The new tribe that will change the world of work

Digital nomads are a growing tribe, projected to become dominant among knowledge workers. They are people who take advantage of the digital revolution to build their professional development in a single concept: the application of technical knowledge from anywhere and at any time. In fact, it’s not a new group segmented by their age, but by an acquired competence that they turn into a competitive advantage.

They are also known as knowmads, a term that was born in 2011 by the hand of John Moravec. The concept is a neologism that combines the words know and nomad.

The key concepts of digital nomadism

If we could define the members of this tribe by three key elements, they would be the following:

  • Relocation.

    Who would not like to work from a paradisiacal beach. Or, being less ambitious, from a second residence, 3 days a week, avoiding the long lines on Friday or Sunday afternoons.

  • Geo-arbitration.

    It’s about becoming rich without being rich. Something that a large part of digital nomads get. How? Well, getting income from more expensive places and living in cheaper places An extreme example would be to get a job in a technology company in San Francisco-USA (with a per capita income of $ 65,000) and live in Chiang Mai -Thailand- (with a per capita income of $ 17,000).

  • Minimalism.

    Another of the main concepts associated with digital nomads. By their desire not to live anchored to a fixed place, they tend to travel through life with less things and do not acquire long-term commitments, such as mortgages.

Actually, the application of the three previous concepts frees these people from the burdens and they can make decisions with greater freedom. As a result, in the development of their professional careers, they may choose to start their own business projects (start-ups, for example), but also to stay in “traditional” organizations. Let’s see …

Digital nomads working for others.

One option is to change jobs (and be able to even work less). In fact, there are platforms that allow you to find jobs remotely (such as We Work Remotely, Angel List, Remote | OK or Remotive, among others).  If you can maintain your income and reduce your fixed and variable expenses by living in a cheaper place, you can save the differential or simply work fewer hours and do things that you could not do before because you did not have time. It’s about making that permanently postponed fantasy come true. Therefore, they tend to have dominant values ​​such as innovation, curiosity, intuition, proactivity and are open to learning and unlearning quickly. They become entrepreneurs of their own life. What sounds good?

Another option is to keep the previous job, renegotiating its conditions, and dedicate more time to the family or to parked hobbies. It is the option that will have the most development in our country, where few can abandon everything, catch a plane, and go to live on the other side of the world. These people, usually with a more mature profile, choose to leave their homes in a European city, with a high cost of living, and work from a village. Nowadays, good communications allow you to live 200 km from your company’s office, if you only have to go there on time (say, one day a week).

You can get a home for a lower price, take your children to a school where they grow up, surrounded by the values ​​in which you believe (and if necessary, with online reinforcement classes) and live the lifestyle you want to live. As Howard Thurman used to say: “What the world needs is people who have come to life.” We are not facing a utopia, it is something that is already happening. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many towns in Spain have seen the number of registered people grow.

‘Nomad friendly’ companies.

Companies are beginning to perceive that these professionals are here to stay. As a general rule, they are people who can decide on their own career path and who they want to work for. It is a very valuable talent for any company. For this reason, its emerging values are beginning to be taken seriously into account by headhunters, HR departments or scale-up entrepreneurs. If a company wants to have access to them, it must adapt its corporate culture to those dominant values, beyond the application of remote work.