The year 2020 has brought on some untraditional work practices. Many people have become remote workers. Some are exploring being a digital nomad. But what’s the difference and which is right for you?
To start, a digital nomad is a remote worker, but a remote worker is not necessarily a digital nomad. However, both are digital – working through the internet – from a remote location.
According to Global Workplace Analytics telecommuting statistics 2018, there were 4.3 million remote workers in the USA, which makes up 3.2% of the entire workforce.
The typical remote worker may be a freelancer, independent business owner, or work on a virtual distributed team. Remote workers tend to be stationary and mostly work from their home offices, co-working spaces, or coffee shops in the locale of their company.
Things people love about the remote working lifestyle:
- More family time
- Productivity increases due to less office-related distractions
- Reduced transportation costs, vehicle depreciation, maintenance, and wear and tear on vehicle
- Career opportunities open up to other areas of the world
Drawbacks of the remote working lifestyle:
- Loneliness can be an issue for those used to having co-workers around
- Communicating with virtual teams can be difficult to manage for some
- Non-work distractions (cleaning house, watching TV, etc.)
A digital nomad is a type of remote worker who travels while doing their jobs remotely. They are not bound to a specific time or location to work. Think of the as a modern-day gypsy.
Things people love about being a Digital Nomad
- Enjoy flexibility to work wherever they want in the world
- Work when you want
- Travel freely
- No daily commutes or schedules
Drawbacks of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
- May miss the comforts of home that remote workers enjoy
- At times, Wi-Fi can be difficult to obtain in some locations
- Traveling to different time zones can present challenges for some clients
- Acquiring new business and networking can also be challenging
Both workstyles have benefits and drawbacks. It really depends on what’s more important to the individual.