Traditionally, being an employee meant a 9 to 5 job commuting to the office every day. But thanks to technology, this is no longer the only way of employment. High-speed Internet has given rise to the trend of “Digital Nomads,” people who work from a location they prefer.
Rise of digital nomads
Several research studies indicate that digital nomadism is on the rise among the millennial population. A report by Fuse showed that 95 percent of millennial employees consider workplace flexibility when sticking to an employer. Over 20 percent would even accept a reduced salary of up to 25 percent provided they were able to work free from any place they want. “Waking up with the excitement of a new location, the lure of adventure and the curiosity of the unknown out the window or around the next corner makes you feel a different type of alive,” a 29-year-old digital nomad said in a statement (Business Wire).
According to Global Workplace Analytics, there has been a jump of 140 percent since 2005 in the number of people who work remotely. Betterment, an online investment company, estimates that one in three Americans already work freelance. The growth of companies like Fiverr, Upwork, Uber, and “remote” job portals will only drive up this trend. A study by Citrix predicts 50 percent of the workforce to be office-free by the year 2020. The digital nomad trend is driven not only by millennials but also by older people. For the older generation, the fact that they can spend more time with children is attractive.
As time goes by, more and more people are predicted to choose a digital nomad work-style. A report by MBO Partners State of Independence found that almost 27 percent of traditional U.S. workers were seriously considering adopting the digital nomad lifestyle within two to three years. About 11 percent had already made extensive plans for it. And no, being a digital nomad does not affect people’s productivity as previously presumed. In fact, most nomads turn out to be more productive than traditional workers. A study by Stanford University discovered that digital nomads were 13 percent more productive than traditional workers and took fewer sick leaves.
One primary reason for this is that companies, when hiring remote workers, set up good systems to manage, communicate, and measure tasks. Also, the remuneration is more performance-based, so no one slacks off and everything is based on tried-and-tested analytics.
“In many ways, digital nomads are the leading edge of the shift to mobile and distributed work… Workers, in general, are increasingly working remotely and spending more of their time away from the office… Millennials will continue to flock to this lifestyle, inspired by the opportunity to pursue their travel interests while working. And older Gen Exers are reaching the stage where traveling while working is becoming more viable,” the MBO report states (Forbes).
Online business opportunities
So what jobs do digital nomads do? For people who seek complete independence of work, a great option would be to work as a blogger. It typically takes a few years to develop a website that attracts regular traffic and generates income. But once that traffic has been established, you’ll be able to travel the world while having a regular income source.
Writing ebooks is also an excellent option. If you have good teaching abilities, consider being an online tutor. Take up freelancing gigs. Excellent writers, graphic designers, coders, consultants, etc., can easily find enough work online to earn stable revenues. Once you develop a good portfolio, clients will start hiring you repeatedly, which takes off the risk of not earning enough. With more companies opting for remote workers due to cost advantages, the digital nomad lifestyle is definitely here to stay.