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Should You Be Location Independent or a Digital Nomad?

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Independent or a Digital Nomad

Remote working – the virtual office and virtual teams – is the new normal. It’s a workplace reality embraced by a standard working arrangement for businesses worldwide. But did you know there are different options of remote working you can choose from?

So would you rather be location independent or a digital nomad? The two may sound the same, but there are specific differences that you must consider before making the leap to remote working.

Here are the benefits of each to help you choose the right work lifestyle.

What is location independent working?

First and foremost, becoming a location independent doesn’t mean you have to travel overseas to work.

For example, if you work for a company with an office in Sydney but you live in Murwillumbah you can establish your home as a satellite office where you can work. Location independent working is an ideal situation if you live far from your company’s head office if you have a dependent at home who needs regular attention or if you’ve recently moved a tree change.

The environment you work in – such as the colors used, relaxation spaces and ergonomic design – is scientifically proven to affect your productivity. For anyone who is location independent, designing your own workspace can lead you to be more productive than if you had to head to an office every day.

4 benefits of being location independent

Low overhead costs

If you’re running your own business you don’t have to rent an office space or a desk. You just need a computer and an internet connection, which means you get to keep more of your earnings.

Freedom and flexibility

When you work from home, you can plan every day the way you want to live it. You can also schedule around family or social commitments, exercise, and hobbies.

No need to commute

Instead of commuting to work for 2-3 hours a day, you can spend that time doing your work.

Work in comfort

You don’t have to wear a uniform or business attire. Though you could work in your pajamas, wearing what you would deem as work clothes during business hours is a good mental stimulus to be productive at this time, rather than wearing what you’d usually relax in.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a person who travels to new destinations on a regular basis, whilst maintaining a regular workflow. The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming a popular working option amongst millennials, with several co-working organizations offering tour packages for young people who want to travel whilst they work with like-minded groups.

6 benefits of being a digital nomad

Travel and adventure

You get to see new places, meet new faces, and experience other cultures. You can work in different settings in different countries, such as from a high rise in Buenos Aires or from makeshift desks while backpacking in Asia.

Make the world your home

When you’re always on the road, you’ll start to feel at home anywhere in the world.

Complete freedom

You don’t have to worry about commuting, paying a mortgage and the bills, or cleaning your own home. You won’t be tied down by anything or anyone.

It’s good for your health

Being able to choose when and where to work can reduce stress and improve your quality of life. You can work in the morning or at night and take a break/nap, exercise, or pursue a hobby whenever you want. You can also decide to work in a coffee shop or in an exotic locale, wherever you work best.

Discover yourself

Leading a less material lifestyle and having to make decisions frequently about work and travel will help you learn about what you truly value.

Go where your spouse goes

If your spouse gets a new job and has to relocate, you can go with them and still keep your job.

How to choose a lifestyle that suits you

Data from the Choose Workplace Report reveals that flexible working hours is the most important benefit of the modern workplace for 67.5% of surveyed Australians. 58.4% of respondents nominated work/life balance as important, while 23.3% said remote working was an ideal benefit.

Being location independent or a digital nomad offers these benefits. But to determine which lifestyle suits you, ask yourself things like:

  • Do you love to travel?
  • Do you want to stay at home?
  • Do you have children?
  • Can you be away from home for extended periods?

Once you’ve chosen a lifestyle, you can maintain a work/life balance by choosing a remote company that allows for flexible working arrangements and using that to your advantage. For example, set a time for work and for life (family, friends and yourself).

What’s right for you?

If you want to work from anywhere and travel the world, you should become a digital nomad. But if you feel more comfortable working from home and only travel every once in a while (or even never at all!), then you should be location independent. It’s all about choosing what works best for you.

Shayen de Silva is a senior digital marketing consultant specialising in search and content marketing at Web Profits. His role working in the competitive space of content marketing allows him to use out-of-the-box thinking to create content strategies that will attract customers to his client's business online.

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