Imagine yourself waking up to the sound of ocean waves, or a bustling city street somewhere in continental Europe. Once upon a time, this would have only been possible as a part of your vacation, but ever since the explosion of freelancing, this has become a reality for many globetrotting workers.
However, even though the vast majority of the millennial workforce puts flexibility over a thick wallet, there are still those who are wondering if this will simply blow over just like wearing bomber jackets, or if it will stand the test of time.
What the numbers say
The sheer fact that it’s expected for over a half of the US population to switch to freelance work by 2035 is enough to show just how quickly the entire world is transitioning from nine-to-five into a much more flexible mindset. However, this is by no means the only piece of info that will define the fate of this incredible work climate.
Thanks to technological innovation, internet speed will dwarf even the fastest connections we’re working with today. Add to that the simplification and affordability of travel, and exploring the world will be far more convenient even for the low-paid jobs online. On a more personal note, fewer people are getting married or settling down to buy a property, which gives us even more incentive to pack our bags and see the world.
Learning on the go
While the idea of formal education is still cherished and encouraged, a growing number of people is turning to entrepreneurship and innovation regardless of their official degrees or their experience. Available online courses, free webinars and workshops, in and out of reputable universities ‒ all of these options make it easier for the aspiring business owners to turn their dreams into a reality.
What’s more, a steady internet connection allows you access to education platforms, as well as informative business magazines, to stay in the loop with the latest business trends and events, and to keep growing your skillset on the go. The fact that you can learn from the best in the business, stay informed, and increase your knowledge almost without changing your travel plans makes this endeavor all the more alluring. People are happy to share their wisdom online, so why not make the most of these useful resources while you grow your career?
Craving for change
For a very long time, we’ve settled for fixed work hours, predetermined vacation days, a fully planned annual calendar, and perks such as health benefits that come with the package. However, the idea of an ideal workplace has changed drastically as soon as Millennials have become the majority of the workforce. Nowadays, the cubicle has been replaced with the ability to change locations, while purpose has become far more relevant than a salary.
In fact, 37% of a study’s respondents stated they would change jobs if offered more flexibility in the alternative workplace. The freedom to work remotely, whether from home or a different country, is definitely one of the driving forces of the digital nomad wave, as much as it is reshaping the modern workplace, as well. All of these changes in priorities indicate that digital nomadism is about to get even more popular and more endorsed by employers everywhere.
However, it wouldn’t be fair to paint a completely idyllic picture of the digital nomad story. As incredibly enticing as it may be, working as a nomad comes with its own set of issues. For example, economic fluctuations make it impossible to promise job security to freelancers, which means you have to bear the risk of losing your job, or a client, while you’re out there, exploring Sydney. Of course, there are similar risks attached to office jobs, but it’s far more complex to bounce back from such a blow when you’re in a foreign country, several thousand dollars in plane tickets away from a rent-free home.
On the other hand, one of the main allures of nomadism is the freedom to travel the world. What happens when the world catches fire? Conflicts can arise anywhere, and if you’re not entirely familiar with any brewing political issues in a particular region, you might find yourself in a highly dangerous situation. Thanks to those informative online outlets, however, a smart nomad would stay in the loop and steer clear of certain spots. Tax issues as well as other legal conundrums, however, still stand.
Much like with any fad diet or a fashion trend, if we discover that it’s not working, we’ll happily abandon the digital nomad concept and go back to our friendly cubicle in a heartbeat. Chances are, however, that the world is rather quickly entering into a new era, one that enables work without borders, and where digital nomads are about to reign supreme.