After nearly two years of adjusting to working from home, we’re starting to see a drive for employees to return to offices. In fact, occupancy levels recently hit a high of 27.5%, the highest since COVID first began spreading in March 2020.
Although businesses may continue to encourage their workers to return to offices, many of them have found a more hybrid working arrangement beneficial to their productivity and overall happiness.
With these positive changes, it’s understandable that we aren’t ready to say goodbye to working from home. In our article we lay out how the option for flexible working is changing the way they view their lives outside of an office, and how some are capitalising on the prospect of moving even further afield.
The growing popularity of work staycations
Throughout the pandemic, a majority of our time was spent in our homes. But with restrictions now lifted, we were able to live life a bit closer to what we knew.
As of December 2020, a Huawei survey found that 10% of UK workers had taken a ‘work staycation’ – a holiday away from home in which they still worked. The change of scenery is enough to refresh our minds during the working day, with the opportunity to explore a new area after logging off.
Now that most restrictions have been lifted in the UK and many travel restrictions have also been eased, many of us are looking further afield.
Digital emergence of nomadism
With this new freedom, some of us have begun exploring locations to live and work without being hindered by distance. Digital nomadism, where people travel to a new country while working remotely for a company in their homeland, is on the rise, and it was reported that in 2021, there were 35 million digital nomads worldwide.
This enthusiasm has seen a number of countries all over the globe, including Greece, Germany, Mexico, Barbados, Thailand, and Italy, launching digital nomad visas. Some digital nomads are using standard tourist visas because their employment isn’t tied to their new country, but these new visas offer longer stays and specific allowances for remote working.
In fact, a survey showed that 27% of the adults said they’re thinking of working from abroad in 2022, with nearly half of the respondents stating that their environments have the biggest effect on their productivity. 58% of those planning to work from abroad in Europe said it was to improve their work-life balance, while 44% are looking to trade in their everyday views for something new.
The profile of a digital nomad
With there being so many of these nomads, who and where exactly are they? Well thanks to this statistical breakdown from Nomadlist, we can see that a large number of them are aged between 29 to 35, with a surprising 58% of them being in full-time employment.
Many of these nomads work within the world of software development, with 4 of the top 10 careers for nomadic men and 3 of the top 10 for women being within a software or development sector. One thing men and women can agree on is the city they frequent, ranging from New York, Paris, Berlin, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Barcelona.
Despite the globetrotting, 80% of digital nomads will settle in one location for between 3 to 9 months, and 66% will post up for 3 to 6 months. The main benefit of the nomadic working lifestyle is freedom and flexibility. Whether it’s a few days, weeks, or months, you can be packed up and ready to move at a moment’s notice.
Want to give it a go?
For a lot of us, packing up and moving to somewhere sunnier for any amount of time is the dream. We know, though, that it’s not viable for all of us.
For example, if you’ve got kids, it’s not feasible to uproot and move at a moment’s notice. What’s more, going full digital nomad is the most expensive of these options, meaning it’s limited to people in especially strong financial positions. If you’re young with the financial means to jet off to a new country to fulfil your digital nomad dreams, we say go for it!
Having family located in different parts of the UK can be a great little trip away with the kids for a short holiday. Getting away from your own four walls will help to stimulate you and your children mentally. This can reinvigorate you even while working, so you don’t have to take time off work to enjoy a vacation with family.
You don’t even have to have children; being around loved ones without the fear of missing out on annual leave allowance is a fantastic freedom. Even a longer stay with a couple of days off work can do you the world of good – research shows that short breaks away from work can be better for our mental health than longer breaks with a “big” holiday. Mini-breaks give you a chance to pack light – a smaller travel bag complete with light clothing and a crossbody bag for days out will do perfectly!
Hybrid working is becoming a new norm to adjust to thanks to the pandemic. Whether we’re taking a work staycation for a week or we’re swapping the UK for a sunnier climate, we’re making the most of the opportunities afforded by working from home.