Liam Ryan

The Rise of the Digital Nomad Workforce in the Everywhere Workplace Era

By Liam Ryan, Vice President, Sales for APAC, Ivanti

There is a “digital nomad” movement gaining momentum.

Way before the pandemic hit in 2020, technology savvy individuals have been travelling across the world working from almost anywhere as long as there was stable Internet connection.

The proliferation of affordable Internet access via Wi-Fi, video conferencing tools and digital devices have made the digital nomad lifestyle possible.

A nomadic future is rising

Navigating the pandemic has caused businesses to compete, create and collaborate in more ways and in more places than ever before. Allowing employees to work from anywhere, much like what digital nomads do, can benefit organisations in more ways than before as they adapt and thrive in the new normal.

No longer limited to local talent, enterprises can have access to a global talent pool. At the same time, there are new and expanded opportunities for the workforce, with greater choices in where and how they offer their skills.

Today, hiring practices can focus more on the person, not the person’s location. That’s a big change from even a year ago, when location was a significant factor in deciding who to hire.

Organisations have been quick in adopting the everywhere workplace principles as the shift to remote work has justified cost reduction in real estate and enabled broader searches for talent outside the borders.

A significant perk of having digital nomads on staff is that they report a higher rate of job satisfaction than other workers. That’s good news for retention of talent in what is currently an employee’s market. Embracing digital nomads could be the ticket to filling all of the open positions in the organisation.

The dawn of the everywhere workplace era

In Asia, 77 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed said employers should be more flexible when it comes to requiring employees to go to an office. Those that are currently employed would prefer to be working from home when the pandemic is over and all restrictions lifted.

Similarly in Malaysia, seven out of 10 Malaysians said hybrid work arrangements would increase productivity and creativity.

Studies have validated the fact that employees in general have found ways to thrive in their remote environments and would prefer to have the freedom to work from anywhere moving forward.

Companies are using the cloud more than ever to store data and enable their employees to embrace a hybrid work model.

Hybrid workforces provide employees with the flexibility to not just work where they want to, but additionally to work in the manner that they choose to. Enterprises need to embrace this, particularly with the younger generation, and understand its impact and include a model that facilitates such flexibility.

This flexibility can be an effective recruiting tool for organisations, but with this flexibility it is vital to ensure that proper security protocols, training and technology are implemented to protect against cyberattacks.

As enterprises enter the next phase of work in which there will be both remote and hybrid employees, in addition to on-site employees, it is imperative that organisations put in place structures, policies and technologies to support their entire workforce no matter where they are located, in order to stay competitive and profitable.

Security strategy and policies must be implemented and refreshed regularly so as to protect digital assets and intellectual property. This will help ensure employees can securely access the data they need to stay productive, regardless of where they choose to work from.