Is the boom in digital nomadism just behind the corner?
More and more employers positively assess remote work. Does this herald a boom in digital nomadism?
Workplace 4.0, a term first introduced in 2015 by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), is becoming a standard as we live in an age of remote and flexible work. The workplace is no longer chained to the desk but rather to a series of technologies associated with digital transformation. As a result, organizations are more boundary-less, agile, global, and transparent — and will be even more so in the future. In addition, specific technologies of Industry 4.0. has changed the way work is done. They include mobile, Cloud, Internet of Things, Big Data Management, and Artificial Intelligence, to name a few.
But where is the beef?
The most significant advantages of remote work for employers include cost savings associated with owning and maintaining office infrastructure, engaging qualified employees, especially from outside the company’s location and increased flexibility of operations and business services.
Digitalization of work
According to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” report, in 2020, 84% of employers planned to digitize the work process rapidly, an essential element of which is the spread of remote work. Employers estimated that 44% of employees would permanently switch to a remote working model. In addition, approximately one-third of employers anticipated taking steps to strengthen the sense of community, connection, and belonging among employees using digital tools.
Leading the change
Among the challenges of managing employees in a remote work environment, one can highlight the need to change managers’ approaches to organizing practical work, supervising work, operating performance, and enforcing results.
Companies whose organizational culture is immanently oriented towards remote working and digital nomadism achieve greater employee efficiency. Therefore, a transparent performance management model that values the result more than evaluating the activities and time spent on a task becomes essential,says Antoni Kozelski, CEO of Vstorm.
It is also a challenge for H.R. departments, as particular emphasis has to be put on internal communication and information flow within the team and on managing employee motivation and engagement.
Digital nomads in the U.S.
And what does it look like on the American market? According to MBO Partners 2021’s “Digital Nomad Search Continues” study, 15.5 million U.S. workers now identify as digital nomads, increasing 42% from 2020 and 112% from pre-pandemic 2019.
To sum up
Digital nomads are not subject to a single definition. Still, all choose to combine remote work and travel, taking advantage of the digitization of work and the advances of the fourth industrial revolution. Some digital nomads have traveled for years, moving regularly across countries and continents. Others are nomads for shorter periods, returning to only one country in stages. Will digital nomadism catch on among IT workers? COVID-19 and the global pandemic have accelerated and reinforced existing remote and flexible working trends. Industries like IT are ready for it, and the shift in employer attitudes toward remote work will foster solutions that impact employee well-being and motivation.