The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend already gaining steam before the outbreak began: the rise of digital nomadism.
“Digital nomads” are individuals who can work from anywhere in the world - anywhere, of course, where there is an internet connection. While digital nomadism used to be a lifestyle suitable for freelancers and remote workers only, now that remote employment is more common among knowledge workers, many have begun traveling the world on the clock. According to data from Gitnux, digital nomadism has grown 49% since 2019.
One of the main benefits of digital nomadism is the freedom and autonomy it allows employees. Rather than being tied to the same city to both work and live, they can enjoy new cultures and locations. For many digital nomads, the traditional 9-5 grind impedes their productivity, happiness, and private lives outside the office. Data from Gitnux also cites that digital nomadism has gained popularity among those suffering from chronic illnesses or disabilities, as the flexibility in locations is a perk if they're seeking medical care in a different city or need a change of climate for their health.
However, digital nomadism also comes with its own unique challenges. For example, finding reliable internet access can be a major challenge in some parts of the world, and time zone differences can make it difficult to collaborate with colleagues working in different locations. Additionally, many digital nomads struggle to find a sense of community and belonging. They are constantly on the move and may not have a stable social circle, as friends and family may remain in their place of origin.
Despite these challenges, CNBC reports that the digital nomadism trend will likely continue to grow in the coming years. As remote work becomes more common and more companies adopt flexible policies, more people will have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of working elsewhere.