Flexible hours, no commuting needed and able to work from anywhere are the best perks of being digital nomads.

Digital nomads are individuals who work remotely from wherever they live and travel. They often use public spaces like cafés, co-working space or using the Internet to support their work.

digital nomads travel the world while working

Travelling is a big part of a digital nomad’s lifestyle. Digital nomads can be bloggers, designers or developers.

Digital nomads: millennials next wanted work-lifestyle

I’ve discovered that more and more companies have started to apply a ‘no-office’ policy, which means the company does not have an office and work fully nomad.

A San Francisco-based startup,  Buffer, closed down their office and went a full remote-mode in 2015. Buffer has an incredible disperse team that works from around the world.

Thus, the cost rent goes to a company retreat, where the company schedules a face-to-face meeting of the whole company and allowances for employees who want to work from cafés or coworking space.

Even though many companies might not have the gut to close down their offices and turn fully nomad like Buffer, many start-ups have become part-nomad and allowed their employees to work from wherever they wish.

Work-travel-life balance

In the beginning of this year, I worked remotely as a web content manager for a London-based travel start-up for a few months.

Apparently, the idea of ‘working remotely’ wasn’t fully understood by the whole society. When I had this job, some of my families and friends were not quite sure about what exactly a digital nomad is. My family thought that I was unemployed and friends often ask whether I’ve tried to apply to corporates yet.

Just like other digital nomads, I travelled, worked from cafés and relied on the Internet a lot.

Digital nomads live and work at the beachWhen I stayed in Bali, I spent my mornings doing Yoga on the beach and took a morning walk before getting back to my laptop and work. I’d finish around the sunset time and enjoyed the rest of the evening with friends.

If I happened to be in the city, I’d rather go to a café or rent a space at a coworking space instead of working from home.

However, there were also times when I was stuck at home working the whole day and switched to ‘do not disturb’ mode for a while.

What I learned from living a digital nomad lifestyle

As a digital nomad, it is important to know when is your productive hours. It can be in the morning, after lunch or late at night. Make sure you work on those times and use your other time to do less crucial tasks or you can also use it to explore the world and do your hobby!

My top challenge living as a digital nomad was getting into routine and building habits. I basically had no mornings and nights cause every time felt the same anyway. There were times where I was far behind my work because I travelled too much and couldn’t get back on track. Thus, I’ve learned how to make schedules, build daily routines and stick to it.

I worked with amazing colleagues in the company, however, we were all dispersed in many time zones, from London, Russia, Thailand to Indonesia. Therefore, it is important to keep your communication in line with each other. Skype was basically our office. It is a place for us to meet and discuss.

 

networking is a big deal as digital nomads

Being a digital nomad means that you might not have a colleague in the same country where you reside. It makes me realised the importance of networking. Making new connection doesn’t always necessarily need to be about work and serious stuff. Maybe join a green community or hang out with some travellers?

Why did I quit from being a digital nomad?

After a few months, I decided to quit and started a regular job in the city. I had such a great time with the people, the company and the lifestyle. However, I have a certain career plan that I would like to pursue.

Today, my weekdays are full of meetings and going to the office is unavoidable. Though it said that my current job offers some flexibility in terms of office time and working places, working in a corporate isn’t as free and relaxing as being a true digital nomad.

Will I come back to the digital nomad lifestyle? No one knows how the future holds.

Author

Alifa is a marketing graduate and currently building a career in a global consulting firm. She loves to write about her life, passion and struggles of being a 20-something millennial. When she’s not writing, she enjoys beaches, ice coffee and binge-watching Scandal.