On Thursday the 1st of March, DocuDoka Amsterdam hosted a session on Digital Nomads. At the beginning of the event, the movie “One Way Ticket” was showed, after which a panel discussion took place.
Julia Schegelmilch, one of KIN’s PhD Candidates wrote a paper on Digital Nomads and the Future of Work, together with Marleen Huysman, Svetlana Khapova and Evgenia Lysova. You can find the abstract here.
Anastasia Sergeeva was asked to join a panel discussion on the question “‘Is Nomadism too good to be true’?”
Together with several others they discussed the different pro’s and cons of digital nomads. While digital nomadism is often lauded, there are also several downsides. For the digital nomads themselves, traveling from place to place means that it can be difficult to sustain meaningful relationships with people. Another, more complex consequence of digital nomadism is the fact that these people often do not pay taxes in the countries they are traveling. So while they do contribute to local economies, it is questionable what the real economic consequences are. There are obviously no easy answers, and hence there was a lively discussion. As an organizational researcher, Anastasia Sergeeva also emphasized that it remains to be seen whether digital nomadism is “here to stay”. We do not know, yet, if this is a temporary hype, or if organizations are truly adopting digital nomadism as the new way of working.
Digital Nomads and the Future of Work
The nature of work is changing and digital nomadism is emerging as a new way of working. Digital nomads are professionals who use information and communication technology to achieve location-independence and, to varying extents, combine working with traveling. Through a 25 months qualitative study of highly mobile digital nomads, this article investigates how a new generation of professionals works and lives. Our three main findings are that digital nomads strive for independence of work and life, engage in a community of like-minded others to create sense of identification and continuously establish and break down temporary structures of working and living. This article ties digital nomadism to three main conversations in the literature of work, namely work design, work identity and identification, and changing places of work. We draw on our findings to suggest avenues for future theory building and research.