The Rise of the Nomad

Over the last two years, remote work has exploded. Absent the need to be in the office, many people have incorporated exploring new places into their work routine. I talk to founders regularly. During first calls, I’ve started asking where they’re calling from. Paris, one founder responded this week.

How we work won’t go back to pre-2020 norms anytime soon, if ever. This got me thinking about the intersection of vacation and work. Historically, people have scheduled vacation time to spend time away from their office and home city. During quarantine, many people camped out and worked remotely in new locations outside their home cities. From anecdotal evidence, it appears this trend is continuing.

How people work has changed for sure. But I think where people work will also change. I foresee some people early in their career (or without attachments) adopting more of a nomadic lifestyle. The line between work and vacation will start to blur a bit. They’ll spend a few weeks or months working remotely from a location that interests them or where they have community. When they want a change of scene, they’ll go to another location for a similar amount of time. They’ll have the opportunity to learn about new cultures or places, build or strengthen relationships, etc.

I think the people doing this now are hacking it together on their own. Going forward, I see an opportunity for employers to gain a recruiting advantage by supporting and even encouraging this work-from-wherever approach. I also see lots of entrepreneurial opportunities to help the nomads make the best of their experience.

I’ll be paying close attention to this trend this year to see how it unfolds.