Thanks to an endless wave of online storage devices and innovative ways of connecting to the internet, remote working has never been easier.
I for one have definitely started to edge towards what people are calling a ‘digital nomad’ – someone who does what they do for as living, in non-specific locations. Plus the way I see it, continued economic uncertainty means that more British workers than ever, including marketers and accountants, will be looking to embrace freelance life and explore different ways of working in future. After all, there are no business boundaries in the connected era.
Fueling the trend
As I’ve already alluded, innovation is fueling the trend. Advances in communication technology mean the days when everyone needed a physical desk or expensive, rented office space to set up in business are long gone.
More and more workers are managing to carve out successful careers, operating remotely from wherever they feel like settling down and getting connected. Whether it’s a beach in south-east Asia or a back bedroom in Burnley, the world really is our oyster!
Cutting down on commuting could be seen to have an environmental benefit too.
Being a digital nomad is all about using the power of the web to do our job, and to make a living; whether this is blogging, online marketing or running a business via the web, etc. etc. etc.
But as well as the power of the web, it is the coming together of a string of other interesting technologies, and the rise of a consultancy style of worldwide working, which is making the digital nomad lifestyle possible – and so appealing.
All you need is a half-decent laptop with enough battery power to work effectively, a reliable Wi-Fi connection and somewhere to store data – and you’re good to go!
Gadgets like battery-powered Mi-Fis can now be used to create mobile Wi-Fi hotspots – which can be accessed by several devices at the same time. And the rise of Cloud Computing and advances in secure web hosting have had an important part to play too. There has been an explosion in the number of free, online storage services – allowing you to back-up data as you work.
Dropbox, Adrive and Microsoft Skydrive are just some of the devices allowing you to maintain and protect information online without charge, while Google Docs and Microsoft Office® Live will let you view, edit and share your documents online. As well as developers, computer manufacturers themselves have been quick to acknowledge – and respond to – the growing trend.
I read somewhere that laptop sales have now passed the 1 billion mark, and I’ll wager digital nomads have had a large part to play. This is why companies such as Dell are already hosting sites dedicated to mobile workers.
Okay so when I’m working remotely I may miss the office banter of my marketing colleagues, but with instant messaging, email and Twitter I can still stick my two penneth worth in! Plus I can smugly play the CSR card.
Now back to my beach hut, to start work on my next assignment…
Steve Porter, Accountants’ Team