Hey developer! Do you work remotely, but the view outside your window is uninteresting? Well, move your ass! You have plenty of opportunities to change that landscape to a sunnier one. You won’t be the first and only one. There are already more than 35 million Digital Nomads around the world. The most popular destinations? Bangkok in Thailand, Lisbona in Portugal, and Canggu on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Employer – developer like remote!
Ernst&Young’s „EY 2022 Work Reimagined” survey shows that 72 percent of employers intend to implement, or have already done so, a temporary work policy in a location other than their home location.
74 percent of employers say their companies are prepared to hire talent from any country and accept that they can work from anywhere in the world.
What does it mean to be a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who works remotely but is constantly traveling the world from place to place. This is facilitated by technology – portable devices with wireless Internet access. Laptop, tablet, and smartphone are the tools of his work. People are choosing the digital nomad lifestyle because they want to be able to work remotely, away from corporate offices.
The number of digital nomads has increased significantly in the last three years. Abrotherabroad.com reports that there are currently more than 35 million of them worldwide. If the global digital nomad community were a country, it would rank 41st in terms of population. Just behind Canada (37.7 million citizens) and Morocco (37 million).
Who are digital nomads by profession?
Digital nomads are most often professionally involved in marketing, programming, design, writing, and eCommerce. They account for 51 percent of all professions reported by digital nomads. 83 percent of them are one-person businesses. 17 percent of nomads are employed by companies through remote work.
Developer move from offices to beaches
Offering employees flexibility and the opportunity to become digital nomads can be a competitive advantage for companies. This form of work is becoming increasingly popular especially in the broader IT industry, but not only. Companies that have not implemented a policy of nomadism risk losing their best specialists today.
Why then, dear developer, do not take advantage of this convenience? All the more so since many countries, wanting to attract people with the most desirable professions in today’s economies, have introduced so-called digital nomad visas. We emphasize that this is not the same as a tourist visa.
Digital nomad visas
Why developer should you apply for a digital Nomad visa?
Firstly, a classic tourist visa gives us the right to stay in a country for a limited time. Let’s remember. Visa-free travel for EU citizens under the Schengen Agreement only means that we can stay in another EU country for up to three months. After that, we must apply for residency.
Secondly, the Digital Nomad visa allows highly skilled workers to enter and stay in a country for between 90 days and a year. With the possibility of an extension.
Worldwide, visa facilities under this model are offered to developers, among others, already in more than 40 countries. Many others have introduced facilities for nomads. In Europe: Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain, and Norway.
Here’s where developers are working: 6 locations
The nomadlist.com portal provides the most up-to-date information on the location preferences of digital nomads. According to the latest data, the top places to live and work rated highest by nomads include:
- quality of life and work at a very high level, access to high-speed internet (average: 29 Mbps), acceptable cost of living ($2166 per month), high rating of nomad community, rich leisure activities, „non-winter” temperature (28 C in January), high level of security.
- the quality of life and work at a very high level, high-speed Internet access (average: 30 Mbps), high cost of living ($3382 per month), very high rating of nomadic community, rich leisure opportunities, warmer than Poland at this time of year (16 C), very high level of security.
Canggu – Bali, Indonesia:
- the quality of life and work at a very high level, high-speed internet access (average: 27 Mbps), low cost of living ($1887 per month), high rating of nomadic community, rich leisure activities, temperature (29 C in January), high level of security.
Buenos Aires, Argentina:
- good quality of life and work, miserable internet unfortunately (average: 4 Mbps), acceptable cost of living ($1,928 per month), high rating of nomadic community, rich leisure opportunities, hot (30 C in January), an acceptable level of security.
Chiang Mai, Thailand:
- the quality of life and work at a very high level, high-speed internet access (average: 29 Mbps), ideal, low cost of living ($1320 per month), high rating of nomadic community, good leisure opportunities, ideal temperature (24 C in January), high level of security.
- the quality of life and work at a very high level, high-speed Internet access (average: 31 Mbps), acceptable cost of living (2014 USD per month), high rating of nomadic community, good leisure opportunities, temperature good for work (19 C), high level of security.
Polish cities rank well in this ranking:
- 28 is occupied by Warsaw, 43 by Wroclaw, 51 by Gdansk, 57 by Krakow, and ahead of such locations as Zadar in Croatia, Antalya in Turkey, Cancun in Mexico, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Phuket in Thailand or the British capital London and Australia’s Sydney.
These are your challenges as a developer
First: the legal aspects of residency
What challenges and difficulties are lurking for the developer-digital nomad? First of all, the need to take care of the legal aspects of your presence in many countries. This is a basic prerequisite for embarking on a multi-month work tour. Combined with employment and location, this creates stressful and often unfamiliar challenges for budding digital nomads.
Second: meeting deadlines
When we are on the road, we must remember to meet deadlines at work. We also have to make sure, we secure enough contracts and that we pin down our own finances. This usually ends up in remorse over arranging days off, rest, and exploring the country we are currently in. The constant search for work-life balance often makes us feel that we are either working too much or too little.
Let’s remember developer, that as digital nomad, you are not super hero. You also need help to cope with the problems we face. These include illness, accommodation problems, faulty equipment, financial difficulties or mental health, and loneliness.
Working remotely abroad may seem like a dream job for pursuing professional dreams, but it can seriously stress us out if we don’t have the support of family and friends. We are also fully dependent on technology. We need working smartphones, chargers, and laptops at all times. And we always need to have them with us.
This you gain
Being a digital nomad provides a lot of freedom and flexibility. Working remotely, we are free to set our schedules, choose our working hours and enjoy traveling around the world.
Leading the life of a digital nomad, we gain an excellent opportunity:
- to reduce overall expenses by analyzing the cost of living in different countries;
- and moving to cheaper places.