Travel and Work: The Rise of the Digital Nomad

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With the growing ease of global technologies, remote work has gained popularity in recent years. Remote work is not limited to freelancers either; some employees enjoy the benefits of working remotely full-time or part-time, and some companies even operate with a completely remote workforce.

The most common desire to work remotely is the flexibility it offers. Dictating their own schedule and workspace allows remote workers to pick up and work in a multitude of places for either short- or long-term periods. The State of Remote Work 2018 report found that less than half of remote workers “spend less than 10% of their time traveling while working remotely,” indicating that the majority of remote workers are incorporating travel and work more regularly.

Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend acknowledges this hybridity by describing a “workcation” — where an individual travels, as if for a brief vacation, while continuing to work. Such an opportunity to travel and work is one definition of digital nomadism. This digital nomad lifestyle — loosely described as when someone works remotely and travels — has become a recent trend among remote workers.

Defining a “digital nomad” can be tricky, as the lifestyle can vary from person to person. A digital nomad may be someone working remotely and living full-time in another country, or it can be someone who travels to a new place every month while working remotely. The spectrum is wide, making digital nomadism a rather elusive and understudied working lifestyle.

The Anywhere Workers Report found that a majority of digital nomads have been working remotely for no more than four years, with 32.6% having this lifestyle for one year or less. However, digital nomadism is not a new concept, nor limited to the younger generations. According to Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend, 54% of self-identified digital nomads are over 38 years old, meaning that they are further along in their career where work flexibility may be more manageable.

Digital nomadism is a trend only at its beginning. Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend found that 11% of Americans plan to become digital nomads in the next two or three years, and that “the number of digital nomads will likely grow substantially over the next few years.” With tools like Ease, managing remote work — no matter where in the world — has become a lot easier. From freelancer-client matchmaking to project management dashboards, Ease allows the modern worker to prepare for the future of work.

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