Unless you are one yourself, you might not be familiar with the term “digital nomad”.

Rest assured, you soon will be.

They’re taking over the working world, and you could soon be joining them.

A digital nomad is defined as someone who works remotely and travels at the same time. Before COVID hit the planet, much of that travel was done on a global level, from country to country. For many Kiwi nomads, Asian destinations like Bali or Thailand were popular destinations thanks to the low cost of living but with lower international airfares, the whole world was a potential office. As long as you had a reliable internet connection and a place to work, you could do the business in Bangkok, work in Warsaw, or be productive in Prague.

While the world isn’t quite as open at the moment, there is still every opportunity to be a digital nomad within the not-so-confining confines of New Zealand.  As the classic advertising campaign of the 1980s said: don’t leave town ‘til you’ve seen the country. Now that you can’t actually “leave town”, you might as well see the country and as a digital nomad you can continue to work while you do it.

Pre-COVID, global statistics showed that nearly 25% of all employees were taking the opportunity to work remotely, while the number of companies totally staffed by off-site workers was also increasing. Post-COVID, it’s obvious that the number of remote workers has risen dramatically and given them a taste of working life away from the office. That’s one of the few silver linings about COVID – it has shown employees and employers that the conventional office space is not necessary to maintain output. If anything, it improves it.

Studies have shown that remote work can lead to increased productivity, with Stanford University research suggesting that digital nomads are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts, and take fewer sick days as well. This is probably connected to all the advantages of working away from the office; a better work-life balance, lower stress levels, and no or reduced commute to name just a few.

Moving from place to place as a digital nomad takes the flexibility of remote work one step forward. As we’ve said, all you really need to become a digital nomad is a reliable internet connection and a good place to work. Coworking spaces offer both, and with enterprises like ours now commonplace all over the country, it is possible to travel throughout New Zealand to mix business with pleasure. And soon, with any sort of luck, that combination could be enjoyed worldwide.