A digital nomad is someone who can take their work anywhere as long as there is a working internet connection. Many digital nomads are freelancers or entrepreneurs working in the tech, design and marketing fields, although many professions can also be pursued remotely. If you are an employee, you could start by working from home a few days a week to show your boss that you are able to work efficiently away from the office. It is important to prove you are contactable in case anything happens. Once trust is established, you can float the idea of taking your work to a different city or country. You can also check out distributed companies such as Automattic, or sign up for 12-month programmes such as Coboat or Hacker Paradise. Beware of scams trying to sell you the dream - it’s not cocktails on the beach every day and you don't need to part with thousands of dollars for a “starter kit”. Most digital nomads travel with nothing more than a backpack with a few changes of clothes, their laptop and most importantly, their passport. Popular digital nomad hubs include Chiang Mai in Thailand and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia for the low cost of living, high quality of life and surrounding natural beauty. Check visa requirements before travel, pay your taxes and leave a positive contribution to the local economies and communities you visit.
Remote work gives you the freedom to set your agenda. If you are suffering from corporate burnout, it can provide you with a refreshing alternative to the daily grind of office politics and soul-destroying commutes. It gives you the option to choose your perfect lifestyle: if travelling the world and making new friends is what you want, you can do that. If you’d rather live in your own house and spend time with your family, you can also do that. Remote work doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be changing location all the time. It empowers you to decide your own hours, location, and processes.
Flip these benefits around, however, and very quickly one man’s heaven becomes another man’s hell. No job security, no perks, no insurance and no pension? That’s crazy talk!Remote work requires a lot of discipline and determination, and may therefore not be suitable for everyone. For many people, they need to be physically in the office surrounded by colleagues to be motivated. For others, the blurring of work/life that comes with not going to the office everyday can make it difficult to switch off, resulting in increased stress caused by overtime. Others might miss the office culture and camaraderie amongst colleagues. It can also be a very lonely lifestyle, as it can be difficult to forge lasting relationships on the road.