Working from home is a preference for a lot of people. As many as 86% of UK employees want to work remotely at least once per week (source hrnews.co.uk). Productivity is better in many cases, and so is wellbeing. This situation is full of positives – no commuting, more time with family, better health, less anxiety, the list goes on. But this shift to homeworking hasn’t worked out well for everyone. There are many spin off businesses that rely on office workers, and times are hard for these, often small, companies. However it looks as if this is not just a trend. Remote workers and now digital nomads are a feature of our future.
The digital age has truly come into its own and businesses and people have adapted brilliantly. All you need is a laptop and wifi and you can work from anywhere. Despite the benefits of working from home, there are other things to consider. If space is an issue then that can be a problem. This has spawned a rise in the home office conversion market with rooms being re-purposed and grandly designed sheds in the garden are now the latest ‘must have’ for those with cash. Housebuilders are designing new homes with studies which are becoming as desirable as a spacious kitchen/diner and an en-suite bathroom.
For those who are flexible with space and not encumbered with dependents and financial responsibilities, the world is their oyster. The rise of the digital nomads is a reality. Those who want to combine travel with work have a great opportunity, once those pesky travel restrictions have gone. Many people are planning to ditch Blighty for a work/life balance in one of the many countries openly selling themselves to digital nomads. Estonia was the first country to declare that internet access is a basic human right, so they’re on the list, although watch out for minimum earning restrictions and an extensive list of terms and conditions. Also on the list are Thailand with established co-working spaces and networking groups, Portugal, Czech Republic and Barbados. It all sounds fabulous.
However digital nomads seriously need to do their homework, paradise is not without its pitfalls. Wifi connectivity varies immensely and what might be brilliant at a local level would be poor by UK standards. Check out your tax position with the Inland Revenue and with your temporary resident country of choice. Read through all the T&Cs, listen to those who have trodden this path. Don’t get sold a dream that turns into your worst nightmare.
Businesses, whether they’re nomadic or not, all have one thing in common – the need for communication and preferably speedy communication. While digital nomads grab their laptops and prepare for their mass exodus they should also check out telephone answering. Really? Why telephone answering? Because if all else fails then your customers will be able to contact you and reach someone friendly and professional who could keep your business alive.
The main benefit is that you have just one point of contact for all your messages. So you don’t have to worry if you’ve missed a call or an email or web enquiry, all your communications can be managed. Telephone answering isn’t just about answering phone calls. It’s definitely worth considering as part of your escape plan. You will spend less time apologising to people and a professional telephone answering service makes you look more professional, it’s as simple as that. The best thing of course is that as a digital nomad you can relax and get the most put of that work/life balance.