The office grind is dead. Long live the digital nomad lifestyle. The sales pitch certainly has plenty going for it. Why get up at the crack of dawn, waste an hour struggling through traffic and then spend a day in an office staring at a computer screen, when you can get up when you like, do some yoga on the beach, then settle down by the pool or in your favourite little café staring at the same screen and doing the same work?
Surely, it can’t be that clear-cut, or everyone would be doing it and the major roads around London, New York or Amsterdam would be deserted wastelands. Let’s take an objective look at the pros and cons.
The freedom of the nomadic lifestyle
Work the hours you want or need to work, and go wherever you want to go. As long as there is a WiFi connection, the world is your office, and in the brave new world of 2018, getting online is no problem in all but the most remote locations. That flexibility extends even to your commitment to the nomadic lifestyle. You can choose to give it up and go home whenever you want, convert some of your best photos to artistic creations like the ones here, and have memories that will last a lifetime, with no harm done.
Inspiration drives productivity
Let’s face it, sitting in an office, or even working remotely from your home in suburbia is not the most inspiring experience. It certainly doesn’t come close to being based in a new place, surrounded by the sights and sounds of a completely new culture. Digital nomads often work in creative sectors, and the environment can serve to boost inspiration and productivity.
At home, both your domestic expenses and your monthly salary are pretty much set in stone. That’s OK as far as it goes, but the digital nomad lifestyle gives you far more choice over both. Living costs are often significantly lower, but for those with money to spare, there is the option to live a more lavish lifestyle. On the other side of the equation, the more hours you work, the more money you earn, it’s that simple.
So what are the downsides?
The work/life balance is a challenge for any remote worker, and when travelling, it doesn’t get any easier. Fear of missing out is a major factor – if you’re working, you’ll feel you should be enjoying your surroundings, and if you’re exploring, you’ll feel you should be working.
Getting to know a new location also takes time and effort. At home, you know how to sort out the WiFi, pay the electricity, do your laundry. Suddenly, the most everyday task becomes a challenge that can take hours instead of minutes.
Perhaps the biggest downside, though, is that feeling of not really being settled. Humans have a nesting instinct, and not having a permanent base can leave you feeling disconnected, particularly if thoughts turn to starting a family.
Of course, it doesn’t ultimately have to be an either/or. The nomadic lifestyle offers a wealth of opportunity and experience. But if you ultimately decide there’s no place like home, you know exactly where it is.
This post has been provided in collaboration with Hello Canvas.