Work from anywhere: What it takes to be a digital nomad

Work from anywhere: What it takes to be a digital nomad

Tuesday September 13, 2016,

4 min Read

What if you no longer had to work out of your tiny cubicle or boring city? What if you could work from anywhere in the world and have a job that pays for it, too? With the technological advancements happening every single day around us, the idea of ‘work’ is continuously evolving. Most conventional offices are already a thing of the past and flexible work schedules are being ushered in with a lot of enthusiasm these days. But what about being ‘location-independent’?


Image : shutterstock

According to the 2016 Deloitte Millenial Survey, the most important things that millenials look for in jobs are flexibility, work-life balance and a sense of meaning from the work they do. This is exactly why we are seeing an emergence of remote workers and digital nomads in almost all industries. Unlike remote workers, who are based out of office or out of the location where their employers are, digital nomads are not based anywhere in particular. They are constantly on the move. They are those intelligent ones who combine work and their passion to travel the world – and no, you don’t need to be a travel writer to do that.

Who can be a digital nomad?

Most of you reading this might have already dismissed this idea saying that it wouldn’t work for you. Marianne Cantwell, career coach, author, Founder of the Free Range Humans concept and a digital nomad herself, calls such people Cubicle Cage Humans. The whole idea of becoming a digital nomad started with the idea of not having “to be trapped to get paid,” says Marianne. “A free range human chooses when, where and how they work,” she says. “They have freed themselves from societal expectations of fitting into a career-shaped cage and now get paid to do what they really want to do.”

According to author and digital nomad Jodi Ettenberg, of, these are a few jobs you can do on-the-rod:

  • Media-related jobs (translator, content writer, journalist, editor, proofreader, technical writer, blogger, photographer, videographer, podcaster, digital marketeers)
  • Finance jobs (e-commerce, product promoter, accountants, insurance agents, online trader)
  • Organisational support roles (virtual assistant, researcher, customer service executive, travel agent)
  • Teaching
  • Computer-related jobs (programmers, database managers, web designers, software developers, software testers, UX designers)

Now that you are armed with a list of jobs that you can pursue while travelling around the world, here are some tips to stay productive while at it.

Keep your connections posted

Let people you work with know at what times you are available for work, meetings and other communication. This will help you manage work communication efficiently and divide your time productively. This will also keep work calls from your team in a different time zone waking you up in the middle of the night and will help you keep up with the work happening at other remote locations as well.

Divide work and play times

You may have freed yourself from rigid schedules, but that doesn’t mean you can go on without a schedule at all. Divide your time in a day for work and set aside time to relax. A digital nomad has the freedom to work for two hours at a stretch, take a five-hour break and then resume his or her work. Whatever be your schedule, make sure that during your work time, you remain focussed on getting things that get you paid done in the best possible way.

Make backups of your work and important documents

When you are on the road, there are many things that are out of your control, so make sure you account for all that. Be it important documents, data or equipment, you must be ever ready to face even the most unpredictable crisis. You may get lost, get robbed, get stranded in a place with no internet or lose your phone. Work out solutions and alternatives for such problems before you set out. You could use cloud space to securely save your data online, carry portable modems and routers for net connectivity, chargers and power banks for your batteries and so on.

It is empowering to be able to work from anywhere and have full control over your schedule. However, do not forget that working from anywhere comes with its own set of challenges. Make sure that you have access to a reliable internet connection, a well-planned schedule and proper backup systems to turn you into a rather productive and efficient digital nomad.