Aquent, one of the largest staffing firms for marketing and creative industries in the US, has released the results of its Future of Work 2022 survey.
Digital Nomad Transcends Remote Work
According to the survey, the future of work lies in full flexibility for employees. Whereas hybrid has been touted as the work form of choice for a long time, fully-remote work has completely exceeded all limitations of both hybrid and on-site options.
There’s more to it than enabling remote work, however. Employees are increasingly showing interest in becoming digital nomads and leading a “location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle allowing one to travel and work remotely.”
Out of the 3,500 Australians surveyed, 60% stated that they wanted to work as digital nomads in the next one to three years. Of those, 50% claimed they’d prefer becoming a digital nomad in a 6–12-month timeframe. Most participants in the survey are marketing, creative, and development talent, i.e., a group of people who should have fewer hurdles in the way of becoming digital nomads.
Digital Nomad-Friendly Policies
However, as the survey finds, employees don’t really care whether it’s too much of a bother for a company to set up a fully-functioning infrastructure that enables remote work — it is the expectation.
“To meet employees’ expectations, companies need to be prepared, with digital nomad-friendly policies and procedures in place, along with the infrastructure to allow work to be done anywhere,” the survey finds.
Of those digital nomad-friendly policies, the global location flexibility, a formal contract, paid insurance, integrated workflows, and established work hours are among the top five policies that surveyees asked for.
When asked about flexible work policies that would contribute to work-life balance the most, surveyees listed full flexibility (on-site, remote, or hybrid), flexible hours, a 4-day work week, unlimited vacation, and annual office shutdown periods.
Company Culture Without Location Bias
The competition between companies offering remote work is getting steep, as 80% of employees looking for a new job say that they’re looking for one that lets them work from anywhere. For companies looking to reduce turnover rates, it means building an infrastructure that supports remote workers and makes them part of the company culture.
“No matter how you slice it, the unyielding popularity of remote work means that it is here to stay. This survey is essential in determining how to ensure our remote workers thrive,” said Alex Kenning, managing director at Aquent in Australia.
One of the major issues companies need to solve is convincing young professionals that a digital nomad’s life won’t negatively affect their career progression. In other words, companies need to have a culture that goes beyond on-site conversations and opportunities.
As the survey so eloquently puts it: “Today, the organizations that will attract and retain the best staff will have a culture without location bias, where employees can be confident they can enjoy rich life experiences while achieving their full potential and career aspirations.”
That’s the true meaning of a digital nomad and a creed to live by for all companies touting full flexibility.