Work Trend: The Rise of Digital Nomads
Recent years have seen many employers adopt hybrid and remote work models, that allow for a whopping 5.6 million people to work remotely in the UK (Statista).
Gone are the days of working seven and a half hours, five days a week, in a traditional office.
Instead, employees are increasingly looking at options to work in an environment that suits them. For most, this looks like a home office, however some have taken this newfound freedom to the next level – not just working from home but logging on to do business from anywhere in the world. This ever-growing travel savvy tribe are known as digital nomads, but who are they and why is the phenomenon on the rise?
What is a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to different locations – whether that’s in their own country or abroad – often working in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or even hotels. They rely on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever they want.
Their jobs range from creative roles such as marketing or writing, to careers in finance and teaching. Digital nomads can be freelancers or have contracted positions too -– there’s really no one size fits all for a nomad.
This lifestyle had been around for years, but following the pandemic when many companies were forced to adopt remote working policies, the phenomenon exploded. Despite the world of work returning to ‘normal’, digital nomadism seems set to stay. Here’s a couple of reasons why…
Companies have established remote working policies
Having the option to work remotely, at least some of the time, has become a deal breaker for employees. Research shows that 97.6% of remote workers want to continue working this way for the rest of their careers (LinkedIn). Not only do employees want this flexibility, but companies are also looking for the right talent, so offering remote working policies has allowed businesses to extend their search further afield. A win win.
Big brands like Adobe, Airbnb and Google allow employees to choose where and how they work. For example, Spotify’s ‘Work From Anywhere’ policy would make someone in Italy eligible for a job anywhere in Europe.
People value experiences
The desire for fancy watches, luxurious cars and expensive clothes are no longer as important to people as they once were. Instead, people would rather invest their hard-earned salaries into meaningful experiences such as concerts, cooking classes or trips away with friends. In fact, 65% of millennials are currently saving money to travel (Forbes).
Unlike traditional jobs, the digital nomad lifestyle is free from the constraints of limited holiday and a fixed location. Nomads can explore the world at their own will, switching on their laptops from any spot with Wi-Fi, providing the opportunity to travel alongside building a career – the best of both worlds.
There are more services on offer to support nomads
The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t just all sipping cocktails on a beach and journeying to jaw dropping holiday spots. They can often struggle with loneliness, burnout and the all too well-known annoyance of a weak Wi-Fi connection. However, improving technology and shifting work trends have led to growing services and products, perfect for those who want to work anywhere, including:
- Online job and information sites – That next project is right at your fingertips, with hundreds of job sites, online networking platforms and social media apps that help freelancers to discover new opportunities within just a few taps. Our favourites include LinkedIn, Fiverr and Flexjobs.
- Improved technology – These days meetings can be taken via video call, Wi-Fi hotspots are readily available – including cafes – and smartphones have most of the capabilities of a laptop. The way that technology has exploded in recent years has enabled digital nomads to keep in touch with clients and complete their tasks no matter their location.
- Coworking spaces – Coworking spaces have sprung up across most major towns and cities, offering short term rental passes, hot desking and office amenities. These spaces allow digital nomads to not only settle down but are also perfect for building new connections and getting that much needed in person socialisation. (Bonus: most spaces offer free tea & coffee!)
If you’re a digital nomad on the hunt for somewhere to set up business whilst in London and the Uxbridge area, head over to our coworking page for more information.