It almost sounds too good to be true – traveling the world while gainfully employed and contributing to your savings, company, and personal development all at the same time. I’m here to tell you it’s all very doable and you might not have even considered the not-so-obvious benefits for both yourself and your company. Digital nomadism takes the growing practice of working from home to the next level and it’s an absolute game changer.
1. You’ll be more productive than ever
The old school image of “productivity” is somebody hunched over their desk, hand sketched notes and charts everywhere, eating lunch over their keyboard while furiously typing away. That’s a real go-getter… in 1998. Welcome to the age of Google Drive and Hangouts, Remote Desktop, Skype, Slack, and dozens of other products dedicated to helping people stay connected virtually.
The tech isn’t an issue and hasn’t been for a while. But won’t employees just zone out on the couch in their underwear? Not according to this Harvard Business Review study. I’ll summarize it for you in one sentence: Productivity of employees working from home was up 13.5% compared to their office-based counterparts. This wasn’t an isolated study either, the Journal of Psychological Science in the Public Interest published this study, also citing benefits to productivity.
2. Your body will thank you
Time is undoubtedly a precious commodity and when it gets tight the first things to go are workouts, home cooked meals, and sleep. With that, stress levels go way up. Each of those elements compound quickly, inevitably leading to a downward spiral. Instead of spending precious time ironing your clothes just to watch them crease while sitting in bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic, skip it. Go remote.
Use that time to whip up a healthy breakfast, go for a run, make a cup of coffee and prep for that 9 AM conference call while the majority are wondering if they can hit the McDonald’s drive-thru without being late. Digital nomads and remote employees are happier and significantly less stressed overall. They show higher levels of emotional satisfaction according to a PGi survey of over 1,000 remote workers. With that comes a boost in health and a measurable reduction in sick leave.
Time is money. Well, money is money too. Do you have any idea how much it costs you to work in a typical office? Upwards of $7,000 annually according to Global Workplace Analytics. It’s not just the obvious costs of gas, parking, train tickets, or bus passes. Work appropriate clothing that you’d never wear on the weekend isn’t cheap. You’re also likely buying lunch, that adds up, especially if you go for healthy options. Now let’s say you have a kid too, the ultimate money pit (kidding!), add $5,000+ for childcare.
Pick the workspace that speaks to you
In February it might be a Cape Town coworking space while in September it’s a New York City coffee shop. The point is, you decide what places inspire you. Working from home doesn’t mean you’re tied to the address on your driver’s license. Free Wi-Fi isn’t hard to find and that’s likely all you’ll need to stay connected. The benefits of travel and meeting people from all walks of life are immeasurable. It’s inspirational and sparks creativity – no matter your industry. Embrace this priceless benefit of digital nomadism. Get out there and explore.
It’s the future of making a living
Set yourself up for success by staying ahead of the game. In 2015, almost a quarter of all employees did some of their work remotely according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number has been rising steadily around the world and employers are jumping onboard. How could they not?
Remote workers are happier, healthier, more productive, and cheaper to employ. When American Express decided to implement remote work options, they saved between 10 and 15 million dollars annually. The need for a dedicated desk in a big city office is a thing of the past for plenty of reasons. Do yourself (and your company) a favor and go remote. See the world. Spend more time with the ones you love. See the places you’ve been dreaming of. Experience life!