Becoming a digital nomad is easier today than ever before. Remote work options are now a go-to for companies across the globe seeking to attract and retain talent. In fact, Upwork reports that by 2025, 22% of the American workforce will be working remotely. What’s more, an array of new technology is geared specifically towards location independence. E-commerce is booming. And it doesn’t stop there. Now every sector seeing the potential – from hospitality to government – is fast adapting to become more nomad-friendly. And here’s a hint as to why: The annual income of digital nomads is between $50,000 and $250,000. In fact, less than 10% of American digital nomads report earning under $25,000 a year. Disposable income equals opportunity equals innovation. Here’s how the rise of remote work continues to shape the future for digital nomads.

The boom in coworking spaces

One report estimates that there will be 42,000 coworking spaces operating globally by 2024. That’s a giant leap from 2018, when the total number was about 16,500. A clear trigger for the proliferation of shared workspaces is the surge in remote work. More and more 9-5 employees are leaving their jobs in pursuit of a healthier, happier work-life balance. One Bloomberg study found that 39% of adults would rather quit than work somewhere that’s not remote-friendly. Workers claim that they find a bigger sense of meaning and better control if they work remotely. While you’ll notice some digital nomads work in coffee shops or cafés, coworking spaces have the clear edge. They offer a more professional working environment and a reliable internet connection is guaranteed. Plus the biggest difference between coworking spaces and traditional office alternatives is their flexible membership plans. Clients are free to spend as much or as little time as they please. What’s more, the amenities an employee finds in a traditional office are also available in coworking spaces – perhaps even more. Benefits and amenities good coworking spaces offer members include:
    • Secure 24/7 access
    • On-site reception staff
    • Printers and scanners
    • Free water and coffee
    • High-speed WiFi
    • Conference rooms
    • Event spaces
Digital nomads also form communities in coworking spaces. It’s a collection of people from different industries collaborating to bolster each other’s careers.

Advancements in technology

Not too long ago, employers were hesitant to allow their employees to work from home. Today? Even giants like Amazon and Twitter allow many employees to work from home permanently. The advancement of technology is a big reason why. Some employers actually say it’s easier to monitor employees remotely than when they were working in an office. Communication is simple thanks to a variety of video conferencing tools. Delegation of tasks can be monitored through project management software. Employers can easily track the number of hours their employees worked in a day or week using time tracking software. What’s more, the reach of the internet is fast expanding – now becoming available in even the most remote parts of the planet. SpaceX’s Starlink already looks set to lead the field in this respect. Once it would have been inconceivable to, say, work on an isolated island or from a yacht in the middle of the ocean. Thanks to (admittedly controversial) increasing satellite coverage, soon no place will be out of bounds to digital nomads.

Nomad-friendly amenities

The 35 million digital nomads around the world come from diverse walks of life. However, their community shares a few key things in common. They like to travel often, work hard, play hard – and want to get the biggest bang for their buck. Usually, a recurring challenge is finding stability in each country they visit. Every digital nomad has a checklist before making a reservation with a hotel or Airbnb rental. One might look something like this:
    • Affordability and comfort
    • Reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi
    • A safe environment
    • Proximity to shops
    • Proximity to attractions
One example of a place that ticks all the boxes is Focus Lounge by King’s in central Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Germany. This is an innovative coworking café & bar located in the 4-star King’s Hotel First. Apart from the obvious advantage of on-site accommodation, the Focus Lounge offers a range of facilities tailored to the needs of business travelers. Amenities and services include:
    • Fast, reliable WiFi and charging stations
    • Friendly waiting staff
    • Coffee with plant milk alternatives (free to members)
    • Healthy, organic meal options
    • Meeting rooms and event spaces
    • Bar and snacks
    • Device safekeeping
When nomads want to unwind after a long day at work, Focus Lounge by King’s has a casual bar open from 10 pm – 1 am. This encourages social interaction with other members to maximize collaboration opportunities.

Digital nomad visas

Some companies are switching to flexible work models, giving employees the opportunity to travel while working on the clock. Governments are seizing the opportunity to entice digital nomads to their countries. Many see it as an important part of plans to stabilize the economy after the global pandemic. One of the latest offerings is the digital nomad visa. This is a permit allowing digital nomads to reside and work in a foreign country for a prolonged period. Some even offer special tax breaks and other incentives. Moreover, the process of obtaining a digital nomad visa is far easier than traditional visas. This makes it possible for remote workers to plan longer stays than would normally be possible. Some 46 countries currently offer digital nomad visas. Among these are the following:
    • Barbados
    • Croatia
    • Greece
    • Norway
    • Portugal
    • Spain
    • The Bahamas

Final thoughts

The rise of remote workers is changing the priorities of businesses and governments around the world. The life of a digital nomad today is very different from what it was five years ago – and it’s set to get even easier with each passing year. You’ll witness more coworking spaces open and innovate their services to meet the changing needs of customers. Expect to see an increase in revenue for the travel industry as digital nomads explore far flung countries without a hitch. And finally, expect more leaps to be made in the world of technology. Let’s face it, everyone wants to travel. It’s just that not everyone has the opportunity to do so. The best part about being a digital nomad is that it’s possible for anyone. All you need is a laptop, a place with high-speed internet (or more, if you love your home comforts), and an unending desire to see the world. What are you waiting for? It’s time to start packing and start your journey as a digital nomad! “Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” – Bob Marley

Featured Image: Photo by Michelangelo Buonarroti

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