The growth trend for digital nomads is on the rise. And why should it not be, digital nomad life seems so attractive. These are independent workers who use technology to work remotely from the location of their choice from all around the world. For many, it is a dream job to work from anywhere in the world, be location free and enjoy the freedom of own set working hours and be their own boss. Digital nomads apparently seem to have it all, the liberty to take decisions on their own and the freedom to explore the world without having to sit at one place permanently.
There are 4.8 million independent workers who classify themselves as digital nomads and there are other 17 million who aspire to be remote workers. This lifestyle has gained popularity over the years as jobs have become less location-dependent and the abundance of internet, cellular data networks, and cloud service has made it easier for location independent individuals to work efficiently. Also, with the liberty to work from anywhere, be it libraries, parks, coffee house or Wi-Fi hotspots have further enabled the digital nomads.
With so many advantages on the upfront, the digital age generation wants to adopt this lifestyle as many young ones aspire to be international travelers and as much as 85% of millennials prefer to work as telecommuters. The people who choose to work as digital nomads are entrepreneurs running their online business, they may e freelancers who do a variety of writing, editing and designing work, online designers, virtual assistant and some also pursue their career in digital marketing, graphic designing, and teaching. Basically, being a digital nomad you can opt for any profession you are good at; just that any business you opt for should be virtually attainable and should not require your physical presence at the job site.
Then there comes another great advantage of being a digital nomad in this era. Other than sipping margaritas on the white sand beaches and enjoying the hilltop view of the spectacular skyline, digital nomads get the chance to live their lives in countries where the cost of living is comparatively low. This way they can charge a competitive price for the service they are offering without having to spend a fortune on living expenses.
TAKING A LOOK BACK
In the beginning, there were few companies who employed individuals and offered them flexible timings or work from home opportunities but there was no way anyone would dream about making a business plan with beach view. Back then, work conditions were quite dry and fresh graduates would be straight away led to their boring desk where they would spend all day working monotonously.
There existed the concept of meaningful online working and Github was one platform that provided access to online collaboration some five or six years ago, but the idea of location independent work did not catch fire that time. Probably because internet connectivity was poor at that time, one could not rely on conference calls along with no platforms that would provide connections from clients to sellers.
WHY IS DIGITAL NOMADISM GAINING MOMENTUM?
We now have access to a powerful internet connection, platforms like Trello, Slack a reliable communication tool, and a lot of amazing software that supports online networking that open opportunities for individuals who aspire to work location independently.
Moreover, the future of technology knows no bound. After 4G, with the 5G technology, the internet speed and connectivity is going to go sky high and the presence of virtual reality platforms are going to make things a lot easier for the digital nomads. With the progression of technology, a lot more will be offered to the digital nomads of tomorrow.
BEST LOCATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
When moving from destination to destination, a digital nomad needs a place to settle in that not only provides connectivity to the internet but also one that does not cost an arm and leg. The place to settle is usually countries with breathtaking sights and spectacular food but is cost effective too.
In 2019, a lot of countries were visited by remote workers and rank on top of the list. Indonesia, Mexico, Cambodia, Panama, European countries and many others are high on the list. These are the countries that have a support network for digital nomads but at the same time are inexpensive destinations.
There are digital nomad’s hostels that offer inexpensive accommodation to international travelers and café and co-working space that are meant to connect remote workers from all around the world and provide them with the opportunity to network and relax under one roof. This has made traveling and exploring new countries easier for the existing and aspiring digital nomads.
CHALLENGES FACED BY DIGITAL NOMADS
This lifestyle shift does not come easy, no matter how long you have been aspiring to be a digital nomad or freelancer. It is a combination of a lot of hard work, sacrifice in personal and professional aspects, unexpected surprises and tough realizations that open eyes to the harsh reality that one is not yet ready to face.
The digital nomadic lifestyle does not come without obstacles
There are different time zones that the worker has to cater to in order to catch up with conference calls, meetings and sales calls for which they will have to sacrifice a part of their personal life.
Then comes the hard work of finding clients. This is a competitive world with no limit of skilled workers it is hard to find and sustain clients on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
Such and many other hurdles come in the way of living your dream.
Regardless of the struggles faced, workers around the world seem to be more inclined towards working location independent to enjoy the freedom and travel the world. And without any doubt, by 2020, a lot more than half of the workers will work location independently.
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