Study: Is Digital Nomadism the New Work Non-Negotiable?
New research from MBO Partners shows 131% increase in Digital Nomadism
Trend has grown dramatically from pre-pandemic year 2019
Traditional workers are the fastest growing segment embracing this unconventional workstyle
ASHBURN, VA – October 19, 2022 –A new study from MBO Partners® shows that digital
nomadism is the number one work trend that employers can no longer ignore. Digital nomadism,
a term referencing workers who embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle
that allows them to travel and work remotely, has grown by 131% from the pre-pandemic year
2019. Today, 16.9 million American workers describe themselves as digital nomads. Traditional
workers are the fastest-growing segment embracing this style of work. The number of digital
nomads with traditional corporate jobs increased by 9% in 2022, growing from 10.2 million in
2021 to 11.1 million this year.
“The massive rise in digital nomads is just one more sign that the workforce of yesterday is gone
for good, said Miles Everson, CEO, MBO Partners. The ‘work from anywhere’ trend is here to
stay, and employers must take note that the power is in the hands of the worker, not the employer
or client. To embrace this strong and growing population of nearly 17 million workers, look
beyond the if and into the how – create and enforce a documented nomad policy, and consider
how to engage flexible, blended talent teams that engage for purpose and outcomes.”
The report revealed several key insights about this fast-growing segment of the American
- Out of the office, into the world. The number of digital nomads with traditional jobs
increased by 9% in 2022, growing from 10.2 million in 2021 to 11.1 million in 2022. In
fact, since the start of the pandemic, the number of digital nomads with traditional jobs
has more than tripled. Taking a page from the retiree’s handbook, digital nomads seek out
locations with lower costs of living and favorable amenities.
- No plans to quiet quit. Eighty-one percent of digital nomads report being highly satisfied,
and 11% are satisfied with their work and lifestyle. Only 3% were dissatisfied. This
compares to 68% of non-digital nomads reporting being highly satisfied and 14%
satisfied with their work and lifestyle. Interestingly, in terms of politics, digital nomads
skew heavily Democratic (51%) vs. Republicans (23%) and Independents (23%).
- VanLife is not out of gas. VanLifers, digital nomads who travel, live and work in RVs,
vans, or other vehicles converted into roaming residences, were the fastest-growing
digital nomad segment, increasing 19% in 2022 and reaching 3.1 million.
- Digital nomad villages offer support. A growing support industry is making it easier to be
a successful digital nomad, whether it be providing products like cross-border health
insurance to assist digital nomads or digital nomad villages like Nomad Village Brazil
and Digital Nomad Valley Zadar, Croatia that provide a community and infrastructure to
be productive. The top challenges reported by digital nomads are personal safety (34%),
being away from family and friends (32%), and managing work and travel (25%).
- The new Dreamers: Armchair Nomads. Despite aspirations, only 8-11% of those who
express interest in the nomadic lifestyle will actually make the leap in the next 2-3 years.
The convergence of remote work and technological improvements have been key drivers in
accelerating the digital nomad trend. While the pandemic forced a change in physical work
locations, it ignited an industry to support this holistic change of remote work. It was not a giant
leap for workers to go from working from home to working from anywhere that technology
As evidenced by summer air travel, our appetite for travel has not diminished. Even as work
requirements shift from fully remote to hybrid or in-office, digital nomadism will not be
grounded. Many factors will continue to drive the growth of this trend, such as cities and
countries competing to attract digital nomads, improvement in remote work technology, and
companies creating digital nomad policies.
MBO Partners will release the full 2022 State of Independence study in November 2022. To
obtain a copy of the brief, please visit
www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/digital-nomads.ny factors will continue to drive the growth of this trend, such as cities and countries competing to attract digital nomads, improvement in remote work technology, and companies creating digital nomad policies.
MBO Partners will release the full 2022 State of Independence study in November 2022. To obtain a copy of the brief, please visit www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/digital-nomads.
Words for Hire LLC
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