WE’RE ALL DIGITAL NOMADS NOW
Some businesses are eagerly awaiting the return of the traditional office. Yet the reality of the future is virtual. Aussie workers are keen on making the current working from home (WFH) configuration a permanent feature of their workweek. Why? Because they’re digital nomads. Don’t know what a digital nomad is? Keep reading. Your business needs to grow and adapt with the digital nomad revolution.
Home is where the work is
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Far be it for us to disagree with Mark Twain, but we found some statistics that don’t lie. In fact, they provide irrefutable proof that digital nomads are here to stay. And no, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They’re just gearing up for the next great disruption.
Now, before we address the obvious question – “What in the world is a digital nomad?” – let’s get to those stats we mentioned. If you asked Aussie workers about the present and future states of their work environment,
- 86% would tell you they like WFH
- 75% would say their employers are prepared to let them WFH after all restrictions have been lifted
- 55% would cite a preference for WFH at least two days per week – now and into the future
Add up the percentages, and the overall message is clear: Working remotely is not a passing fancy. To the contrary, it’s part of a rising trend in the workforce that’s been bubbling away in the background for years.
Enter the digital nomad
Dig deep in the far reaches of the internet and you might find an obscure 3-page report that predicted the future.
It’s called, simply: “Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend.” Published in 2018, the report opens with a little-known fact: “4.8 million workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads.” It’s an impressive number – almost identical to the size of Melbourne’s population. Which brings us back to our original question: What’s a digital nomad?
Definitions vary, but this one works well enough: it’s you. You’re a digital nomad.
Shocked? Don’t be.
Anyone who works in their trackie dacks and is fond of the motto “working anytime, anywhere,” is a bona fide digital nomad. Our distinguishing feature is a desire to work in a way that complements our “location-independent and technology-enabled lifestyle.” Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
What that wee 3-pager stated in 2018 is even more eerily prophetic. It predicted “an increase in both the supply and demand for digital nomads, which means more opportunities for millions of Americans to become one.” We needn’t alter the quote to make it more applicable to us Aussies. We already know the truth. Me, you and most everyone we know: We’re all digital nomads now.
Digital nomadism and the future of work
As a rising trend ripens into a movement, it becomes almost redundant to ask: “Will COVID-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?” There are already new and emerging markets dedicated to capitalising on the digital nomad phenomenon.
The implications for Australian businesses navigating the complexities and uncertainties of the post-pandemic workforce are serious and several. Those who cannot keep up with the trends driving the digital nomad revolution will be forced to suffer the worst possible fate imaginable for any business.
And the only way to avoid this disastrous outcome is to …
Spoiler alert: You and your business come out on top in the end.
By Steve Johns