The so-called “gig economy” continues to thrive in Australia and throughout the developed world, particularly in a strained economic climate where people are looking for ways to boost their earning potential.

This is borne out by the numbers, which reveal that some 250,000 Aussies are part of the burgeoning gig economy, the majority of which use it to access side hustles as a way of supplementing their primary source of income.

This number includes ‘digital nomads’, who often work remotely while remaining mobile and even travelling across the globe in some instances. But how can you become a digital nomad, and what are the best methods of earning while on the move?

What is a Digital Nomad? 

Simply put, the term digital nomad describes flexible and remote workers who frequently travel to different locations.

Largely employed through the gig economy and operating in primarily digital roles (such as copywriting or web design), digital nomads will work in public spaces such as libraries or coffee shops.

They may also frequent co-working spaces or utilise hot desks, while relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities such as laptops or smartphones.

Outside of the gig economy, it’s estimated that some 34% of remote employees now spend up to four or five days out of the office. This number will only increase in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and shift to hybrid working, creating a huge number of digital nomads who are embracing a new, exciting and entirely flexible work-life balance.

With these points in mind, the term digital nomad is quite broad and can include a diverse demographic of people, from freelancers and global travellers to remote workers who are able to spend much of their time at home.

How to Become a Digital Nomad

Becoming a digital nomad can be easy or challenging, depending on precisely what this term means to you.

For example, it may simply mean you arranging to spend more time working from home with your employer, especially if you have a single job and aren’t too engaged with the gig economy.

However, if you intend to freelance and work completely remotely while travelling, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The most obvious is that you’ll need a skill or talent that enables you to make money remotely, whether you write copy for different brands or buy and sell international currencies as a forex trader.

In terms of technology, you’ll need access to a reliable laptop and smartphone, in order to complete work and communicate regularly with employers or clients.

Ideally, you’ll also need a stable and reliable Internet connection, which may also influence the location that you intend to work from. For example, major cities tend to have the best and most extensive network coverage, while they’ll also be home to large nomad communities who can offer further support and relevant amenities.

If you intend to travel prolifically and are required to use notoriously unsecured and unreliable public networks, there are couple of steps that we’d recommend.

Firstly, consider investing in a paid and trusted VPN client, as this will create ‘virtual private network’ through which your data and files are shared through a secure and encrypted tunnel. This negates the risk of hackers who often target public network, while minimising the risk of potentially harmful malware attacks.

Also, try to invest in an Internet dongle, which can provide a backup and remote Internet connection when you need it the most. This will help you to avoid costly downtime and loss of productivity as a nomad!


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