We used to clock in at 9am on the dot and head for home by 5pm, but the way we work is changing. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that keeps such rigid hours. Instead, we’re opting for greater flexibility to work whenever and wherever we’d like. In 2016, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely and that number is on the rise. As remote work becomes more popular, a new trend has emerged. Digital nomads, employed adults traveling while working, are taking remote work to the next level; and this tribe is growing quickly.
In a recent study conducted by Hostelworld, 62 percent of US citizens said they would consider working remotely while traveling abroad if their company would support it. Digital nomads have a unique opportunity to meet the world without sacrificing their career. But how do you make your digital nomad dreams a reality? Here are four simple steps to follow:
Step One: Assess the Benefits
Before you take your career on the road, take a moment to consider the benefits and decide whether you are fully committed to making the most of your time abroad. It’s important to understand what you stand to gain from this experience and weigh that against any challenges you might encounter. Throwing yourself into a new environment while maintaining a career may not be easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally.
US citizens who have worked remotely while traveling abroad report a number of benefits including the ability to explore new places, learn about a new culture, meet new people, boost creativity and beyond. Integrating travel with work can lead to newfound inspiration and a fresh perspective. Whether you’re in need of a new adventure, a change of scenery or a chance to expand your network, working remotely while traveling offers an opportunity to grow that simply cannot be replicated in a traditional office environment.
Step Two: Approach Your Employer
While some companies may already have remote work programs in place, others will need a bit of convincing. Approximately one third of US citizens who play a role in hiring at their company said they would support remote travel programs and an additional 35 percent said they would consider it depending on the situation. Whether your company embraces the digital nomad movement or not, you’ll want to approach your employer with a plan of attack. Where will you be traveling? Can your role be carried out remotely and how will you meet daily job requirements? How will coworkers be able to contact you? How does this benefit the company?
The good news is that 71 percent of US citizens report being equally or more productive when working remotely. What’s more, nearly 70 percent of those who have worked remotely while traveling said they were just as productive if not more productive during that time period. Ensure your employer that travel will not hinder productivity. Instead, it’s a chance to elevate daily work and foster new opportunities.
Step Three: Plan Your Adventure
With approval from your employer, it’s time to start planning your digital nomad journey. Whether you’re interested in spending a month in a single city or a year traveling across Europe, there are a number of programs—such as Nomad List, Remote Year and Hacker Paradise—that can foster great remote work experiences. And these programs aren’t just for millennials. In fact, it’s older generations that are most interested in applying to formal programs that support remote work while traveling. Those between the ages of 45 and 49 are twice as likely to express interest in a remote work program.
It’s also important to establish a budget for your journey. The most common concern when working while traveling is having the financial resources necessary to fund the digital nomad lifestyle. Rest assured that you’ll maintain your normal income, and may actually be able to live on a tighter budget abroad than you could at home. For example, hostels offer extremely affordable accommodations and open social spaces, so you won’t need to budget for an office space.
Step Four: Make the Most Out of Your Journey
Finally, don’t forget to put your travel experiences to good use, specifically on your resume. Integrating travel into your daily routine gives you the opportunity to build a richer life experience that shows off critical skills like confidence, creativity, communication and beyond. Just over 73 percent of US citizens who bring up travel experiences during the interview process report that it had a positive impact on the recruiter’s decision. So don’t be afraid to leverage your digital nomad journey throughout your career.
It’s getting easier and easier to maintain your career while traveling the world. With this growing trend of Nomad Work, employers are becoming increasingly comfortable with employees exploring other cultures while on the job, they’re even starting to support it! So get out and explore, you no longer have an excuse not to meet the world.