The productive and lifestyle benefits of working remotely—less time commuting, more focus, less stress—are clear to everyone who has been working over the last few months. But if that isn’t compelling enough to go remote, opportunities for travel, personal development, and quality time with family might make the jump to full digital nomad worthwhile.
Travel While You Work
Let’s preface this section by saying that this is obviously not a great option right now. But during normal circumstances, working remotely essentially lets you work from anywhere with an internet connection. The world has become far better wired for the internet in recent years, making it easier than ever to rent an inexpensive apartment in Eastern Europe, North Africa, or South America for less than you’re paying now (try Airbnb or Booking.com). Some digital nomads have gone as far as taking working vacations on cruises, which can be surprisingly affordable for longer voyages.
Learn a Language
Maybe you’ve already started using the time saved from commuting to learn a language with Duolingo or some other app. But let’s be honest—an app is never going to get you to fluency–only immersion will. And the best way to achieve immersion is to live and work in the language host country of your choice, a feat much easier to pull off when your income isn’t tied to your location. Working on your laptop at a local cafe and ordering coffee in Italian will get you to fluency veloce (and tastes great, too).
Remote work can also give you the flexible schedule you need to join a formal language learning program at a local university. Whether you’re staying home or traveling abroad, almost every major city has intensive language learning programs.
Spend More Time with Extended Family
For the one in three Americans who live within 10 miles of their childhood home, this might not be a compelling benefit. But for the other two-thirds of Americans for whom family visits are a once-a-year occurrence, quality time spent with parents, grandparents, and other relatives during annual visits is precious. If you find yourself wanting to spend more time with extended family, working remotely lets you change that one-week end-of-year holiday into a month-long winter break you haven’t had since college.
Start a Business
It’s tough to start a business, especially if you don’t have the financial means to quit your job outright to focus on it. If your flavor of remote work allows you sufficient scheduling flexibility, it can free up the big blocks of free time you need to turn a side-hustle into a full-time business.
Work for Just About Any Company
Maybe you’ve always wanted to work for Apple but never wanted to move to Cupertino. You’d be surprised at how many large companies offer remote jobs for everything from customer service to user research. It’s a great way to experience part of the culture of a company you’re interested in without the hassle of moving.
If you’re ready to give remote work a try, let Artisan connect you with great freelance opportunities! We’ve been connecting freelancers with projects and full-time gigs for over 30 years.
This blog was originally posted in Artisan.