Today, remote working is considered a privileged choice. In less than five years, it will be much more commonplace as an increasing number of people will choose to work remotely at least 50% of the time.
And over the next 20 years, remote working and distributed workplaces are likely to be the norm. According to this 2014 article, in a survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34% said more than half their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020; 25% said more than three-quarters would not work in a traditional office by 2020.
There is an inherent opportunity in the growing remote working / digital nomad phenomenon for entrepreneurs to create services and products
One of the most interesting developments of the digital nomad phenomenon at present is the emergence of an early ecosystem.
There is an inherent opportunity in the growing remote working / digital nomad phenomenon for entrepreneurs to create services and products.
If you look closely, you can see that we are in the early adopter stage of what will become a mainstream phenomenon in the not so-distant future.
Around the world, different models are being experimented with to cater to the rising numbers of digital nomads. Below are some of the nascent services and products aimed at the location-independent worker.
Co-working + co-living
“From Bali to Berlin, Niseko to Buenos Aires, we’re adding new retreats, experiences and destinations all the time. You can stay one month, or even string together several cities to create your own personalised adventure.”
Roam is an international network of co-living spaces with spaces currently in London, Madrid, Bali, Miami, Tokyo and San Francisco.
Hoffice is a free service that puts an under-utilized resource to good use — homes that are empty during the day are converted into office spaces. You can either find a Hoffice around you or start your own. This is one of the more creative examples of the sharing economy.
Placestowork.co is a ridiculously simple service that lets you search for various kinds of co-working spaces using your preferred location. Although this works better in bigger cities than smaller, the lists are definitely helpful for anyone in a new city looking for a cafe / space with good Wi-Fi.
5. Remote Ok
Along with Places To Work, Remote Ok is another creation of digital nomad Pieter Levels. It claims to be the biggest collection of Remote jobs for Developers, Designers and other non-technology profiles.
This annual digital nomad conference is organised by Marcus Meurer and Felicia Hargarten, two digital nomads themselves. Apart from the conference which is billed as a networking event for Location independent workers and online entrepreneurs, they also run the DNX camps worldwide. The next DNX conference is scheduled to take place in Lisbon, Portugal on the September 17.
World Nomads is a truly Millennial age service. Insurance is always seen as a necessary evil and not always viewed in a positive light. World Nomads tries to change this by taking a different tack. Offering flexible, online travel insurance aimed at independent travelers, the company goes beyond this service to appeal to the Millennial zeitgeist. It offers a community to connect with and ask questions, a ‘Travel Safe’ advisory blog and, most interestingly, scholarships and a “Change Lives” concept that connects travellers to socially impactful projects in the countries they’re travelling in.
These are just some of the early services that are being created for nomads by other nomads. As an evolving global phenomenon though, the concept of remote working / location independence will continue to throw up a plethora of challenges and opportunities waiting for smart, innovative, solutions.
We will explore these opportunities and challenges in an upcoming post and talk to other nomads about problems, needs and obstacles and what they’re building to solve them.
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