I’m Sofia, a peanut brownie lover, and full-time digital nomad! 2 years ago, I decided that life was too short to not fully adapt to the location independent lifestyle and since then, I’ve been working all the way from the mountain tops in Georgia to the night train through Kazakhstan. This is a little something I put together for you to get a clearer idea of what is actually going on inside a digital nomad’s head, a little extra directed to you who are contemplating letting your team work remotely. Welcome to the brain of a digital nomad.
I think there´s something beautiful about building a life in one single place. It’s the path we’ve been taught to walk. You go to school, maybe do a gap year, apply to and go to university, and end up finding that job that you always wanted. Some people like the beauty of a routine in one spot, whereas others like having it everywhere. As a matter of fact, almost 9 our of 10 swedes believe that working remotely is important for them. More and more employers see the benefit of letting their employees have the flexibility to be in control over their own workday and the number of remote workers just keeps on rising.
There are many reasons why I decided to write this from a tiny guesthouse on a tropical island and frankly, I’m just one of a large number of people who feel like geographical flexibility is crucial when we choose where to work. For me, the choice of working remotely is deeper than just the location independence. It’s about having the freedom to create a lifestyle that makes me excited to wake up in the morning. It’s about leaving possessions behind and feeding my life with meaningful experiences. It’s about being able to combine what I love most in the world (traveling) while still maintaining and thriving in my career (yes you can do both!).
With that said, I’m here to share my view on remote work and my top 3 reasons for why it’s the best thing you can do for your team!
1. Encouraging autonomy leads to happier employees
First, let me just break the huge misconception about remote work – the “what if they’re not doing their job?” Well, if people don’t want to work, they won’t do it in the office either. Everyone requires autonomy to some extent, whether it means having the flexibility to go early for your kid’s soccer game or being a full-time remote worker. Studies are even showing that autonomy in the workplace has a positive effect on well-being and job satisfaction. Management isn’t about walking around making sure people do their job, it’s about making sure you’re giving your employees the best conditions to do so. I believe that essentially, we just simply need to recognize that we’re all different and therefore, embrace the fact that people also approach their work differently.
Incorporating self-governance doesn’t mean giving up control, because, at the end of the day, we’re measuring results and not visibility. Give your employees the freedom to do their best job and you’ll reap the awards in the form of increased productivity and improved employee retention.
2. Allowing people to be who they really are, even at work
Happiness is a massive part of our identity here at Jobylon and one of the main reasons why I decided to jump on board. For me, being a part of a team is more than just doing my hours and leaving, it’s about taking part in a culture where it’s okay for me to be 100% me. Even if that means working from a mountain top in Georgia for two months or being flexible enough to take a client call at 9 pm and allow some time in the morning to pursue my passion as a professional surfer (okay that was a hypothetical, not happening dad 🙃).
Imagine running a company where everyone feels like they can be fully themselves and where you can still pursue your hobbies and interests while working. In other words: retaining a healthy work-life balance. I’m far from the only millennial thinking along these lines and are feeding the demand for it! If we’re given a framework where we’re allowed to be ourselves – we’ll do a much better job.
3. Digitalization – the “why not”
We’re walking into a new era where the industrial-age thinking is being questioned and work-life reformed. More jobs than ever are digitalized and fully portable, something that is fundamentally changing the way we work. This isn’t the future that is unfolding, it’s already happening and it’s here to stay. Companies like Amazon and Microsoft are already out there successfully running remote teams. There’s a buffet of tools to help efficient communication across teams (despite different time zones) and time tracking tools specially designed to support remote teams. In a time of wildly spreading viruses, more employees will be forced to adjust accordingly.
Of course, not all jobs are possible to do remotely but I do believe that the main issue is the fear of shaking up the “how it used to be” and dare to try something new. And, employees are already demanding it to a point where 80% of them have said that; when faced with two similar job offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working (2019 IWG research). So, if you’re looking to hire the future workforce. Join the revolution! We’ll welcome you with open arms.