The rise of the digital nomad: a new way of working in 2020

There is no doubt that that freedom and flexibility in work can help create an idyllic work-life balance that more people are continuing to strive for in 2020. From the freelancer and ‘gig-mum’ to the remote worker, this new kind of working is changing the way people think about careers and travel, continually pushing the boundaries about what can be, and should be acceptable in the modern working era.

In today’s business world, the new working life has made way for the ‘digital nomad’ – a person who doesn’t rely on working in one specific location. Instead, they work entirely remotely, using technology and connectivity to complete tasks and execute day-to-day activities as they travel and explore. While the notion of being a digital nomad continues to be an aspiration for many working adults, flexible-working option specialists, Instant Offices has investigated why this new way of working continues to be highly desirable.

The rise of the digital nomad

Typically working in the more creative industries and sectors that they can work remotely, telecommuting from anywhere around the globe, it is predicted that the number of digital nomads will reach 1 billion by the year 2035. However, it’s not all just about living a jet-set lifestyle as digital nomads typically work harder than their office-based counterparts.

A recent study by Stanford University highlighted remote workers are in fact 13% more productive than in-office workers and take fewer sick days. At the same time, further research revealed almost a quarter (23%) of remote workers are more willing to put in extra hours to complete tasks.

The job market for the digital nomad

Although it’s still relatively new as a position, vacancies for digital nomads/remote workers has increased eight per cent month-on-month in the UK, with demand geared more towards developers and programmers, at 20%, followed by consultant positions being the second-most requested at eight per cent.

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Industries adapting to the digital nomad lifestyle

Aside from the most in-demand jobs, several industries are steadily adapting to suit the needs of remote workers.

Office space: Having the freedom to travel wherever, and whenever, is one of the critical aspects of remote working. Short-term, highly flexible workspaces options, which provide a productive environment, can provide the perfect setting to hot-desk, while a coworking space in key locations globally allows for full connectivity and services catering to frequent travellers.

Insurance: A growing number of travel insurance companies now offer packages dedicated explicitly to digital nomads, with benefits ranging from international plans covering healthcare as accidents and valuables such as laptops and cameras.

Data: Access to reliable high-speed internets on the move is essential for remote working. More companies are offering international data plans for tablets, laptops and phones to ensure those working on the go can always access the internet wherever they are. Services like Google Fi – which promises better coverage utilising three mobile networks – and Sprint Global Roaming are fast being the norm.

The future of working remotely

As modern working continues to shift, and 70% of businesses expected to adopt remote working by the end of this year, the rise in coworking spaces across the world means digital nomads will always have access to business amenities and meeting spaces when needed. Software for both task management and communication will also remain to be crucial for helping with relationships between remote workers and companies.

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