The Future of Work Is Here: Nations Are Starting to Compete for Citizens

igital nomadism is hardly a new phenomenon. If you reached adulthood after the subprime crisis, you probably entertained the idea of remote work from a tropical paradise. Or you have done it, only to realize that working from the beach is such a bad idea, that you don’t understand why people inundated Instagram with laptops on the beach photos with the caption: “Today’s office”. Ugh. Kind of obnoxious to start with. Also, did they not sweat onto their beach sand-covered Macbooks enough to call it quits? I sure did. No judgment; we are all victims of the Millenial hustle culture. Moving on.

Introducing the Digital Nomad visas

Today, countries stepping up to take advantage of the already existing semi-legal digital nomad workforce in their countries will benefit from them.

“Normal” won’t be back anytime soon.

Highly commercial jet travel won’t be back anytime soon, thankfully. I don’t see the value in travel that exists to rush from one famous building to another, snapping a few photos and crossing off items from our bucket list.

Photo by Ern Gan on Unsplash

The competition for citizens

For now, it looks like places like Costa Rica, the Cayman Islands, and Barbados are geared towards attracting remote workers from wealthier countries with a 3000 USD/ month, 100k USD/year, and 50k USD/year proof of income, respectively.

So what do remote workers look for in an ideal location?

First and foremost, high quality of life. And contrary to what is traditionally viewed as high quality of life, remote workers do not look for expensive mansions, local, high-paying jobs, or even great schools.

Especially after the pandemic, towns and cities with easy access to nature and affordable housing are in great demand.

Why do companies hire remote workers?

Hiring remote workers allow companies to tap into a pool of talent from all over the world. They may find people better fit for the job and their company culture if they cast their nets wider.

Looking to work remotely from a place better suited to your needs? Here is how you can be a responsible nomad

The main problem with digital nomads was that some act entitled in local communities. They use their Western privilege, higher salaries with clients at home to colonize entire islands and towns. Beyond the performative “we care for the environment, and we spend locally”, they do little to nothing for the local economy.

  • Try to rent something in a less popular area, so you do not encourage big investors to ruin towns and drive up real estate prices for the locals.
  • Try to rent from local individuals, rather than big companies.
  • Be respectful towards locals, do not overstrain their facilities. In some places, electricity can be patchy, or waste management may not be excellent. Try to use a minimum of natural resources and avoid imported, highly packaged goods as much as you can.
  • Try to spot cult-like groups of DNS, because it is probably best to avoid their varying levels of an evangelical sermon about the lifestyle and how they have escaped nine to five. I mean, come on, you don’t want life coaching advice that you can Google in five minutes.
  • Also, do not start a cult.
  • Use local-owned companies for everything you need instead of Western-owned ones.
  • Keep in mind, you are a guest, and they are your hosts. Locals are not there to serve you or be at your disposal. They are not obliged to speak fluent English either.

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