Digital Nomadism and Global Mobility
Most modern businesses have mobile workforces — meaning that some or all of their employees are not bound to a physical work location. Instead, they have the freedom of working in various places and are able to connect with one another through technology. Global mobility refers to the ability of a workforce to seamlessly move from one country to another. If a company has achieved true global mobility, it can have all the perks for their business, as we discussed in our previous article, 9 benefits of employee relocation.
Here, we are going to talk about a particular type of mobile worker, a digital nomad, and some changes that offer both a challenge and an opportunity to Global Mobility.
What is Digital Nomadism?
The secret of ideal work-life balance has been considered, for a long time, to be in remote work. Who doesn’t want to be able to work on the beach, swinging on a hammock overlooking palm trees and the ocean? This idea started to develop in pre-COVID times, and continued throughout the pandemic, allowing many to travel the world while working a full-time job!
We call these people digital nomads — those who aren’t living in one country but prefer to move around the world working online.
Technology is continuously developing, the internet covers the world and many jobs have become available online. Moreover, companies have started to notice a benefit in allowing employees to work away from the office throughout the pandemic. Statistics show a large majority of companies will not force their employees to come into a workplace physically, which means that the remote work trend is on a huge rise.
Digital workers are playing a major role in Global Mobility, as people have been relocating, taking their regular duties with them to new locations. Before, Global Mobility focused on companies that needed to move their employees, but now some people are relocating voluntarily. Many nations have begun to make life easier for digital remote workers, by providing digital nomad visas. This, in addition to staff wanting to relocate themselves, may appear to be a threat to Global Mobility software, because it may undermine the need for assistance when workers can do things by themselves with ease. So does this mean that Global Mobility is at threat? And how does it actually relate to digital nomadism? We will answer that.
Countries that Welcome Digital Nomads
Let’s first take a look at where in the world digital nomads are most welcome. An article from Expertvagabond lists 18 countries that have developed special digital nomads visas. These are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dubai, Estonia, Georgia (country), Germany, Iceland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and (U.K.) Anguilla.
They usually include certain stipulations, however, so if you are just getting started as a freelancer online, you may not be eligible. For example, you might be required to provide evidence of the following:
- Proof of employment that doesn’t rely on geographical location
- A particular amount of proven income throughout the last 6 months or a year
- Health insurance for the whole period of stay
- Housing arrangement
The visas, nevertheless, allow people to work for their company, or freelance, so long as they meet these requirements, and live in the country for a long time (usually at least a year). The benefit of this type of visa is that the nomad is not tied to any employer in the new country, they can continue to work with ease, and there is little in the way of bureaucracy.
A Challenge for Global Mobility?
Such independence could appear as a threat to the need for Global Mobility software. As many may assume digital nomads can take care of themselves, by simply applying for their visa, booking their tickets. So why the need for a GM company to take care of visas, government regulations, taxes…etc.?
It also may appear to threaten some companies’ stability, by enabling their workers to travel, keeping the workplace online. Additionally, it will be harder to convince their workers to relocate to another destination if they have found their perfect new place to live. These issues may be a reason for concern.
An Opportunity, not a Challenge
Here is why that assumption is incorrect and there is still a major role for Global Mobility industries. In fact, this is an opportunity to make relocation even easier, and a way for employees to become more productive for their companies by working where suits them.
Global Mobility companies still need to provide a lot of assistance:
- These visas require various stipulations, and it may be difficult for the workers to prove they meet these stipulations, and this is where Global Mobility software can still come into effect. Not all workers will meet these requirements, and they can cost a lot of money.
- Not only does the visa have requirements, relocating is never just about visas. There are still a wealth of other things for the nomad to consider, which again, Global Mobility software can help with, such as taxes, family relocation, the physical act of moving, and many other things that the nomad may struggle with.
These visas allow companies to relocate their staff to a range of countries easily, and find new remote workers in a larger field, without complicated working visas and regulations. It gives Global Mobility companies a new visa to work with to streamline processes of relocation if the work is something that can be proven to be online rather than offline.
This type of visa, and a probable increase in it, will make life easier for the nomads, companies, and Global Mobility companies too. However, there will still be a major role to play, but at least it gives us something extra to work with.
Wrapping it up, digital nomadism is an integral part of the future of Global Mobility and will need to be taken into account. Companies should support digital nomads, and Clearmove is here to support companies who need staff relocation with our unique software. Clearmove makes relocation abroad easier, faster, and less prone to human mistakes. Contact us to learn more.