When the global pandemic disrupted the entire workforce, the shift to remote working increased exponentially. People who have been contemplating moving out of the cities got the chance to do so is merely a few months. Blockchain technology is now enabling employers to engage and measure all the facets of employees’ work-life without being present under the same roof. But, the trend of working while traveling is not new to the world. The digital nomad movement introduced the hybrid work model long before the COVID outbreak.
In today’s work-from-anywhere era, the trend of a wanderlust work lifestyle has become commonplace. Fleeing big cities and voyaging to exotic locations is no more a distant dream, as many millennials are consciously opting for this way of living and working. But, the sudden plunge in the number of remote workers and digital nomads raises the question; Is the digital nomad workforce the future of work?
Who Are Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads are a sub-category of remote workers. Though most remote workers chose not to change their geographic locations every 3-months, workers adopted digital nomad lifestyles like working remotely, traveling, and residing in their dream destinations. Therefore, being a digital nomad is a work-life choice according to an individual’s preferences. The digital nomad lifestyle has gained massive popularity in recent years; between 2019 and 2020, the digital nomad population grew from 7.3 to 10.9 million, solely in America.
Not every digital nomad is the stereotypical beach-dwelling or forest dwelling-backpackers with laptops connected with creative freelance gigs. Instead, the digital nomad’s population is split between those who take sabbaticals to travel to their dream locations and those who travel from country to country in a brief time along with working remotely all along.
Already remote working is triggering more travels, opening wide gates for more people to join the newest work-lifestyle along with embracing their love to travel. Most of the tourist places today in the world, for example, Bali, have co-working, a site that provides digital nomads and freelancers to work together without putting up the work persona. Instead, it helps everyone to connect, collaborate and coordinate resources.
Why Are More People Joining The Digital Nomad Workforce?
Millions of people are serving incorporates and nine-to-five jobs. Though industry provides relative success to the deserving, the confinements bound with the job leave the workers yearning for more freedom. For adventurous travel enthusiasts, it isn’t easy to stay at one place for most of their lives without seeing the world.
Though previously impossible, with the rise of technology and ease to do work from anywhere, today it is possible to travel the world and still work. As a result, more and more people are getting lured by this freedom, living nestled into the communities, and thus embarking on the Digital Nomad Movement.
According to analysts, there are slim chances for the younger generation to commit to one company for too long. However, the possibility of both working and living the life of freedom has made many to rebelled against the nine-to-five work schedule.
The Impact of The Global Pandemic
With COVID everywhere, the digital nomad way of working proved to be a boon over the classical form of working. As the cases went slightly down and fewer traveling restrictions were lifted, a huge working population started escaping from crowded metropolitan cities to places where they can work remotely.
The driving reason behind the shift being much lower in the pre-pandemic era was trust. Establishments and organizations haven’t trusted their employees to work remotely previously. On the contrary, the data found that the distraction of working from the office is double what it is in working from home. As a result, though all the workers were sheltered with their parents, partners, or children, the productivity was considerably higher.
All of a sudden, there is an emerging community of tech entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers. Unfortunately, coronavirus has devastated millions of lives. Still, the silver lining in this stormy cloud was that work remotely has been sped up and catapulted from a fringe phenomenon to the mainstream. Remote working has now become the new normal.
Is Digital Nomad The future?
The pandemic has shed light on the digital nomad workforce. Also, as companies trust their employees to work remotely and have realized that management is not by attendance but by the result, they are willing to carry the remote working culture even after the pandemic.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, 76 million US workers making up half of the countries workforce, want to work at least a part of the time remotely. Furthermore, experts believe that remote working will continue to significantly impact office spaces, real estate, and office designs.
The renewed sense of purpose has put the remote-working genie out of the bottle. Today the workers have more opportunities and resources to work remotely than ever. But not everybody is willing to skip cities and carry their mobile office from place to place without having a place to call home. Moreover, the lifestyle of long-term remote work is only suitable for white-collar jobs.
There is no doubt that in the post-COVID world, many of the workforces will adopt the digital nomad lifestyle, but who will embrace it will come down to their specific job type and who is privileged enough to seize the opportunity.