You may have heard of the term “digital nomad” in various online forums, or even seen it in someone’s LinkedIn profile. However, what does the term mean? What is a “digital nomad” and what do they do?
Digital nomads are a new generation of workers who are not bound by geographical constraints. Digital nomads are employees that work remotely. They usually travel to different locations around the world, working in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or libraries, relying on mobile hotspots or smart devices to do their work wherever they want. In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is estimated that 34% of employees still work remotely from home without needing to go back into the office. This means that the digital nomad lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular amongst young workers who want to travel to different countries while working on a 9-5 job.
The digital nomadic lifestyle offers several benefits to your average office job. For starters, some workers find that their productivity increases as there is no time to waste when one is travelling while working. Motivation comes with workers aiming to complete their tasks as soon as possible in order to maximise in which they can explore new places. This lifestyle also allows workers to become more adaptable as they are forced to work outside of their comfort zone. Creativity is increased when the brain connects two seemingly unrelated concepts together. Scientists call this “synaptic play” and it is the reason why working in a different, more exciting place can increase creativity in workers. Digital nomads also report higher levels of happiness than normal workers due to their flexible schedules and work locations.
However, the digital nomad lifestyle also has its drawbacks. One of the biggest disadvantages of being a digital nomad is that workers incur extra expenses when travelling or living at a foreign place. Travelling is time-consuming and expensive, and many digital nomads are freelance workers that are paid on an irregular basis. This means that there is constant pressure to keep expenses to a minimum in order to support a “work and travel” lifestyle. Furthermore, the nomadic lifestyle can sometimes be incredibly lonely and tiring. Travelling frequently to different locations means having to deal with cramped hotel rooms, new acquaintances and jet lag amongst other things, which may affect one’s productivity and work.
Overall, however,the digital nomad lifestyle is an increasingly popular trend amongst young workers, especially after the pandemic. It is captivating and attractive, albeit it can carry some downsides.