• Palmtree
  • Posts
  • Why all ambitious nomads must experience Singapore

Why all ambitious nomads must experience Singapore

Plus: remote vs. RTO battles, guess the place, recent headlines

In today’s issue

  • Singapore, Part 2: the orderly, distraction-free city to get stuff done

  • Let’s end this battle: the remote work vs. return to office saga is tiring

  • Where in the world?: try and guess today’s photo

  • Headlines: so-called worst nomad spots, most expensive cities, Alaska-Hawaiian buyout

For the ultra-productive, Singapore just works

The best of both worlds: East and West, Old and New, cultured and modern

We’ve already mentioned that Singapore is a rare tropical metropolis. Well, it’s also the most optimized place in Southeast Asia to stabilize, focus, and get work done. Here’s why:

Impeccable infrastructure

Singaporeans are brilliant city planners. Everywhere you go — roads, walkways, subways, parks, shopping malls — it all just makes sense. And it’s sparkling clean. This level of order greatly simplifies a productivity-focused lifestyle.

Work-first ethic

Unlike the beachy, free-flow influencer cultures of Bali and Thailand, Singapore professionals habitually follow a 9am–6pm, M–F corporate work week. They dress well, make good money, hire nannies, and walk designer dogs at dusk 🐩

Limited distractions

Singapore is a small, safe country with a simple life formula: work, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s warm year-round, and therefore harder to laze around indoors. The social scene is pleasant, neither rowdy nor bawdy, and trouble is hard to find.

💎 There is one thing, though…

Gardens by the Bay, stylized

Singapore is hecka expensive. Rent is some of the highest in the world. Groceries and restaurants can cost you dearly if you don’t where to shop. If you live here, you can forget owning a car.

However, it’s totally possible to live lean and still enjoy your time in Singapore: 

  • Public transportation is cheap and good

  • Hawker centres are food heavens (more on this in a future issue)

  • Exquisite outdoor attractions like the Singapore Botanic Gardens (a UNESCO Heritage site) and Gardens by the Bay are free to enjoy

The remote vs. return to office saga: Still messy

Team Remote 🛖

  • Expensify ran an experiment to see if the best perks imaginable could bring workers back into the office. Their conclusion: No.

  • Boss to worker, as heard on LinkedIn: "As long the work gets done I don't care whether you work from the South Pole or the office.”

  • CEO on X: “The phrase “Remote work” has been hijacked to mean "Work from Home"

    Remote work does not mean Work from Home (WFH)

    Remote work means Work from Anywhere (WFA)

    Here are a few other things it means [Read more…]

Team Return to Office 👔

  • Amazon HR exec tells us that Amazon “won’t even speak to you unless you’re living in Seattle. Not even Portland counts.”

  • TikTok introduced MyRTO tool that tracks employee office attendance. Now workers must explain “deviations” of absence.

  • Overheard on LinkedIn: “I've worked remote, hybrid, and 5 days in the office. The worst for my career growth was remote. So, I'm curious, do folks not care about their career growth anymore compared to some slight inconvenience of heading into the office?”

🔮 We predict…

…that neither side will “win.”

Some companies will support remote work, some will not, and many will meet us halfway with hybrid arrangements. Hey, at least we’ll have choices!

📝 Side note: According to a McKinsey report, commercial real estate could take an $800 billion hit by 2030 thanks to hybrid work and the emptying of urban centers.

Can you guess where this is?

Hint: it’s a famous road trip spot in Eastern Europe and was once declared the “best road in the world.”

↪️ Reply if you know the answer.

Recent headlines

Stay shaded,
—the Palmtree Editorial Team


Reply with anything you want to say.