The concept of the digital nomad isn’t at all new, many people have been working while traveling since the internet went mainstream in the early 2000’s. However, there has been a recent surge in articles written and photos shared on social media related to location independent jobs. Anybody who can carry out their job with just a laptop and an internet connection can technically become a digital nomad.
A good indicator of the scale of the digital nomad movement is a 2014 survey conducted by the popular freelance job site, Upwork, among its 12 million plus registered freelancers. Among the participants, 39% of freelancers described themselves as digital nomads, with 79% of these stating that they expected to be digital nomads for the rest of their lives. Almost 50% of those who classified themselves as digital nomads, had become location independent in the last 12 months.
In theory, every job that can be carried out with just a laptop and an internet connection can be performed location independently. Traditional work-from-home jobs and technical jobs are the most obvious choice, but they are certainly not the only options. Technically, digital nomads can work wherever there is good Wi-Fi. Many nomads choose to escape winter at home and chase the sun; but some more important aspects are visa considerations, safety, recreational options and, of course, affordability.
Fast, reliable Wi-Fi is the holy grail for digital nomads. However, the location and the environment are other factors to consider. The office of digital nomads can vary from café’s to other outdoor locations, however when its time to get some serious work done within a deadline you require a space that will allow you to deliver.
Co-working spaces have revolutionized the concept of offices and work. They are generally open plan offices with desk space available to rent by the hour, day, week or month. There is definitely a growing demand for co-working spaces, as in the last 10 years the number available internationally has roughly doubled each year. Another option is to work from your accommodation. If the Wi-Fi is good and you have a quiet space to work, then this is the cheapest option. Coffee shops with good wifi also make for a good short-term alternative.
A more recent evolution is that people are now opening up their homes as co-working and shared office space. Just like short-term accommodation, but for office space, you can now list your home, room or rooms for short-term office and co-working space. With the growing number of digital nomads increasing every year this is a clear opportunity for you to earn extra income and be part of the sharing economy.