Is the 9-to-5 Work Week Dead? Why the Digital Nomad Lifestyle is Taking Over
According to Microsoft’s Remote Work Trend Report, the 9-to-5 workweek is probably on its way out. Instead, more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads — working from home or anywhere they please on flexible hours. There are several reasons for this trend, but the main one seems to be that workers don’t want to be chained to their desks for the same 40 hours (or more) a week.
What is the digital nomad lifestyle?
A digital nomad works remotely while traveling from one destination to another. Their work locations can vary from hostels and co-working spaces to cafes or even the beach. A digital nomad may have one full-time job that they work on most days of the week, but digital nomads also have multiple jobs. For example, one might be a freelance writer who also teaches yoga.
The digital nomad lifestyle can be pretty liberating. You’re not tied down to a certain place or schedule, and you can work from anywhere with an internet connection. This also means that you can travel as much as you want (or need) without worrying about taking time off from work.
How did the 9-to-5 workweek come about, and why is it no longer as popular as it used to be?
The standard workweek was established in the early 20th century when factories needed workers to come in at a particular time and stay eight hours each day. This schedule worked well enough until computers came along and changed everything.
Today, most jobs don’t require someone to be present from nine-to-five every day physically — they need access to their computer and internet connection. This has encouraged many people to start working remotely or “telecommuting,” as it’s sometimes called.
The pros and cons of the digital nomad lifestyle
There are many advantages to being a digital nomad. You can work from anywhere in the world and don’t need permission or approval to take time off when you want to travel. There’s also less pressure on you as an employee because your employer doesn’t know what else is going on with your life outside of work hours (unless they follow your social media accounts).
There are also some disadvantages, however. You might feel isolated if you’re working alone all day long with no human interaction. You’ll have to be self-motivated because no one looks over your shoulder to ensure that tasks get done on time. This can make it harder for some people to stay focused when working at home. Also, suppose you work from a coffee shop or another public place with WiFi access. In that case, there’s always the risk of someone hacking into your computer and stealing personal information like banking passwords.
Why the digital nomad lifestyle is taking over
Technology is another reason why the digital nomad lifestyle is becoming more popular. Improved communication and collaboration tools have made it easier for people to work remotely. With just a laptop and internet connection, you can do almost anything that you would be able to do in an office setting.
The other reason is that many people no longer want to be chained to their desks for the same eight hours a day. Instead, they would rather have the freedom to work from anywhere they please, without worrying about office politics or water cooler talk.
The digital nomad lifestyle is still in its early stages, but it’s definitely something to watch in the years ahead. As more and more people discover the benefits of working remotely, they’ll start looking for jobs that allow them to do so. And eventually, the traditional nine-to-five workweek may become a thing of the past.
How to become a digital nomad
If you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad, you can do a few things to make it happen. First, start by looking for jobs that allow remote work. Many websites can match you with telecommuting and freelance opportunities.
Second, get yourself some reliable internet access. This could mean signing up for a mobile hotspot from your phone carrier or buying an external modem to use at home. You’ll also want to ensure that you have access to the internet in any other location where you might work.
For example, if you plan to work at a coffee shop, make sure there’s one nearby with free WiFi access. Finally, make sure that your employer is okay with you working remotely before quitting your current job or asking for a new one.
Jobs that allow you to become a digital nomad
Many jobs allow you to work remotely and become a digital nomad. Here are a few examples:
- Freelance Writer – If you’re good with words, there are plenty of opportunities out there to write for websites and publications.
- Customer Service Representative – You can work from home if you have an internet connection and a phone line.
- Virtual Assistant – A virtual assistant helps with administrative tasks such as email management, scheduling appointments, or organizing files.
- Web Developer – If you’re a web developer, many companies are willing to hire remote workers.
- Social Media Manager – A social media manager oversees a company’s social media accounts and creates content for them.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other jobs that you can do remotely, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
The bottom line
For some, the digital nomad lifestyle is a dream come true. However, the world needs more digital nomads willing to take risks and explore new places while learning about themselves and others through their work. If you’re looking for freedom and independence in your work life, this might be just what you need to get out of an unfulfilling 9-to-5 job.
There’s no better time than now to start taking steps towards becoming a digital nomad yourself! Do you think you can work as you travel or be more productive working from home? Share your thoughts about the digital nomad lifestyle down below.
Catherine is president & executive director of 20four7va, a global eCommerce virtual assistance service provider. She is into strategic planning, product development, brand management, and digital marketing.