Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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Digital Nomad Lifestyle Julia Haking
ICT can work around or completely eliminate obstacles, such as overcoming geographic isolation, increasing market access and using the internet as an empowering knowledge source (Castells, 2009). This is a development that made it possible to work ‘anytime, anyplace,’ and shaped the world of work in new and different ways while broadening the horizon of space and time (Nelson et al., 2017). Digital nomads utilize the freedom of ICT, and may contribute to ICT diffusion as well as increased productivity, performance and innovation in less developed parts of the world. Similarly, the acceleration of online resources and activities motivate the trend for decentralization and the spread of value creation, which make proximity and cities less relevant to the path for self-sufficiency (Kamphuis, 2017; Valenduc & Vendramin, 2016). This acceleration increases the probability of submerging in nature and improving work-life balance, vastly demanded among digital nomads (Johns & Gratton, 2013; Woolsey, 2017). MacKerron and Mourato (2013) reveal that happiness is greater in nature than in cities, which connects nature to wellbeing.
As internet access becomes standardized, the digital nomad lifestyle is more viable, which is a major contributor to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 – Build a resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Deficiencies in internet access increases the discrepancies between poor and rich, men and women, and deprived communities and everyone else (United Nations, 2017). However, ICT alone is not the solution for underdevelopment and poverty but is part of a synthesis of sound government policies, infrastructure investments and enhanced workforce skills, which can actualize ICT’s full potential. This explains why leading-edge technologies have enabled growth in countries with functional markets, supportive regulatory and policy frameworks, consistent and clean power, affordable and accessible connectivity networks, technical knowledge, support systems and skilled users (Kramer, 2007). These conditions are essential contributors for overcoming obstacles to economic opportunity and for individuals who want to embrace a digital nomad lifestyle.
2.2 Transitioning into a knowledge society
Narrowly defined jobs3 that have careers that are formed around procedural and singular tasks are successively being replaced with robotics, while digital networking governs complex communication and advanced pattern recognition (Lee, 2017; Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2012). Nevertheless, humans dominate the physical domain, as well as problem solving4 thus pure knowledge work (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2012). Digital nomads perform knowledge work and are often from societies that, according to Melnikas (2010), have the following conditions:
• Nurturing social, political, economic, cultural and mental assumptions that form a critical mass and ensure the spread of values and domination that are typical for a knowledge society. They foster a sufficient and high level of creativity to enhance innovation.
• High levels of social comfort and material welfare for triggering societal breakthroughs.
• Economic potential that is inevitable for knowledge discovery.
A knowledge society is a continuation of progress and change from previous areas of social, economic and technical development, which guide global transformation and sustainable development processes (Melnikas, 2010). Human capital is the core of a knowledge society that stimulates innovation, productivity and job creation (International Labour Organization, 2017).
3 For example, cashier and chauffeur
4 Forward thinking mental abilities and the creative scene
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