Digital nomads—people who embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle—have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Today, more than one in ten US workers describe themselves as digital nomads. Some digital nomads work in countries worldwide, traveling frequently, while others explore areas within the US or find one place to stay for a year before moving on to their next stop.
Digital nomads work in various fields, are well-educated, and tech-savvy. Digital nomads have in-demand skills that can benefit enterprises in a time when it can be challenging to find a full-time hire with those skills. Below, we look at five ways your company can benefit from embracing digital nomad workers.
1. Access to Tech-Savvy, Well-Educated Professionals
Digital nomads tend to be well-versed in working remotely because they have to rely on the internet and digital tools in their jobs. Almost 80% of digital nomads report using technology to make themselves more competitive in their work, and more than 75% are early adopters of technology. This is good news for managers who may be wary of working with someone remotely. Digital nomads will likely be more familiar with remote work tech and how to communicate with a team than someone working remotely for the first time.
Digital nomads also offer companies access to in-demand skills across many industries, including information technology, creative services, education and training, sales, marketing, PR, finance and accounting, and more. More than half have a college degree or higher, and 18% report having an advanced degree. Tapping into this talent pool can give managers access to specialized skills along if they are willing to be flexible in how and where digital nomads conduct their work.
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2. Engage Happier, More Satisfied Workers
One unifying theme among digital nomads is that they report higher satisfaction levels with their work than most other workers. Eighty percent of digital nomads report being highly satisfied compared with only 59% of workers who are non-digital nomads. Satisfaction among digital nomads comes down to the fact that they are overall satisfied with their earnings and happy with the flexibility and freedom they have with their work and lifestyle.
Working with happier, satisfied workers is never a bad thing for managers. Employees engaged in their work are more productive and likelier to stick with their employers. Businesses that have engaged employees report higher customer ratings, more sales, and increased profitability.
3. Rely on Increased Support for Digital Nomads Around the World
One concern businesses might have in hiring digital nomad workers is whether or not the cities or countries digital nomads are working from can support remote workers with the infrastructure they need to do their jobs successfully. The good news is, that governments and cities are competing to attract digital nomads. Today, more than 50 countries have created special digital nomad visas and other programs to make it easier for digital nomads to work in their countries. There are also growing support networks, including cross-border health insurance, coworking spaces, and formal education programs for kids to assist digital nomads.
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4. Use Tech Improvements to Work more Effectively with Remote Workers
When many people shifted towards working remotely during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work tools and technology quickly evolved. Today, remote workers have access to faster Internet speeds and greater bandwidth, better remote collaboration and teaming software, and better tools to help them work from the road. Managers have also become more familiar with using remote technology and managing teams that may be distributed globally.
5. Build Security with a Policy for Digital Nomad Work
Offering the ability to work as a digital nomad can be a big benefit that attracts top talent to your workplace. To avoid compliance risk and ensure that your in-house team feels comfortable working with digital nomads, consider creating a corporate digital nomad policy.
A policy can outline details such as a mutual agreement regarding the location(s) the digital nomad is working from, project duration, communication guidelines, and an agreement to work within your company’s cybersecurity policies. If the worker is an independent contractor, ensure they agree to comply with the tax and immigration regulations of the place they are working from. If the worker is an employee of your company, you will need to seek advice from tax professionals to ensure these workers remain compliant. Having a corporate policy can help minimize legal and regulatory risks, making it easier to attract and retain in-demand workers who wish to work as digital nomads.
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