Back to the Future:
Close your eyes for a second and imagine a work area- a room divided into cubicles, an open plain space, maybe a co-working office. Imagine how you would feel breaking the shackles of working 9 to 5 with a “work from anywhere” attitude with a Wi-Fi connection and your laptop.
Just five or six years ago this would not have been possible. A graduate would enter the workplace, introduced to their desk and they would be glued to it thereafter. There wasn’t much hope of making reports next to a swimming pool or from a rocky island.
Digital Nomads on The Rise
But today a relatively newer trend of “digital nomads” has come into existence. What are digital nomads? Digital nomads are ‘location independent’ workers who travel to different places. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, depending on devices with wireless internet connections like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work as per their choice. Freelancing is a common role for digital nomads.
One must understand the reason for the rise of smart workspaces for digital nomads. One major factor is cheap internet access nowadays. Digital nomads use the Internet and a wide variety of digital, cloud-based telework tools to do their work. These include Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to keep in contact with clients and partners, content creation tools and cloud storage to build and deliver products. Many online services like Airbnb and ITA Matrix flight finding program from google, are getting mainstream disrupting many industries. Airlines too has made much easier and cheaper for travellers to fly. Workers in general are increasingly working at far-off places, away from offices.
Digital Workspaces by the Numbers:
Per a recent Gallup research study, a whopping 43 percent of Americans work remotely at least some of the time. Studies suggest over 50% of the workers with be freelancers in the USA by 2020.
Below are few of the reasons mentioned for this unstoppable new work trend of digital nomadism. These include:
- Co-working and co-living spaces with fast internet
- Online talent marketplaces and remote job sites
- Digital nomad tour companies like Remote Year and Nomad Cruise handling all the logistics
- Online information sites like Nomad List has data on all information of interest to nomads for over 1,200 cities around the world.
- More freelance opportunities available now as writers, designers, editors, photographers, IT professionals, marketing and communications professionals
- Visiting new countries has become more pocket-friendly because of the rise of budget airlines.
- Publicity of digital nomadism like on Instagram.
Digital Nomadism will continue to expand in future. Improvements happen in mobile and cloud computing tools and technologies from time to time which will lead to greater levels of remote work. In the upcoming years, both large and small firms will hire more distant workers. Both the supply and demand for digital nomads will subsequently increase, which means a plethora of opportunities for the millions of people dreaming to become one.