From Cubicle to “Exotic” Locales: How Digital Nomads Are Shaping the Future of Work

Written: Vagabondist Staff| February 20, 2023

Every remote work pioneer started out like any other digital nomad—in a cubicle. But as they explored the world and honed their remote work skills, they’ve been making strides toward redefining work. They’ve built remote work communities, founded digital nomad gyms, designed nomad-friendly coworking spaces, and created apps to help nomads find new remote jobs and remote workers find new remote jobs.

These digital nomads are the pioneers of a digital revolution that’s slowly but surely changing the face of work. As remote work becomes more mainstream, digital nomads have created their own unique culture of collaboration and mentorship where workers support each other in pursuit of work-life balance. Some digital nomads have even begun creating their own startups and designing nomad-friendly apps to support remote workers around the world. In this blog, we’ll give you an overview of how digital nomads are shaping the future of work and why more companies are seeking out remote workers.

Are digital nomads on the rise or will this phenomenon fizzle out?

The number of Americans describing themselves as digital nomads rose from 7.3 million in 2019 to 10.9 million in 2020 – an increase of 49%. The nomad surge was driven by people with traditional jobs, with the number of digital nomads with traditional jobs rising from 3.2 million in 2019 to 6.3 million in 2020 – a 96% increase.

Traditional job holders now make up the majority of those pursuing this nontraditional work lifestyle. Businesses and employees worldwide had to quickly adapt to a remote working lifestyle when the pandemic hit in 2020, with many becoming comfortable with this lifestyle. Digital nomads are able to travel and work globally without being tied down to one location for long periods of time, allowing them to experience different cultures and viewpoints on a more frequent basis than most workers. They’re also able to earn money comfortably through digital nomadism, allowing them greater flexibility in their work and personal lives. This new lifestyle has gained popularity among millennials as well as Gen X’ers and baby boomers who are looking for a way to balance work and life more efficiently.

Up, up, and away!

The popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle has been gradually increasing in recent years. A study by MBO Partners, an influential research firm that specializes in career development, estimated that there were 15.5 million digital nomads in the US in 2021. This number is likely to increase further as digital nomads become more popular and accept the lifestyle as a legitimate way of working. However, digital nomads make up only a small portion of the workforce today. In fact, traditional jobholders now make up a majority of digital nomads. The rapid growth of this lifestyle suggests that digital nomadism is here to stay. Job seekers should be prepared for a future where more and more workers work from anywhere in the world from any location of their choice – whether it’s from the comfort of their home or at a coffee shop near work.

Remote work has never been easier.

Remote work has never been easier thanks to the internet and digital technology. Jobs and tasks that can be done remotely have opened up remote workers with a variety of opportunities. Remote work allows digital nomads to work anywhere from anywhere, which makes it easy to stay connected with family and friends while working remotely. Technology also makes it easy for remote workers to access resources from all around the world.

Despite the social benefits of remote work, many individuals are still excluded from this type of lifestyle due to a number of factors, such as location or job responsibilities. However, remote work is becoming more popular as a pandemic-driven workforce seeks ways to be more productive and efficient. The nomad culture is open-minded and friendly, but there are still many people who are not able to take advantage of remote work opportunities.

The world opens its doors to nomads.

Digital nomads are a new workforce phenomenon who continuously work from remote locations and take on flexible work arrangements. As digital technology allows nomads to work remotely, they are able to travel and pursue work opportunities anywhere in the world. With this ability, nomads can work from exotic locations such as the beaches of Thailand or the mountains of Nepal while still providing the same level of service to their company or clients. Additionally, digital nomads are constantly changing their location to suit the needs of their work. This flexibility allows nomads to work from anywhere, allowing them to pursue work opportunities anywhere in the world.

Digital nomads are reshaping the future of work by creating a new way of living that combines work and travel. They offer businesses and organizations greater flexibility and cost-efficiency while reducing workplace friction. Overall, digital nomads are creating a more dynamic and diverse workforce by offering new ways of working that fit into today’s constantly-changing workplace landscape.

Remote worker? These nations want you

Working remotely is becoming increasingly popular in many nations across the globe, thanks to the cost-efficiency, flexibility, and convenience it provides. Still, countries such as Estonia, Chile, and Japan have taken steps to make remote work easier for remote workers.

E-residency is one of these efforts. This digital nomad visa scheme from Estonia allows remote workers to stay in the country for up to three years without having to physically reside there. In return, they have access to all of the same digital rights as local citizens.

Other countries like Chile and Japan have also implemented similar visas for remote workers. These visas allow them to work remotely while staying in that country on a temporary basis. This has become a popular option for digital nomads who want flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere in the world.

Foreign countries lure digital nomads

The digital nomad lifestyle has caught the imagination of many, who are drawn to remote-friendly countries for the lifestyle. Some of these countries have introduced visa schemes that specifically cater to remote workers, such as Brazil’s digital nomad visa and Indonesia’s nomad visa. In fact, searches for the term nomad visa have increased by 2400% over the last five years.

Some countries offer flexible programs and visas to digital nomads, such as the Remotely from Georgia program, which enables digital nomads to stay for one year and earn a minimum monthly salary of $2,000. There are also countries like the Czech Republic that offer Zivno visas, which last for one year.

The nomad-inspired lifestyle is exciting but it isn’t all glitzy sunshine and smiles. The remote-work lifestyle comes with its fair share of challenges as well. While it offers freedom and flexibility, it might not be ideal for everyone. Also, a remote-work job doesn’t always pay well or offer opportunities for career growth and advancement. So while a nomad lifestyle can be exciting and rewarding, there’s no denying the inherent risks involved in it as well.

Best Travel Insurance Companies

Digital nomads should consider visiting countries such as Estonia, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Dubai (UAE) for remote working visas. These countries have developed digital nomad-friendly visa policies that make it easy for digital nomads to work from anywhere in the world. In addition to this, digital nomads would be wise to consider working from one of these countries to take advantage of the remote working visa policies and other advantages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that there is potential for digital knowledge work and remote working. However, digital nomads should still be careful when traveling to certain countries due to ongoing pandemic risks and safety concerns. They should research the best travel insurance companies to ensure their safety when traveling. Overall, digital nomads should continue exploring opportunities to work remotely while keeping safety at the forefront of their minds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are digital nomads the future?

The rise of digital nomads is undeniable and is here to stay. With the number of Americans describing themselves as digital nomads increasing from 7.3 million in 2019 to 10.9 million in 2020, it is clear that remote work is an attractive lifestyle choice for many.

Furthermore, traditional job holders now make up the majority of digital nomads, with the number of digital nomads with traditional jobs rising from 3.2 million in 2019 to 6.3 million in 2020. The pandemic has forced businesses and employees alike to quickly adapt to a remote working lifestyle, with many now untethered from their offices.

Businesses are now left wondering whether digital nomadism will be temporary or will remain part of our new normal. It is likely that some industries and positions will require physical presence in the office, while others can continue working remotely. As such, digital nomadism could become the future of work for some industries, as more people explore this lifestyle’s potential.

What does a digital nomad do for work?

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely from any location and build a sustainable lifestyle. They are often highly-skilled workers, usually between 24-44 years old, who are independent and take on high-tech jobs such as web design, software development, data science, digital marketing, video editing, etc. Many digital nomads are married and have families that travel with them.

The number of digital nomads has grown significantly in recent years due to the advancement of technology. Traditional employees now make up 96% of the increase in digital nomadism, as remote working has become more prevalent with companies embracing digital transformation.

Digital nomads save money by not having to pay for rent or transportation, while also exploring new places and being part of an international community of remote workers. It’s an ideal lifestyle choice for those looking to experience new cultures, challenges, and opportunities while still pursuing their career goals.

Those who work remotely have a huge advantage over those who commute to an office every day. They get to work from the comfort of their own homes, which not only saves them time but also allows them to work in their pyjamas (if they’re comfortable wearing them in public). But digital nomadism is more than just working from home. It’s about adapting to new cultures, traveling the world, and learning new skills. It’s about embracing technology and working smarter. If you’re motivated and flexible, digital nomadism might be for you!