“Digital nomad,” “remote workforce,” “work-from-anywhere office” are all mainstream terms thanks to the disruption of 2020. Professional choices that were once regarded as subversive or radical for mainstream 9-to-5’ers have broken business norms and offer many workers a new way to have autonomy over their schedule and location. WFA has also become a bargaining chip and recruiting tool for organizations that are hungry for top talent.
I am interested in how this trend continues to evolve as we collectively move through social, digital, and personal transformation. This week, Forbes published a piece by Jack Kelly called “The New Trend of Wanderlust, Work-From-Anywhere Digital Nomads.” Kelly predicts that the hybrid work model — offering two to three days a week and working the rest of the time remotely — will be the new standard. These trends all point to a more specialized, niche digital nomad.
The top three new trends according to Forbes:
- Blueground Nomads. Blueground is a protech company that wants to reinvent how people live and work with its rollout of a program called “Blueground Nomads.” Thie entails providing 4,000 fully furnished apartments in 15 cities for remote workers. The value proposition is a corporate apartment to ensure safety and consistency (including professional interior design) that is move-in-ready and has the tools need to work remotely. The other value proposition? Personal transformation is a result of experiencing and living in a new place.
- Leaving the big city for a remote, exotic locale. This trend skews toward white-collar workers who have abandoned large metropolitans for rural and coastal destinations. Several countries, including Barbados, Estonia, Bermuda, and Georgia, encouraged Americans to visit and stay. The Movers and Shakas organization in Hawaii was created as a direct response to the hard-hit tourism industry during 2020; the organization sought to recruit long-stay remote workers who would actively contribute to Hawaii’s economy. Movers and Shakers is currently taking applications for its second cohort.
- RV lifestyles. RV-road tripping is no longer just for retired parents. Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation are all finding ways to downsize and live in an RV year-round and travel nonstop. This has created an economy and a career approach like the Escapees RV Club, which “work full time or part-time from the road — doing anything from camp-hosting to writing to software development, and everything in between.”
People are ready to review live-work-play with fresh eyes and perspective, whether craving structured, thoroughly vetted apartment living in a new city or hitting the open road in an RV. 2021 and beyond no longer seems like a status quo rooted in generational tradition; it’s filled with many “choose-your-adventure” paths. The difference is that now there are enough players to effect real and lasting change to radical career ideas.