Are Remote Workers Becoming Digital Nomads?
tags: wise decision making,leadership development,wise decision maker,leaders,hybrid work,decision making process,decision-making,Hybrid teamwork,Hybrid Collaboration,Benefits of Hybrid Work,Flexibility in the Workplace,Digital Nomads
As the world continues to adapt to the new normal, many companies and workers are reevaluating the traditional 9-5 office-based work model. With remote work becoming increasingly prevalent among companies seeking to improve worker retention, many workers are embracing a new lifestyle - the digital nomad. A recent survey commissioned by SafetyWing of 550 respondents - 250 office workers, 250 remote workers and 50 digital nomads - has shed light on the emerging trends and shifting attitudes towards remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle.
The Great Reevaluation
You won’t be surprised to learn that the pandemic has played a significant role in the shift towards remote work. Almost three-quarters of digital nomad respondents (74.5%) stated that their decision to go remote was influenced directly by the pandemic. This finding matched my expectations and helped convince me that the rest of the survey was valid.
A more surprising finding for me was that the survey also found that 90% and 86.8% of respondents expressed interest in becoming a remote worker and a digital nomad respectively. The cost of living helps explain this rise, with 78.3% of Americans considering or committing to working remotely citing this issue as a reason.
Indeed, according to a Flexjobs analysis, employees can save up to $12,000 per year by working full-time remotely. This includes savings on transportation expenses like gas, car maintenance, and parking, as well as the cost of buying professional clothing and eating out at expensive restaurants. While there may be some additional costs associated with working from home, such as increased utility bills and the cost of cooking at home, these expenses are typically much smaller than the costs of commuting to an office.
This shift towards remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle represents a great reevaluation of the traditional work model, and the possibilities it can offer in terms of work-life balance and freedom.
The Rise of the Remote Family
Contrary to popular belief, the digital nomad lifestyle is not limited to single, young professionals. The survey found that over half of the digital nomads surveyed (58.8%) are either married or in a partnership, and nearly half (48.3%) have children under the age of 18. This highlights the versatility of the digital nomad lifestyle and how it can be embraced by professionals of all ages and life stages.
In fact, 70.4% of digital nomads surveyed who have children have worked and traveled with their children, and plan on doing this more in the future. This demonstrates that the digital nomad lifestyle can be an attractive option for families looking to balance work and travel while maintaining a flexible lifestyle.
The Happiness ROI
The benefits of remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle are not limited to increased freedom and flexibility. The survey found that an overwhelming 93% and 90% of remote worker respondents reported increased levels of satisfaction and productivity, respectively. Furthermore, 61% of respondents reported decreased levels of stress, and nearly half (44%) cited better quality of mental health.
Additionally, almost a third of respondents (30%) claimed that being in a better financial situation was a key factor in their increased happiness and well-being. With remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle allowing for greater control over work-life balance and reduced costs, it's not surprising that many workers are reaping the benefits in terms of increased happiness and well-being.
The Business Benefits and Challenges of Supporting Digital Nomads
I speak to 5-10 leaders every week about how to implement hybrid and remote work in their organizations, and the question of whether to allow remote workers to travel and work from anywhere is inevitably a topic of conversation. Here’s what I tell them.
One of the main benefits of supporting digital nomads is access to a wider pool of talent. With remote work becoming more common, companies can expand their talent search to include workers from all over the world. This can lead to increased diversity and a better representation of different perspectives and skills. Furthermore, digital nomads are often highly motivated and productive, as they have the freedom to work from anywhere and are able to balance work with their personal lives.
While supporting digital nomads can bring many benefits, it can also present challenges with compliance and paperwork. However, these challenges can be overcome with proper planning and preparation. Companies can work with HR and legal teams to develop policies and procedures that ensure compliance with local and international regulations. This can include policies on tax obligations, insurance requirements, and data security.
Furthermore, companies can use technology to streamline compliance and paperwork processes. For example, using HR management software can help keep track of employee information, tax obligations, and insurance requirements. Companies can also work with service providers that specialize in supporting remote workers to help manage compliance and paperwork requirements. They can also work with providers that offer benefits to digital nomads, such as Working Without Borders, which supports families traveling and working to fun destinations.
The results of this survey paint a picture of a future of work that is increasingly embracing remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle. As more and more workers embrace this lifestyle, it is clear that this shift represents a great reevaluation of the traditional work model, and a glimpse into the possibilities it can offer in terms of work-life balance and freedom. Companies that embrace this change and support their workers will be well-positioned to succeed in the future. As a highly experienced expert in the field of remote work and flexible lifestyles, I strongly advise companies to take advantage of this opportunity and support the digital nomad lifestyle.
More and more workers are embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, and Companies that support their workers will be well-positioned to succeed in the future...>Click to tweet
Image credit: Yan Krukau/Pexels
Lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky helps leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/newsletter/.
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