According to the New York Times, a recent Gallup survey of 15,000 people found that 43% of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely; that’s nearly half! 43% of the US labor force translates to roughly 66 million professionals who spend a portion of the year going remote…and that’s just in America. Plus, IDC forecasts the U.S. remote worker population to reach just over 105 million by 2020, which is more than 70 percent of the current workforce.
So what’s setting this trend in motion, and how are more and more people jumping on the digital nomad bandwagon each year? Here are five reasons why it’s easier than ever to join the movement.
1. Coworking spaces
Plain and simple, people. When you’re on the go and not exactly keen on working from the airport floor or bleak hotel room desk, the chances are pretty high that a quick Google search will direct you to a cool, hyper-local coworking space wherever in the world you may be. These new trending spaces offer flexible packages to accommodate your needs—so whether you’re just in town for a day but have a deadline to meet; or are an expat exploring a new city for a few months, coworking spaces have you covered with flexible memberships and usability options. Taking your chances on finding a remote-friendly coffee shop or café can be pretty dangerous while traveling. If you have a deadline to meet, the last thing you need is to be scrambling for a spot with solid Wi-Fi and some decent coffee. Coworking spaces are reliable, affordable, and most importantly, productive AF.
2. Technology closes the gap
The remote revolution is a thing. With a little help from technology, our work is now more accessible than ever. Smartphones, Mifi devices, tablets, the list goes on. Just because mobile workers are away from the office doesn’t mean they can’t stay just as connected as their fellow remote coworkers and headquaters. With communication software such as HipChat, hubEngage and even Google Hangouts, mobile workers can stay equally engaged in the conversation even if they’re time zones away.
3. Working Remotely is #Trending
Like we mentioned earlier, the digital nomad population grows each and every day—a research projection, predicts that by 2035, there will be a whopping 1 billion digital nomads around the world. Young professionals, millennials in particular, have become increasingly fond of remote or partially remote positions. In fact, in a recent survey (Ernst & Young) suggests millennials value flexible work above pay, and are the most likely generation to change jobs, give up promotions, move to a new city or take a pay cut to have flexibility in their work. Employers and HR experts have since become increasingly aware of the fact that if they want to hold on to valuable team members and also attract new top talent, they are going to have to get flexible! There are also heaps of scien
tific data to support the fact that getting out of your cubicle and into a new environment on a regular basis boosts your productivity and quality of work; so you’d actually be doing your business a favor! Don’t be afraid to ask your company to allow partial telecommuting or negotiate a fully remote position. Figure out what aspects of your role can be done from your laptop with nothing more than good internet, and then take it remote.
4. Make money using your unique skillset
If full time telecommuting isn’t in the cards for you, there are plenty of other ways to go nomad. Bloggers, independent consultants, and freelancers have all discovered the possibilities of going remote. Whether you’re a graphic designer, a techy guru, a social media maven, or even just a great writer; there are SO many opportunities for you to brand yourself as a remote, independent consultant and obtain clients who are in need of your services. Make a list of what you can do that not everybody can, develop why it’s an essential service companies should be taking advantage of, and pitch yourself where you’re needed!
5. Networking, networking, networking
Alright, so number four is easier said than done. But with today’s plethora of networking opportunities both online and in person, it’s pretty difficult to not find someone willing to pay you for your unique services. Build your brand and advertise your services across LinkedIn, indeed, Freelancer, and the few dozen other platforms able to give your work exposure. Plus, when you work from a coworking space for the day, week, month, (or however long), inquire about upcoming networking events—they happen constantly! Coworking communities welcome digital nomads with open arms, and serve as a great network in themselves to meet people and build connections in your new city.