What is a Digital Nomad?
There are many names to describe someone who works from home—remote worker, telecommuter, and, most recently, digital nomad.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people have transitioned to remote work, but digital nomads are the laptop-toting, world-traveling workers who have been around since long before the pandemic made remote work the norm.
Human habits and lifestyles have begun to change, especially after the pandemic. When COVID-19 and the need for social distancing began in 2020, it seems to have accelerated the growth of the remote-working model and the increase of the digital nomad lifestyle.
Due to the pandemic, there has been a systemic shift towards working remotely, so it’s not surprising that the digital nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular around the world as people continue to discover the possibilities of work freedom.
Both employees and self-employed workers are realizing that they can have both a reliable, steady income and the freedom to travel. Factors like the evolution of digital technologies have also affected the way that we work and the ways that companies are hiring.
So what exactly is a digital nomad?
Merriam-Webster defines a digital nomad as “someone who performs their occupation entirely over the internet while traveling.” The term digital nomad consists of two parts: digital, which means online work, and nomad, which means an individual who constantly changes locations.
Digital nomads are remote works that travel domestically or overseas, using the internet to keep them connected to their jobs and co-workers. These individuals often work from public libraries, coffee shops, or co-working spaces, embracing the flexibility of creating their own work schedule.
Some digital nomads tend to stay in the same place for weeks or months at a time while others change cities or countries more frequently.
As a digital nomad, you might be working from a home office one day, a coffee shop the next, or even under a beach umbrella in Florida or Hawaii. What’s not to love about that? There are many types of digital nomads out there, some travel by van or RV and others fly from city to city when inspiration strikes.
Types of Digital Nomads
Overall, a digital nomad lifestyle can be very rewarding, as it allows people who love to travel have a period of time living life on the road and seeing what the world has to offer. There are three different types of digital nomads in the workplace:
- Corporate Remote Workers - These digital nomads are more like the traditional remote worker, except for the fact that they travel often while they work. These workers are employed by a company that allows or requires them to work from home, giving them a steady income while traveling.
- Freelancers - These digital nomads have one or more online jobs that can be completed remotely, such as graphic design or copywriting. In this case, the digital nomad is providing services for clients that can change frequently.
- Entrepreneurs - Some digital nomads also pursue a life of travel while starting their own business, typically online.
According to a MBO Partners research brief, the number of digital nomads with traditional jobs rose 42% to 10.2 million people in 2021 while independent workers grew by 15%. 70% of those people work full-time.
The main reasons for the rise in digital nomads, aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, are the improvement of internet speeds around the world, the growing acceptance of remote work both full-time and freelance, and the appearance of co-working spaces around the world.
Two of the most important factors to consider for those that are interested in becoming a digital nomad—job and location.
Common Jobs for Digital Nomads
Working as a digital nomad can be an opportunity for you to see the world without giving up your career goals.
Remote work may be becoming more and more common, but that doesn’t mean everyone fits the digital nomad lifestyle. There are remote opportunities across many industries. However, there are some jobs and careers that are more fitted for the digital nomad lifestyle due to flexibility and possibilities for success.
There are multiple ways to earn money while getting a tan in Hawaii or exploring the deserts of Arizona. From graphic design to translating, you can do anything that can be done with an internet connection. Here are some of the most common digital nomad professions:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Customer Service
- Graphic Design
- Human Resources
- Mobile App & Software Development
- Project Management
- SEO Consulting
- Social Media Management
- Video Content Production
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Design & Development
Where Do Digital Nomads Stay?
As a vacation rental manager (VRM) or vacation rental owner, this is where you come in. As a type of traveler that is relatively new to the space in the last decade, we don’t often think of digital nomads when defining our target audiences—but we should.
As a traveler that tends to stay in one place for a month or more at a time, they are the perfect audience for monthly vacation rentals. From tropical destinations to bustling cities like Phoenix or Miami, digital nomads are everywhere, and you should be promoting your vacation rental properties to them.
As a niche vacation rental listing website that specifically targets vacation rental monthly stays, Monthly Rentals by Owner is a vacation rental listing website that promotes monthly vacation properties to digital nomads and all other monthly vacation guests. Partnering with a monthly-focused vacation rental website guarantees exposure to audiences that are specifically searching for monthly stays—and even multi-month or seasonal stays.
By 2025, some studies estimate that over 35 million Americans, more than 22% of the workforce, will be remote workers. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are choosing a location-independent digital nomad lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, and you need to be marketing your property with them in mind.
See below for vacation rental properties perfect for the digital nomad:
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