possible to adapt spaces in a record time and successfully implement proposals aimed not only at encouraging more extended visits to the island, but at attracting complete work teams.

For years the island of Gran Canaria has consistently been among the top 20 international destinations for digital nomads (most recently, in October 2021, it was ranked thirteenth in the world, and it also led the national rankings, according to The combination of natural conditions, climate, cost and quality of life and a vibrant community of nomads and remote workers had been uplifted by local service providers as a work destination for distributed teams, who move to the island for periods of between two weeks and three months. Though it is not a completely new development, since Gran Canaria has always been a destination for professional retreats, the factor that makes a difference for companies is the possibility of basing their teams here for even longer periods, and several enquiries along these lines have been received by the ‘Best in Gran Canaria’ initiative and the island’s Economic Development Agency (SPEGC). For companies, distributing teams and basing them in Gran Canaria represents a way of improving productivity and rewarding their staff; for workers it is an obvious attraction and an improvement in their living standards.

In the past week, six Swedish companies in sectors primarily related to digital production and commercial distribution have been in Gran Canaria trying out the Workation concept on the spot. The companies have been enjoying some days of intense work on the island, as well as a series of meetings with various stakeholders in the local ecosystem.

‘Best in Gran Canaria’ took part with the delegation of Swedish companies in the closing day for an in-depth discussion and overview of the business and investment opportunities connected with the island and the facilities available for companies and their teams to find themselves in the best possible business environment. ‘Best in Gran Canaria’ resolved significant concerns about tax incentives, procedures for getting established on the island (‘Moving to Gran Canaria – Relocation guide’ and or signature softlanding support) and other support/consultancy services for companies.