ThinkOTB Agency

The rise of a nomadic workforce

February 5, 2019

Ahh, the joys of working from home. An extra hour in bed, not having to change out of pyjamas and the comfort of working from under a duvet on a cold day. But have you considered never having to enter the office again? As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, select job roles only require internet connection to perform at full capacity. The growing phenomenon of the ‘digital nomad worker’ or ‘location independent’ staff could really take off.

The digital nomad worker

As a MBO Partners State of Independence Research Brief states, arriving at a single definition for what constitutes a nomadic worker is problematic. It is nuanced. Some choose to travel consistently while working over the course of a few years; others indulge in shorter periods of travel lasting anywhere between a few weeks to several months; while many choose to stay in the confines of one new country and explore it in thoroughly.

They aren’t bound by border restrictions and they are usually self-employed. Digital nomad workers find themselves somewhere in between living like a local and a tourist. They generally enter a country on tourist visa, either renewing or going elsewhere when it expires. Although most countries are playing catch up in this field, Estonia have launched an initiative in response to this flourishing trend.

The Estonian Ministry of the Interior announced that they would be developing a visa that is fit for the digital nomad. Obtaining the relevant papers can prevent workers from entering and exploring certain countries. Those who obtain the visa will be able to stay in Estonia for up to a year. They’ll also be able to visit Schengen member countries for a total of 90 days.

Portable working

As a creative marketing agency, the bulk of our team roles could in theory be conducted just as competently outside the four walls of the office. Gone are the days where freelancers hold the monopoly on this kind of idyllic work structure. As jobs become more portable, turning in to the office for the usual 9-5 may become a thing of the past.

Nowadays, people are placing a higher value on achieving a true work/life balance. This doesn’t mean settling for arriving home on time. Experience, particularly among the millennial generation, is becoming a highly sought-after commodity. People will accept working and earning less while living in a country with lower living costs if it mobilises them to travel.

Of course, remote working isn’t without its challenges. Poor WiFi connections, operating in different time zones, and isolation to name a few. Many would argue the chance to experience the world and an alternative culture make those problems more than manageable.

The Economist estimates that there are currently millions of people working in this manner worldwide. This figure could rise to a billion by 2035. The proliferation of co-working spaces, advancements in technology and the normalisation of this lifestyle means that this estimation could be more accurate than you may think.

Could you be a digital nomad worker? If you’re a business owner, would you be deterred from hiring a digital nomad? Get in touch and give us your thoughts on a nomadic workforce @otbtweeter


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