Gone are the days when a successful career meant being tied to an office desk, Monday through Friday. In fact, the International Workplace Group (IWG) found that 70% of global professionals work remotely at least once per week, showing a clear shift towards telecommuting and remote work over desk-based work. The rise of freelancers, location-independent business owners and companies, increasingly supporting remote work, means individuals are free to travel in new ways – such digital nomad retreats, a rapidly growing travel trend.
What is a digital nomad retreat?
Digital nomad retreats, or co-working retreats, are increasingly growing in popularity, with more and more companies offering this as a travel experience. Flexible in nature, attendees can join for a set amount of time, generally two weeks or a month, and split their days between working together, networking and learning, and traveling throughout the destination.
Retreats often provide accommodation, access to WiFi and a dedicated co-working space, with some even arranging activities and meals. Although a retreat can be held anywhere, popular locations tend to be in more affordable cities such as Bali, Lisbon, Cape Town and Mexico City.
What are the benefits?
“Traveling with a built-in community offers the best of both worlds – a chance to go beyond the borders of the office, whilst feeling supported and encouraged by other like-minded people,” says Michele DiLisio, founder of digital nomad retreat PACK.
Participants in retreats set their own schedule to balance work and play and can step out of their comfort zone into a new, often overseas, environment. It’s also a great way to overcome loneliness, which is common when operating as a freelancer.
Why is it a travel trend to watch?
“This generation is one that values experiences over things,” explains DiLisio. “Fewer of us are saving up to make large investments and would rather book a flight than get a mortgage. Many of us crave more meaning in our lives, more connection with others, and new ways to lessen the strain of routine. Also, new technology is making it infinitely easier for us to access new people, places and opportunities, including travel.”
For workers able to perform their jobs anywhere in the world, tourism is transitioning into a blend of work and travel, with faster technology, video conferencing capabilities and global connectivity allowing for an connection with the workplace at anywhere, anytime.
Work-life balance is changing, and the travel industry is altering its options to meet the demands of travelers who are seeking new ways to explore the world.
Retreats aren’t just attracting freelancers and the self-employed. Employment website Glassdoor reports that many companies, including international heavyweights like Amazon, Dell and Apple, are addressing the benefits of remote work and are increasingly offering virtual work opportunities in some of their roles.
While the digital nomad trend is not likely to replace the traditional office environment, it continues on the upward trend with workers of all ages, in search of a change in scenery and a new way to combine travel and work.