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How to become a digital nomad?

The values pursued by digital nomads are freedom and flexibility. Outsite, a community of inspiring locations for flexible workers offers several addresses in Europe - Lisbon, Porto, Biarritz - and continues its expansion.

A few days before staying with Outsite, guests are welcomed by a community manager and invited to join a WhatsApp group with the hosts of the moment. Being part of a community and being invited to experiences offered by other members allows to meet different cultures, to enrich the experience.


What problem does it solve?

Being a digital nomad is not a value proposition in itself. Nomadism raises the question of the meaning of face-to-face work. As the philosopher, Julia de Funès, aptly describes it, working for the sake of work doesn’t make sense. Working for a living makes sense. Telework and nomadism are changing our relationship to work, giving it back its rightful place. Work is domesticated and life takes precedence over work. It becomes a means at the service of life and not the other way round.

There is a certain theatricality of face-to-face work in open-plan offices. It always feels good to walk around the office with a filing cabinet under the arm. Which takes up some mental fuel. There’s also the question of the meaning of daily commute, especially for an activity that doesn’t require to be present on site. Does nomadism make one happier? In the sense that it allows to broaden horizons, to go out, it certainly contributes to happiness. At least, the need to belong to a community is satisfied.

How to become a digital nomad?

Nomadism comes from the United States, which has a growing number of freelancers, of which a minority of nomads. In Belgium, only a lucky few generate enough self-employed income from a blank page. An opinion shared with Emmanuel Guisset, founder and CEO of Outsite, a Belgian living in Santa Cruz when he’s not travelling. The easiest way to become a nomad is to have a hybrid employment, provided the activity allows it, whereby employees or freelancers would work remotely for four days a week, one week a month, one month a year. Companies may follow the example of Salesforce, Facebook and Twitter: all are in the process of establishing remote work, partial or full time, for the profiles that allow it. The Netherlands voted a law obliging employers to accept remote work if the employee requires it, for roles that allow it.

Practical advice on how to become a digital nomad

Try to identify the activities of your business that can be digitized. Start by using tools that make it easier to work remotely such as Google Workspace on desktop and mobile. A Google Slides can be shared via a link and it’s entirely collaborative. Digital is an iterative process: a project can be improved upstream, in increments, in particular when considering user experience.

If you are travelling, consider having travel insurance. There are insurances for nomads. Make sure to seek comfort. Co-living spaces are made for nomads, have high-speed Wi-Fi connections and all the calm needed to concentrate.

Don’t hesitate to continue training yourself, to expand your skills. Take risks but don’t put yourself in danger, test and learn. Digital transition is gradual. Inevitably, your digital transformation will have an impact on that of your clients.