15/01/2021

Digital nomads – new normal?

Lately, we have been seeing the term “digital nomad” more and more often. It is a delusion if we think that these are just bloggers who travel to exotic places, click a couple of times on the computer, and earn millions overnight. A digital nomad is also one who simply works from home online.

At first glance, the digital nomadic world is dominated by IT, marketing, and communication professionals, as well as those who offer creative services such as writing or graphic design. But if you dive deeper into the subject you will discover a community with work experiences as diverse as their nationalities: there are voice actors, accountants, lawyers, virtual assistants, event planners, life coaches, business development managers, recruiters, translators, consultants, and more.

And while technology giants like Twitter are moving more permanently to remote work, other large and small companies are expected to follow suit, paving the way for a post-pandemic rise in digital nomadism, insider.com reports.

According to a survey conducted by infostud.com last year, it can be concluded that more than 60 percent of companies in our country have introduced work from home as a temporary or permanent measure for at least part of the employees.

When it comes to the impact of work from home on the motivation and productivity of employees, 47% of employers believe that they did not notice a difference in the work of employees, while 41% of companies think that their workers are less productive, and 70% of employees say that when working from home is no less productive.

In more than a third of the surveyed companies, working from home remains an option for at least part of the employees even after the epidemiological situation has completely calmed down. Companies from industries such as finance and insurance (71% of them), IT (69%), contact and business centers (75%), and FMCG (75%) will continue to practice more flexible working conditions after this crisis from home for their employees.

At the same time, as many as 54% of candidates even after the epidemic would like to work in combination, and 16% would like to continue working from home, while 30% of respondents still decided only for office work.

With the first signs of a pandemic in Serbia, Simple Task decided to completely switch to working from home, for the health care of its employees. According to a recent survey we conducted within our company, more than 80% of employees would like to keep it as a benefit. Here is what they listed as other benefits:

 

Saving time

saving money

They do not have to crowd in public transport and waste time on arrival and departure. They do not fall into traffic jams on the roads. They have no problem finding a parking space. As our employees come from all cities in Serbia, for some it saved them time for driving in both directions. That brings us to the next benefit.

 

Saving money

saving money

This way, they can save money on travel expenses, not to mention the privilege of a home-made and hot meal.

 

More flexible working hours

flexible working hours

In Simple Task, we had the possibility of flexible working hours even before the pandemic. And now colleagues can save those hours that they usually waste on getting ready for work and coming to the office and staying in a warm bed a little longer.

 

More efficient and productive work

productive work

With time savings and more flexible working hours comes more effective work, because now colleagues can dedicate themselves to more projects simultaneously and have more space to work with clients because they are better focused.

 

Technical equipment

technical equipment

Simple Task provided all its employees with the necessary equipment to work from home, from a laptop to a comfortable chair, which is another positive circumstance for working from an armchair.

 

The future of business

future

When we researched about IT trends in 2021, which you can read here, we concluded that our employees see this as the leading trend in the world and that we should strive to better adapt to this way of working because we can expect in the future even greater digitalization and automation. 

 

Spontaneous jokes with colleagues and this kind of sociality are what they point out that they miss the most, but they compensate for it by sharing knowledge in the form of webinars and soft skills workshops, as well as forwarding interesting music playlists and internal IT jokes to maintain team spirit and socializing.

 

We asked some of our digital nomads from Simple Task to share their out-of-office experience with us:

 

Marko, can you tell us where you are currently working from?

I work from Belgrade.

 

How does such a way of working motivate you?

In my opinion, when someone engages in this type of work, communication is essential. Remote work with poor communication is what worries employers, which is why they didn’t take it as an option in the previous period before the pandemic.

 

How do you keep in touch with colleagues from the company?

Primarily through projects. Another way is through Slack or Skype groups (for example on Slack we have a channel #memes where each of us can hang memes to cheer up colleagues with good humor). And sometimes I also write to others on my initiative to get in touch, to see how they are, and sometimes I share my favorite playlist or interesting relaxing music that I found.

 

Do you believe in this way of working in the future?

Of course. What I would just like to emphasize is that office work also has its charms and I can say that I sometimes miss it.

 

What do you think is the biggest lack of work from home?

Physical contact with colleagues. Nothing can compensate for direct contact with colleagues and making friendships through work.

 

marko

source: from private archive

 

Milan, where are you currently working from, and from where did you work last year?

I am currently in Serbia and preparing for the trip to Costa Rica. Last year, as you know, was not very suitable for travel, but I managed to visit San Francisco, Miami, Mexico, Croatia, and Italy.

 

source: from private archive

 

How does such a way of working motivate you?

When it comes to working outside the office, I like the most flexibility, in the sense that I can organize my time on my own. Additionally, since I travel and work, a big part of the motivation is the opportunity to meet new cultures and tour new places.

 

How do you keep in touch with colleagues from the company?

Slack, Zoom, Skype, Gtalk. Whichever platform is suitable at a given time.

 

Do you believe that this way of working in the future?

Work outside the office for sure. Maybe not as an obligation, but as an option. Working on the road is already a personal choice 🙂

 

What do you think is the biggest lack of work from home?

The flexibility that this kind of work brings can be dangerous because sometimes you lose the feeling when it’s time for work and when it’s time to relax and enjoy. It takes a lot of discipline for this balance.

 

And finally, what advice would you give to younger generations who are just planning to become digital nomads?

Becoming a digital nomad is not as difficult as it sounds, and the reward is a huge life experience. But before that, try to find a secure collaboration, because that kind of security is essential for being able to work from anywhere in the world.

 

source: from private archive