Being a Digital Nomad in the UK
I first heard of the term ‘digital nomad’ when I joined JobAdder a bit over a year ago. With clients in over 45 countries around the world, here at JobAdder we have a cohort of digital nomads – or remote working staff – dotted all over the globe at any one time.
In fact, our Customer Support team is going to spend a week working remotely from Bali in July. How’s that for a work perk?! So as you can imagine, when I learned about JobAdder’s progressive policy on working remotely, I was dying to see what this digital nomad experience was all about.
After spending 3 weeks on holiday in Europe eating my weight in pastries and gelato (the sub-zero temperatures weren’t enough to put me off!) I flew to chilly Liverpool to embark on my nomadic adventure.
One of the reasons I wanted to try working remotely was to totally immerse myself in a new city and feel as though I was living like a local, and Liverpool was perfect for that. As my sister lives there, I worked predominantly from her apartment where I was lucky enough to have my very own desk and room with a view.
First of all, it’s definitely true what people say about remote working increasing productivity and creativity. Being in a brand new place sitting at a totally different working environment disrupts your norm and it has the effect of shaking up your usual pattern of thinking, definitely for the better. Plus, when you work remotely you’re away from the usual office distractions – getting coffees with co-workers, chatting over the desks, spontaneous games of Ping Pong – so you’re totally in the zone and operating at a higher level of concentration.
During my stay, I tried all the local eateries and got to know the area like the back of my hand, which really enriched my overall experience. For anyone planning to try life as digital nomad, I strongly advise you to take advantage of your lunch breaks and explore whatever city you’re in by doing as the locals do!
The next stop for me was London, where I worked from both an Airbnb and from co-working spaces.
As the Content Writer at JobAdder, having a quiet space to work is my idea of heaven, so that was perfect for me! But the flip side of that was that after a week of working predominantly alone, I started to crave interaction with other human beings and felt like I was going a bit stir crazy working by myself all the time. Thank God I got to see the JobAdder UK crew when we worked together from a shared working space.
For those fellow digital nomads out there, I highly recommend creating a routine that involves working at co-working spaces on a set number of days each week. It adds structure to your working week and prevents your working environment from becoming stale and lonely. As far as shared working spaces in London go, I recommend the Barbican Centre!
Once the end of those 3 weeks abroad came around, I was ready to come home and dive back into office life. Reflecting on it, I think part of the reason why working remotely is successful for myself and others in my position has to do with mutual trust with your company. Having your employer trust you enough to let you work from the other side of the world is something that you don’t take for granted and as a result, you want to work as hard as you can and savour every minute of it!
To all those people considering giving remote working a try this year – if you’re lucky enough to find a company that will let you become a digital nomad, I say embrace the chance and see what exciting places it leads you!