The work landscape is evolving: faster Internet speeds, rise of the gig economy, and surge of international projects. All this has made work much more flexible. While not every job role allows flexibility now, there are increasingly many out there that do.
One of the consequences of that is that evermore people are working from home. Last year, close to one in two Americans worked remotely at least some of the time.
Another consequence is the emerging world of the digital nomad! This is the name given to remote employees who travel to different locations to do their work.
It’s a wonderful way of seeing the world and enjoying work with a difference, and it seems that more and more people are doing it. In fact, some people believe that by 2035 we will see more than 1 billion digital nomads.
If you wish to become a digital nomad – or feel like you already are one – there are some personal skills you will probably gain or improve.
Being a Digital Nomad Improves Creativity
You might be surprised by how much of an impact travel can have on your work. While travel can distract from work, when it is done right, it can spark new ideas.
There is actually a dab of scientific evidence that travel improves creativity. According to Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, travel increases cognitive flexibility, i.e. the ability to jump from different ideas, which is also a key element of creativity.
The fact that travel seems to stretch people’s brains also seems to be adopted by some companies in practice. Take Boomerang for example – a company that has successfully used travel to improve employee creativity. As they told Forbes, this practice has led to some of the company’s biggest launches.
Seeing the world and working from different locations can inspire, as well as helping you to become more creative in the long run. Being inspired by beautiful and exotic places, cultural differences or political events seems like a pretty effective way for increasing innovativeness.
Digital Nomads Become More Social
Another excellent reason to become a digital nomad is the fact it can make you much more sociable. There’s plenty of people talking about how traveling helps overcome their social anxiety (at least for the time being).
Traveling forces you to talk to more people and go out of your comfort zone more. Moreover, it also helps you build friendships and drastically expands your social network. That means that you just can’t help learning about many different people, getting to know them, their interests and their quirks – which helps you get to know not only those people but also people in general.
Moreover, especially solo travellers are perceived to be more approachable, leading to more social interaction.
Digital Nomadism Can Make You More Responsible
Taking change of personal life is what often drives people to become digital nomads. When you travel and work at the same time, you need to become fully responsible for yourself.
However, that also means you need to learn to get work done, as you quickly learn that nobody is going to do it for you. You either take charge and be proactive, and then you find yourself well-placed to achieve much more enjoyment and success from this exciting way of life, or you don’t, and either miss out on work or travel.
You have to be responsible even before you’ve even booked your first trip to work away, as there are so many small things that you need to think about in advance and take care of. Vaccines, accommodation, visas and – all the nitty gritty details of everyday life that it is otherwise easy to forget.
Did you know, for example, that 1 in 6 travellers had to make a claim on their travel insurance in 2016 alone? It’s worth making sure you’re protected for peace of mind alone. You’ll find yourself becoming more organised when it comes to travel (and other things, too!) when you’re a digital nomad.
These are just a few of the personal qualities you are likely to improve on your journey towards being a digital nomad. If you know any more things you stand to gain by such a lifestyle, please let us know in the comments section.