The Rise Of Digital Nomads
- by XpatAthens
- Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Flexiwork, remote working, and digital nomads are the words on everyone’s lips at the moment. Digital nomad being a person who doesn’t need an office, just an outlet and Wi-Fi, and they can work anywhere in the world. Positions that come with the freedom to move are highly sought after, and there’s more freelancers in circulation than ever before, but despite the rise the phenomenon is still fairly scarce. There are still employers out there who are struggling to let their employees break free of the regular 9-to-5, stay-in-the-office set ups.
There has been an increasing demand for companies to allow their staff to work from home. With the skyrocketing cost of childcare, remote working allows for parents to not only work from home, but have flexible schedules as well, allowing for them to provide more care to their children without the eye watering nursery bills. It reduces the cost of food, transport, and even clothes, when workers don’t have a set office to go to every day. One company even offers staff to have “hangover days”, for when they can still work but just need that extra bit of shut eye and the blinds drawn low.
But there are a select few of the office no-shows that don’t stick to one location. Digital nomads, often freelancers but not always, are those who travel around the globe while still clocking in their regular 40 hours a week. Digital nomads range from solo travellers who jet off all around the world, to immigrant workers or people with friends and family outside their home country who want to visit them – without having to take time off to do so. It enables workers to enjoy “the best of both worlds” as it were.
The positives keep piling up for those who opt to work remotely, but what exactly are the benefits for the bosses? A lot of employers and managers have a predilection towards having their staff in-house, rather than contacting them exclusively online. General fears include not being able to keep track of the employee and the work they do, and having to extend the offer to the rest of the staff and have it get out of hand.
But are the fears of employees goofing off when working remotely really founded? A study found that remote workers were often slightly more productive than their in-office counterparts. People have fewer distractions at home; there are no trains to catch or buses to hop, and no co-workers to chat to. The study noted that there fewer breaks and sick days, and less distracting background noise, were the main contributors to the boost in productivity.
With most aspects of work now digitised, and various apps like Asana and Slack to keep track of what your employees are up to, it’s pretty hard to hide slacking. For the most part, if there is a certain amount of tasks to be done each week, it doesn’t really matter in what order or when or where they get done, provided they’re done on time at the end of the week. If this isn’t completed by the end of the week, then it’s clear that there’s some teething issues with working out of office.
But what about digital nomads? How do they fit into all of this? Unlike the work from home crew, digital nomads aren’t tied to any one location. They still share the same issue however, of asking their boss for permission. Although convincing your boss to let you work from home is one thing, convincing them you can work from Bali is quite another.
The best way to approach the subject is by sitting down with your employer to talk it out in a casual meeting. Explaining where you’ll be going, the hours you plan to work so it can align it with the office hours, and having researched tools for them to keep track of you and your work is a great step in the process. The goal in convincing is to stress that you will continue to deliver your work and remain contactable in emergencies, just with a slight time difference.
But overall, the digital nomad lifestyle has a lot of positives for those who like to go off the beaten track and can cope with extensive travel. Other benefits besides waking up in a beach house in Thailand every day, include having a lower cost, but high quality life, as well as diminishing work stress, and enjoying all the activities a place has to offer once you close your laptop.
If you’re a digital nomad looking for a place with super fast Wi-Fi and barista made coffee while you work, then look no further than our list of locations to find a Spaces near you, and find out which city is next on your list.