Main menu

Stay in touch for more remote team tips

12 sep

Understanding Digital Nomads - And What They Can Do For Your Team

Advancements in technology drive constant change, and they do it fast. This trend leaves more and more leeway for work flexibility.

People's lifestyle, goals, and outlook are no longer the same. The center of the work/life balance shifts towards more independence. Job arrangements demand less physical presence and accommodate some degree of freedom. Remote work is the new black.

These modern tendencies and telecommuting options have given birth to digital nomads. Those are people who like to travel on a regular basis while working remotely. They can work from home, beach, or pretty much anywhere.

 

Who are digital nomads

All digital nomads need is an Internet connection and an open-minded boss. A will and discipline to stay productive without someone hanging over their shoulders. For many, this lifestyle embodies somewhat of a dream. It removes various restrictions. Remote employees are not tied down to a particular physical space or set working hours.

For digital nomads, traveling is a priority. Their flexible schedule accommodates these life goals. Not only that, but it also allows them to build a diverse portfolio of projects in the process. The wide-spread information surrounding destinations propels people's adventurous spirit. Exotic locations offer much lower living costs.

The surge in popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle seems far from over. More and more managers implement telecommuting options. More and more people look for remote work.  It is crucial for companies to take into account the changing work climate and learn how to adapt. Attracting digital nomads should be on companies' radar. Channeling their productivity can enrich an organization's operational model and image. Businesses can benefit a great deal from working with digital nomads.

For this to happen, it is essential to accommodate their simple, yet specific demands. Leaders need to learn how digital nomads think and what they look for in a job. Some more traditional operational models may need to become a thing of the past. To attract this tribe of traveling professionals, modern approaches are necessary. Remote employees and outdated policies don’t go together.

Digital nomads may not be some companies' priority. That doesn't mean remote work and a more work flexible won't lure their current employees away, though. Leaders need to consider adopting changes to prevent that from happening.

 

Flexibility

Work flexibility is the cornerstone of the digital nomad lifestyle. Remote work isn’t limited to physical presence but refers to the working hours as well. Setting a rigorous schedule for a digital nomad would be somewhat of a paradox. Not to mention it would be next to impossible due to time differences.

Still, the question of monitoring digital nomads’ work remains. It's important to honor deadlines, regardless of work arrangements. Work flexibility is a delicate matter.

Companies' leaders might see these as daunting tasks, but they don't have to be. One solution: measure digital nomads’ performance by their input rather than spent time! Doing this makes digital nomads’ work much more transparent and easier to assess. Consider paying them on a per project basis, which adds an extra incentive. Unfinished work results in missing a payday. This way, remote work flexibility will be balanced.

Making sure digital nomads are on the right track is still important. Setting clear and regular milestones is an efficient way to do that. Furthermore, assigning them one massive project at a time makes it hard to envision the finish line. Digital nomads would hence feel their financial reward is too far away.

Setting checkpoints, even if they’re not financial ones, will make the end goal feel closer.

 

Communication

Another key aspect of incorporating digital nomads into your company is communication. Many remote employees consider loneliness one of the main downsides of their lifestyle. Of course, this doesn’t go to say bosses need to set Skype calls to make small talk. Even so, regular video calls and online meetings can go a long way. They are essential for ensuring your team is coordinated and operates efficiently. They are an excellent way to increase digital nomads’ engagement and morale. Reminding them that they are part of something bigger can go a long way. Remote work thus won’t feel like isolation.

Taking into account time differences is important. Figuring out the best way to bring people together is where you can shine as a leader.  Let's say you make it a point to keep track of where your digital nomad employees are traveling.  Take the time to find and send them exciting tips and reads about their locations. This kind of interaction invokes loyalty.

 

Benefits of hiring digital nomads

Digital nomads aren’t one-size-fits-all. Still, it's hard to argue against some of the ways they can help your company. Remote work can be a win-win arrangement.

Telecommuting makes confining a company’s talent search within certain physical areas pointless. Hiring remote employees gives leaders much more options.

Furthermore, many digital nomads target exotic locations with lower living costs. Remote employment can thus prove to be very cost-efficient.

Acquiring better talent at lower prices is only one way it saves you money. An overlooked aspect is the lower real estate needs and environmental footprint.

Those are not only matters of moral outlook. They can influence your brand identity and the way clients perceive you. Socially aware organizations are becoming the new black. Remote work can be almost like free advertising.

Besides, implementing digital nomads into your culture means enriching it a great deal. Remote employees meet all kinds of people and soak different cultures and markets. There is a surge in popularity of coworking and living spaces for traveling workers. Digital nomads encounter other people with from various industries and strides of life. These authentic life experiences can prove invaluable to your company. They can drive genuine insights and diversify your strategies.

Remote work goes way beyond work flexibility.

 

Making the shift

Embedding digital nomads into your workforce doesn’t happen overnight. Neither does the diversification of your operational model and culture.

Figuring out how many of your employees can be remote is a process. Deciding what level of work flexibility you would be comfortable granting them as a leader requires experimenting.

You need to pinpoint the happy medium between remote work and physical presence. You can start by letting some of your team members work from home a couple of days a week. Then, you can hire a remote employee and turn him/her into a full-on addition to your team. You need to analyze the nature of those changes and adjust your strategy as you go.

Understanding digital nomads and identifying the best remote talent is our domain. Get in touch with DistantJob, and we'll take you step-by-step through the hiring of your first remote worker.