Digital nomadism has become "a thing," as of late, with more corporate business people moving to Thailand, Mexico, and other nontraditional business destinations. These international travelers take advantage of locations with affordable costs of living, working remotely and utilizing the flexibility of mobile technology and reliable Wi-Fi connections to their advantage — sometimes becoming global entrepreneurs as a result.
Believe it or not, it’s quite common to work remotely and full time for a U.S.-based company or to find a position centered around your new country of residency. Many people decide to teach English in China, for example, or accept an overseas assignment from their corporate employer.
The Changing Nature of Business
In addition to changing the locations from which we work, technology is also changing the way we do business. For example, rather than being bogged down by clunky, on-site legacy software, many teams now share files via the cloud. Instead of bulky, expensive newsletters in the mail, marketing departments share their latest blog posts via email mailing lists and social media posts.
Web-based data analytics programs such as Google Analytics are helping companies to better understand which landing pages are outperforming the rest of their site, giving their content departments something to work with in terms of what types of material is of the highest interest to website visitors. In this way, businesses can be proactive about future content strategy and offer an ideal user experience to attract future customers.
Digital Productivity Tools
Freelance marketers, writers, and consultants need mobile tools that help them to increase their level of productivity at any time—not just while sitting at their computer desks. Hence that oft-used expression, “There’s an app for that.”
From productivity tools like f.lux, Habitica, and Focus Keeper to project management helpers like Evernote, Trello, and Asana, most of these programs are readily available both as mobile apps and as desktop applications. Moreover, there are applications for nearly everything business-related: from writing to marketing to customer communication.
Tips for Staying Competitive
With such a high influx of technology, both the conventional travel industry players like travel resorts as well as Airbnb short-term rental property and hostel owners, should get in on the mobile app game if they want to stay competitive in this new, connected, online economy. Nomadic remote and freelance workers are always in search of a better deal on overnight and weekly accommodations, and if they can snag a bargain with deluxe amenities, all the better!
As Sheryle Gillihan notes, working outside the conventional office environment can be great for morale, eliminates commute time, and reduces our carbon footprint. Gillihan also cites a study conducted by Telework Exchange that found productivity for remote workers to be higher than for those working in a traditional office.
Therefore, it behooves the average business—in addition to the traditional hotel or B&B accommodation establishment—to make room for this burgeoning class of remote worker.
Top Jobs for Aspiring Nomads
Because so much commerce takes place in the virtual realm now, there are a growing variety of positions available for those interested in the remote lifestyle. Forbes recently catalogued a few desirable careers for aspiring digital nomads, including roles like creative director, marketing specialist, and business analyst.
And Remote reports a list of companies currently hiring for fully remote positions. In some cases, financial executives spontaneously decide to leave their corporate lifestyles behind and take on work that is more conducive to full or part time remote work. For example, one woman decided to become a diving instructor in Zanzibar; another decided to become a travel blogger and travel the world, writing about places like the Sahara and the Chinese countryside.
Ultimately, the most ideal remote jobs are likely to be those that allow for the most flexibility and online interaction. In other words, careers that are dependent upon the internet for their very existence — for example, promotional video marketing or e-book publishing.
One thing is for certain: the future, as we now know it, is digital.
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Are you an aspiring digital nomad, or have you had experience working exclusively online or in another country? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.