Sunlight streaming through the sheer curtains awakens you at seven in the morning. You reflect on not being stuck in rush-hour traffic as you get ready, listening to your favourite podcast or playlist. Good thing you don’t have to jump in the car to head to the office.
Indeed, you need to complete two deliverables by the end of the day, but that is still ten hours away. Coffee at home or a cappuccino from your favourite café down the street seems to be the most crucial decision right now.
Is this how your typical morning goes? If so, you’re living the charmed life of a digital nomad.
Who is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who works remotely from any location in the world by utilising technology and the internet. Due to their mobility, digital nomads can work from coffee shops, coworking spaces, hotels or even the beach.
Digital nomads might work from a beach community in Puerto Rico for a few months and spend another few months in a part-time shared apartment in Paris.
The desire for freedom and flexibility in their work and travel schedules is common among digital nomads. The essence of being a digital nomad is having the freedom to choose where to live and work.
How is technology helping?
As the internet grows and allows for faster connections, high-quality video calls, and the ability to send larger amounts of data, working from anywhere becomes as straightforward as working from the office. A home office allows you to complete many tasks equally or more effectively.
It is now simpler than ever to find accommodation, find shared working spaces, connect with people virtually, and find places to go. Platforms like Airbnb, Nomad list and Backdrop cater to these needs.
With Airbnb, you can reserve a stay for a few days, weeks, or months — thanks to the increase in short-term rentals.
Nomad List assists in discovering the best places in the world to live and work remotely and connect with other remote workers in the same country as you.
Backdrop enables you to find restaurants, cafes, hotels and various fun spots to hang out whilst doing touristy things and capturing lovely memories.
If a digital nomad is strategic about their location, they can use the differences in currency and cost of living to find a place where their earnings will go a lot further to cut down on the work they have to do.
What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
Some digital nomads report feeling lonely on the road without family or close friends, and it may be hard to form long-term relationships. Nonetheless, it might be that leap of faith you should take to liven up your life. [Cue Netflix’s “Emily in Paris”]
- Time to engage in/develop outdoor hobbies.
- More control over your own time.
- Freedom from the restrictions of a conventional office.
- Opportunities to travel and discover new cultures.
- You might have to work with clients who are in different time zones.
- The absence of family and friends leads to loneliness.
- Travelling frequently can be expensive.
Some employers know the advantages of remote work as much as employees do. A recent Harvard Business School research shows that organisations with work-from-anywhere policies can increase employee productivity, lower turnover, and cut costs.
The number of people leading a digital nomadic lifestyle may increase as more jobs can be done remotely. However, being a successful digital nomad requires dedication, planning, budgeting, and networking skills.