Working office on the road: Joining the digital nomad movement

By TAVEL EDITOR | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM

WE’VE all heard the term grey nomads, but a new group known as digital nomads has evolved as a result of the COVID pandemic.

By 2035 more than one billion people around the world are predicted to be living and working as digital nomads as advances in technology, remote working and workplace culture continue to grow.

According to predictions, this global nomadic workforce, capable of plugging in anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection, will make up one in every three employees.

There are already 35 million digital nomads worldwide, with the trend being driven by technology, growing demand for flexible workspace and the increasing adoption of hybrid work.

I joined this growing movement in Australia recently, setting up my office in the annex of my caravan at Budgewoi Caravan Park. It is a fabulous way to work, but I have drawn up a list of essential ‘needs’ if you want to do it successfully.
What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a remote worker who travels and works simultaneously, visiting locations nationwide and worldwide, working from beaches, coffee shops and coworking spaces.

Some digital nomads only travel for a few months and others do it for years. Research suggests that 80% of digital nomads prefer to stay in one location for three to nine months.

Office advisory service Instant Offices has ranked almost 80 locations on affordability, weather, broadband speed and more to reveal the best places to be a digital nomad in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, over half the cities analysed in the top 60 are in Asia. Cities like Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong offer captivating travel experiences, scenery and food alongside stellar connectivity, infrastructure and a manageable cost of living.

Bustling metropolises across Central, East, South, Southeast and Western Asia are perfect for digital nomads who want to explore some of the world’s most iconic business centres and enjoy a continent full of exciting travel opportunities and sights.

Demand for flexible office space in places like Singapore and Hong Kong is high as more people look to new ways of using workspace, meaning you can easily find creative coworking spaces, meeting rooms and serviced offices to work from as you travel.

Connectivity is also second to none. Singapore boasts the fastest average broadband speed in this ranking, at 256 Mbps, while Jakarta has more than 97,000 wi-fi hotspots across the city.

Top cities for digital nomads in Asia:

Rank |  City | Country

1 Bangkok, Thailand
2 Seoul, South Korea
3 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
5 Delhi, India
6 Hong Kong, China
7 Beijing, China
8 Jakarta, India
9 Kathmandu, Nepal
10 Shanghai, China
11 Singapore
12 Taipei, Taiwan
13 Istanbul , Turkey
14 Tokyo, Japan
15 Hanoi, Vietnam
16 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
17 Osaka, Japan
18 Jerusalem, Israel
19 Kyoto, Japan
20 Manila, Philippines

Neighboring countries in Asia-Pacific also feature high on the list for digital nomads, with Australia and New Zealand both offering plenty of coworking space, delicious cuisine, travel opportunities and probably most appealing of all, unparalleled sunny weather.

Travel while you work

Trends in commercial property reflect the general movement towards increased workplace flexibility. .As the role of the office changes and flexibility increases globally, more people will be able to travel and work virtually anywhere.
Market forecasts show flexible workspace as a proportion of the total office market will grow from 5% to almost 13% by 2025.

Market forecasts show flexible workspace as a proportion of the total office market will grow from 5% to almost 13% by 2025

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