Although Covid-19 has disrupted the world, not everyone has been affected equally. Across the globe, some countries have managed to flatten the curve, while others are struggling to contain the continued spread of the coronavirus.
As a result, the travel industry is still reeling, and its path to recovery remains uncertain. Depending on where you live, you might be under lockdown, or you can travel freely within domestic borders. Moving forward, countries that have managed to contain the pandemic are more likely to resume international travel with one another. People living in areas with a high incidence of infection will probably have to postpone any travel plans.
At the same time, the concern over health and safety for their employees has led many companies to embrace remote working arrangements. Employers are discovering that cloud-based technology, and platforms such as ServiceNow, which enable swift response to security incidents and other tickets, provide a ready-made infrastructure to support this.
Embracing a lifestyle change
For a lot of people, the convergence of these two trends has meant that their lives have increasingly folded inwards. Their mobility can be restricted on the local or nationwide level. Companies don’t want them taking risks to report to the office for work; instead, they are being given all the tools they need to do their jobs from home.
This has long been viewed as a desirable thing. Employees want better work-life balance; the current situation allows them to spend more time with their families, in the comfort of their own homes. They get to save time and money on transportation.
However, the transition to remote work has had a mixed reception. Many have found that they miss the diversity of in-person social interactions and experiences gained from going out every day. Half of the remote workers surveyed since the pandemic have felt an overall negative impact on their mental health.
The good news is that it’s possible to flip this script. You can take advantage of the changes in the travel industry and the flexibility of remote work to become location-independent. Recent years have seen the rise of the so-called ‘digital nomads.’ And in the wake of the pandemic, seizing the opportunity to adopt this way of working can turn two potential problems into an ideal lifestyle solution.
Combining remote work with travel
Opting for digital nomadism makes a lot of sense in today’s world. If you can work from home, then with a little adjustment, you can work from anywhere. There are startups such as Outsite, which provide co-working and co-living facilities in multiple locations around the world.
You get to combine travel with your day job; the cost of living in another country might be far lower than in the USA. And perhaps most significantly, you can extend your stay in areas where the pandemic has been brought under control.
Still, you have to be able to manage your time. Digital nomads need to maintain the boundaries between work and leisure. It takes discipline to find the right balance. And not all people are prepared for that.
Losing the structure and supervision of the office environment means that a greater share of the burden of ensuring productivity shifts onto your shoulders. You have the freedom to travel as you wish, but you also have to own your work and results.
Testing yourself as a freelancer
Thus, although working from home might not appear to be too far removed from being a location-independent worker, it often requires an intermediate step. Since there are more distractions involved and a greater emphasis on your ownership of work, you might want to test the waters before diving in.
Taking on some freelance work can be the perfect opportunity to hone yourself to the point of readiness. As an independent contractor, you’ll have to exercise your judgment in choosing which projects and clients to work on. You’ll get a better sense of how to juggle multiple tasks and maximize your efficiency at work.
And should you decide to make freelancing your full-time source of income, you’ll also need to determine your rates to offset the cost of living. It’s an excellent way to prepare for balancing your finances when you become a digital nomad and have access to a wide range of leisure and spending opportunities.
Working from anywhere might be the logical evolution of our shift away from the traditional office. But not everyone will be afforded the chance to do so. By stepping up to the challenge, you can join the emerging growth in digital nomadism and get to travel as your work.