With the rise of remote working during the pandemic, a variation on the trend has also grown, digital nomads. These people have taken remote work to a new level. Instead of working from a home office, they travel and stay in different places while doing their work. As long as they have good wifi, they can work anywhere in the world.
According to a recent Forbes article, “…16.9 million American workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads. That’s a 9% increase from 2021 and up 131% from the pre-pandemic year 2019. By some estimates, there are 35 million digital nomads worldwide.” And that number may be low as many digital nomads do not identify as such.
Carnegie Mellon University professor of organizational behavior and public policy Denise Rousseau, said about digital nomadism, “It’s attractive because of the flexibility and sense of freedom. But for many knowledge workers, it is difficult to sustain over time.”
Digital nomads enjoy travel, but working from the beach or mountain top is unrealistic. After all, getting sand in your laptop is a recipe for disaster. In reality, becoming a digital nomad requires planning. According to Lifehack, the following tips can help you decide if digital nomadism is right for you.
Understand What’s Possible
If you’re working for a company, find out if anyone else has already gone down this path before and talk to your manager and Human Resources. There may be some hesitation, so you’ll need to be prepared for conversations and perhaps a trial run to ensure your employer you’ll continue to be productive.
Do Your Research
If you plan to work in different countries, you’ll need to look into work visas, vaccination requirements, cost of living, and technical sophistication. If an exotic location is on your wishlist, there may be issues connecting.
There is a lot to consider financially when planning this type of lifestyle. You may be able to eliminate a house payment and a car payment, but you will also need to consider the types of places you’ll stay, from hostels to rental homes, as well as transportation costs and insurance expenses as you move from place to place.
Discipline and Adaptability
Many digital nomads have a list of places they have visited where they would like to live. Working in places where you have vacationed requires mental fortitude not to treat the experience like a holiday. Once you’ve settled into working in a new location, everyday tasks can also derail your focus. Setting aside time to handle simple tasks can help you feel at home faster and not interfere with your work time.
On the flip side, it is also easy to overwork, and before you know it, you’ve been working for days or weeks without getting out. Without a normal routine, it takes effort to keep a good work-life balance and not let it teeter in either direction.
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