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Fancy working on a beach? The new wave of digital nomads

Are you tired of the nine-to-five routine?

Here we look at how more and more people are seeking an alternative to the rigid working day, deciding instead to pursue a more flexible approach to when, and in particular where, they earn their living.

Reginald Perrin, in the classic BBC television programme of the 1970s, used to put on his bowler hat, kiss his wife and set off for the train to work every morning. It was a routine he came to detest and saw him leaving his clothes on the beach one day and heading off to a new life. These days he could have simply stayed on the beach and done his work on a laptop, joining the growing tribe of digital nomads who are changing the way in which we think of the working day.

The tools of modern technology – the laptop, Wi-Fi, cloud storage and internet communication software such as Skype – are making it possible for many to realise they do not have to sit in an office all day; instead, they can work wherever they choose, requiring only a decent internet connection to set up shop. Particularly popular in the digital and creative sector, the digital nomad lifestyle is also proving attractive to consultants, marketers, professional services providers and even to some in the medical profession.

It is not unusual nowadays for cities to have a facility of some kind for co-working. Walk into one and you will find people working on projects for clients based all over the world. Such hubs are mostly springing up in areas where digital and creative businesses are operating, giving freelance workers the chance to work alongside others, to make contacts and socialise.

Such facilities are allowing the career path to be a well-travelled road, with digital nomads choosing to move around the world, see the sights, enjoy the lifestyle and still work and get paid. The rise of Airbnb has made accommodation widely available and affordable; therefore, nomads are not reliant on hotels but can instead feel part of the community in which they are working. When they feel the urge to move on, it is a simple case of packing up the laptop and setting off somewhere new.

The world of work is becoming more and more portable, with workers in all sorts of sectors enjoying flexibility when it comes to their working hours and location. We have all been on a great holiday and wished we could have stayed a bit longer – perhaps forever – but had to head home and back to work. Digital nomads get the best of both worlds.

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