#Digital Nomads: Unraveling the Millennials' Way of Working and Living
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The world always had nomads. But increasing demands, altering lifestyle and living in a digitized world along with the restraints of time have made way for what nowadays are being called as the “digital nomads.”
Who are Digital Nomads?
The term digital nomad is a fancy term for millennials. Dr Poornima Gupta, Associate Professor, HRM & Organisational Behaviour, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, defines digital nomads as a “growing breed of entrepreneurs who embody the success and freedom that an Internet Lifestyle can provide.” She further says, “More and more millennials are moving to this lifestyle. They have the money to spend that they earn through various income streams – blogging, training, e-products, internet e-commerce, webinars etc. They have a passion to travel and enjoy new things in life.”
“Passion to travel” is an important takeaway from this definition. Millennials believe in having it all. They are not ready to settle or adjust or sacrifice. That is why the popularity of digital nomads has increased rampantly since the last few years. A digital nomadic lifestyle provides them with the flexibility to fulfill their personal and professional aspirations without too much inconvenience.
Gupta says that this lifestyle is very common for single people or even couples. “Married people with kids rather prefer to or they have to be tied down to a particular place due to family considerations.”
Anju Kanodia, Business Head of Wakency, says that the digital nomad culture is great because it makes individuals think like entrepreneurs. “They enjoy the flexibility of working on their own terms while taking on the responsibility of working with discipline, dedication and accountability. Being enabled by platforms and technology, flexible working is becoming a trend across the world.”
Here are a few things that millennials must know while considering a digital nomad life for themselves.
Being a faceless figure in a crowd is what the life of a digital nomad entails. So building trust becomes imperative. Aryaman Tandon, Director of Praxis Global Alliance, says, “Building trust is crucial when one employs these benefits and that’s foremost for digital nomads to understand and achieve their goals.”
Choosing your Path
Yogesh Kumar Bhatt, Vice President, Education and Training, Manipal ProLearn, says that advancements in technology and availability of co-working workspaces, coupled with companies offering flexible temporary jobs has made it possible for millennials to work from anywhere. He says, “This has given rise to the gig economy, allowing workers to be “digital nomads” or “freelancers”. Even though both of these types of employment are about working remotely, a nomadic lifestyle of continuous travel differentiates a digital nomad from a freelancer.”
He further adds that an essential aspect to consider before becoming a digital nomad is whether one wants to work just as a remote employee, own a business, or travel while working. “Either way, you should sign up to websites for remote workers. One must also possess the right skills – especially niche skills, but also need the stability of selling them. A digital nomad should ensure that all relevant documentation – passports and visas are kept up to date.”
Technology to Your Aid
Digital nomads are incomplete without technology. Gurprit Singh, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Umbrella Infocare, says, “Use technology to your advantage and get the right tools. For instance, you'll need VPN for data security, cloud data backup for all your work, a WiFi extender and collaboration apps to be able to work with clients across geographies.”
Everybody nowadays is experimenting with technology and ensuring that it becomes a part of their ecosystem.
Opportunities roll out possibilities for digital nomads. Thus identifying them becomes a starting point for every digital nomad. Mishu Ahluwalia, Founder and CEO of GoHive, makes a valid point when he says, “Being a digital nomad requires a fair amount of relearning with the community. Picking the right space to start your journey as a digital nomad becomes all the more important considering the space you pick is your new comfort zone.” He also adds that one should capitalize on the resources and network on offer while planning smartly. “Pick a place which has day passes available. Attend events hosted by a new space to get a sense of the community and what is on offer. Open yourself to the experience and personality each new place offers.”
Some Real-life Testimonials
White-collar jobs, fancy-aluminium towers are a thing of the past. Today people prefer working as they please rather becoming wolves of Wall Street. Prashant Agarwal, Founder of Horses Stable, shares his own testimonial, “Internet penetration is empowering people like me to take this plunge and become a digital nomad rather than spending my career behind the cubical office. I have been travelling to a lot of regions where I meet a lot of new people, millions of memories left behind, I can say remote working is a win-win for all the working professional.”
“Win-win” is a lofty declaration. Agarwal says that working professionals in today's time are not restricted to a career behind the cubicle office. “They have the freedom to work and operate from anywhere and this not only gives them the creative liberty but also helps them to grow and meet new people which further helps them to excel in their profession.”