Beyond FDI: Seizing the telework opportunity
The coronavirus has forced countless people around the world into full-time telework.
- DFK news
- 16 September 2020
The coronavirus has forced countless people around the world into full-time telework. But, for many knowledge workers who don’t need face-to-face interaction, telework has become a choice whose popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds. And a number of them don’t actually stay home – they move across time zones, looking for nicer climates in low-cost locales, settling for months on end wherever their heart's desire and Wi-Fi allows.
These location-independent workers, also called digital nomads, are roaming with their laptops from Bangkok to Lisbon, Ubud to Mexico City, Taipei to Belgrade. Their criteria for where to settle down are many: cost of living, safety, weather, local food, etc. The one thing that doesn’t influence their choice is the location of their employer or, in the case of freelancers, their clients. As long as they can get online, they’re good to go.
It’s hard to say how many digital nomads there are out there. In the US, the annual State of Independence study by MBO Partners puts the figure at 7.3 million people in 2019, rising year after year. Many belong to the tech or creative industries, such as writers, programmers, designers, and e-marketers. But anyone who doesn’t need a physical presence to do their work is a candidate for this lifestyle. And the trend is expected to grow.
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