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Digital Nomads: Employment in the Online Gig Economy



In 1997, Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners published their future-looking manifesto Digital Nomad that, decades later, would present as a manifesto for a lifestyle movement. At the time, businesses and the US government were interested in looking at tele-commuting, productivity, and work-family balance. Critiques of a neoliberal economy provide insight into understanding the context of freelance and online, piecemeal employment. This article examines the types of employment that digital nomads engage in, based on in-depth interviews with thirty-eight self-identified digital nomads. The participants mostly originate from wealthy, industrialized nations, and have many class privileges, but are underemployed compared to what their socioeconomic status would historically suggest. As most participants are in the Millennial Generation, an overview of the shifting so-cio-economic status of this age-cohort is examined in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union-notably their high educational achievements and increasingly precarious employment status. Many of the nomads were working part-time with their own micro-business, with few able to maintain full-time employment. Few have benefits such as healthcare, retirement, unemployment insurance, or family leave. While "free-dom" is touted as the benefit of gig-work, by both industry management and digital nomad enthusiasts, this lifestyle marks a shift towards precarious employment-itself not a basis for economic freedom, nor security.
ISSN 2283-7949
2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
Published online by “Globus et Locus” at
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Sociology Department
Siena College, Loudonville, New York
Abstract: In 1997, Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners published their future-looking
manifesto Digital Nomad that, decades later, would present as a manifesto for a lifestyle
movement. At the time, businesses and the US government were interested in looking at
tele-commuting, productivity, and work-family balance. Critiques of a neoliberal economy
provide insight into understanding the context of freelance and online, piecemeal employ-
ment. This article examines the types of employment that digital nomads engage in, based
on in-depth interviews with thirty-eight self-identified digital nomads. The participants
mostly originate from wealthy, industrialized nations, and have many class privileges, but
are underemployed compared to what their socio-economic status would historically sug-
gest. As most participants are in the Millennial Generation, an overview of the shifting so-
cio-economic status of this age-cohort is examined in the United States, United Kingdom,
Australia, and the European Unionnotably their high educational achievements and in-
creasingly precarious employment status. Many of the nomads were working part-time with
their own micro-business, with few able to maintain full-time employment. Few have bene-
fits such as healthcare, retirement, unemployment insurance, or family leave. While free-
domis touted as the benefit of gig-work, by both industry management and digital nomad
enthusiasts, this lifestyle marks a shift towards precarious employmentitself not a basis
for economic freedom, nor security.
Keywords: digital nomads, location-independent, technology, travel, freelance.
In 1997, Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners published
their future-looking manifesto Digital Nomad at a moment when
the internetand its possibilitieswere just entering the popular
imagination. The authors presented a vision of how the new tech-
nology could revolutionize our lives especially by inverting work
and leisure. No longer would we need to live within commuting
distance to our cubicles workers could disperse around the
globe, to the more temperate climates, and work when they want-
ISSN 2283-7949
2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
Published online by “Globus et Locus” at
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ed, from the computer. The authors envision a lifestyle that would
(eventually) spark a movement digital nomadism:
Finding himself in a pleasant part of the world and enabled by tech-
nology to run his business from a hotel room (or even a beach) without
being at the mercy of the latest crisis call, he can take time out to enjoy
himself free from the dictates of a rigid travel schedule set by a zealous sec-
retary or a demanding boss (Makimoto and Manners 1997: 147).
The internet would provide a liberatory utopia in which
workers could log on (from the beach), work four hours a week,
and then catch the afternoon waves on his surfboard and he was
surely male. The authors did ever-so-briefly ponder the dark side
of digitally-controlled employment:
Of course, for some workers those tied to a production line in a
factory, or to a particular person, like a secretary there will not be any
benefit to be gained from the new technologies. For them, the new tech-
nologies might even make things worse, with the boss frequently using
electronic links to check up on the secretarys day to day activities in-
stead of allowing the secretary a quiet few days in their absence
(Makimoto and Manners 1997: 155).
However, such dystopian potentials were swiftly skimmed
over to focus on the positive, liberatory, and even fantasy, poten-
tial that the rest of the book would envision: location independ-
ence, mass nomadic-temporary cities, diminishing governments
and national borders, project-based work, less material consumer-
ism, a sharing economy but all backed by a healthy bank bal-
ancerequired by the nomad (Makimoto and Manners 1997:
1737). After twenty years of Digital Nomad in print, we can ask,
were the authors accurate in their assessment?
This paper explores the socio-economic context of digital
nomad work through a qualitative exploration of the lifestyle.
While there are numerous business magazines and newspaper ar-
ticles celebrating this concept in ways similar to Makimoto and
Manners, critical sociologists have been slower to research this
phenomenon. Sociologist Juliet Schor has been one prominent
voice capturing the workers perspective of this precarious living
experience, which she refers to as the gig economy”. I use quali-
tative methods of participant observation and in-depth interview-
ISSN 2283-7949
2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
Published online by “Globus et Locus” at
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ing with thirty-eight participants from primarily developed na-
tions around the globe. The findings demonstrate that workers
continue to be financially insecure in an economy that is slashing
employee benefits such as healthcare, retirement, family leave, and
unemployment. Becoming a digital nomad and working remotely
from an affordable country, such as Thailand and Indonesia, pro-
vides workers from the global north with an individualistic, opt-
out solution to the growing inequalities in their home countries.
However, such lifestyles do little to address the structural condi-
tions of inequality. Further, they promote a gentrification context
in the host countries, where locals are increasingly priced out of
housing with the increases of mass tourism and global elites in-
vestment in real estate.
Digital nomads are workers whose primary employment takes
place on the internet. They are not required to show up in person
to conduct their job, thus they arelocation independent. But
only a small percentage of jobs can actually be conducted fully
online digital marketing, web design, software engineering, or
computer programing, video language tutoring, for example. Re-
mote workers, for the most part, often have a stable household in
one town and work from home, or a mixture of local places.
However, digital nomads take this location independence further.
They travel and do so frequently; both domestically and interna-
tionally. They select their location choice based on leisure and
lifestyle expectations, not work. Therefore, they often choose
comfortable, warm, scenic places that are also quite affordable
and welcoming to Westerners. This catches the imagination of
journalists who envision the easy life of a laptop graphic designer
lounging on the beach (Rosenwald 2009; Russell 2013; Mohen
2017; Wood 2005). It is hard to estimate the number of digital
nomads working today, but there are some measures that can pro-
vide more context.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014 that there are
14.4 million self-employed workers (comprising roughly 10 per
cent of the US workforce). And the number of full-time US em-
ployees who work primarily from home has risen to over 3.3 mil-
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2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
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lion (cited in Garrett, Spreitzer and Bacevice 2017: 822). Not all
self-employed workers are, of course, digital nomads, but a good
percentage of digital nomads are self-employed, as few are full-
time employees of a single corporation. The Freelancers Union
(2016) tracked 5,000 workers, besides analyzing nationwide cen-
sus statistics. There report makes the point that there are 53 mil-
lion Americans 34 percent of the U.S. workforce working as
freelancers(2016: 3). The breakdown of this number includes:
40 per cent independent contractors, 27 per cent moonlighters, 18
per cent diversified workers, 10 per cent temporary workers, and
5 per cent freelance business owners (2016: 3).
While digital nomads and telecommuters differ in lifestyle
(telecommuters are often balancing family duties; while nomads
are balancing leisure and work and rarely, childrearing), both
find it challenging to have distinctive boundaries between work,
leisure, and family life. The research on work-family balance at-
tempts to measure the extent to which policies of flexible work
schedules assist employees in being both productive workers, and
attentive family members (Anderson and Vinnicombe 2015;
Vinnicombe, Moore and Anderson 2013; Vinnicombe and Ander-
son 2017; Stavrou-Costea, Parry and Anderson 2015). For tele-
commuters with small children in the house, women especially
find it hard to protect their work time from family commitments
(Glass and Noonan 2016; Noonan and Glass 2012: 40; Noonan,
Estes, and Glass 2007; Eddleston and Mulki 2017). And with
technologies that encourage constant communication, pressures to
overwork can be enormous but benefit men to the higher de-
gree, as they are better able to distinguish their work time and
space from family duties, often with partners who help reinforce
this division with their own labor (ONeill, Hambley and Chantel-
lier 2014; Panteli and Duncan 2004; Morganson et. al. 2009;
Wood 2005; Busch, Nash and Bell 2011).
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The popular press and the business and economic literature
celebrate the so-called technologically enhancedgig economyas
a win-win for business and workers alike it provides freedom
and flexibility for both. Workers can become remote and control
their own schedule and employers no longer need to provide
overheads and benefits. Gigs are one-time jobs that can be ac-
quired by workers who are members of a particular website or
phone-base application, which allows them to bid on work. Once
the work is completed, the employing-client can rate the work
performance, and this contributes to the workers overall rating,
impacting their potential bottom line. This encourages freelancers
to work below market rate, or even for free, in order to have more
gigs and ratings on ones professional profile (De Stefano
2016: 8; Luce 2017; Gandini 2016a, Gandini 2016b; Gandini and
Beraldo 2016). And since piecemeal work does not come with
benefits freelancers must cover their retirement, health care, and
operational costs out of this income.
Boston College professor Juliet Schor is one of the few critical
sociologists examining the impacts of the gig economy on work-
ers. According to a Pew survey that Schor and Attwood-Charles
(2017: 9) cite, gig workers disproportionately earn less than
$30,000 annually, however, because many are in school, part tim-
ers, or not in the labor force; this is not surprising”. The work-
force is also bifurcated between those who have full-time em-
ployment and do extra gigs on the side, and those who lack full-
time employment and are scrambling to live off of their gigs. In
the same Pew survey, 29 per cent depended on this income to
meet their basic needs, whereas 42 per cent found the gig work an
additional income (Schor and Attwood-Charles 2017: 7). Tech-
nology has assisted in destigmatizing gig-work through the plat-
form applications because of the association they have with high-
ly-educated and high cultural capital individuals, based on brand-
ing and early adoption by specific communities. Additionally,
Schor and Fitzmaurice (2015), found in their research on four
sharing-economy communities, that members were highly educat-
ed, with over half having graduate degrees, as did half of their
parents, and that members were electing to share, rather than act-
ing out of necessity. Digital nomads rely on the sharing economy
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2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
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through the platform, through which they book the
majority of their accommodations. In addition, a small minority of
nomads also rent their own apartments and flats through and hire a property manager, thus earning extra in-
come to use for travel. Schor (2017) found that privileged middle-
class participants were able to make significant amounts of money
on platforms such as Airbnb when they have fairly luxurious lodg-
ings to rent out some were able to earn $30,000 (three to four
times what they would earn on a long-term rental), on top of their
full-time salary. However, for those without high-income assets
such as luxury condos in desirable cities, discrimination was ram-
pant against those with lesser assets, and racism has become ap-
parent among Airbnb and Uber subscribers (Schor and Attwood-
Carles 2017).
Where is the best place to find digital nomads? First, they
network online: Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram. Their ob-
jective on social media sites is to drive traffic to their own web-
sites, where they sell a product, such as an online course, or an e-
book, on how to adopt the lifestyle. Businesses have sprung up to
address the particular needs of digital nomads. Co-working spaces
have been around for decades, first appealing to tech workers in
the Bay Area, and spreading from there. Co-living places address
the temporary housing needs of nomads while attempting to fos-
ter community an adult-worker oriented hostel. Some co-living
spaces, such as WY_CO, bring together groups of nomads, who
sign on to live together for months at a time, or up to a year, while
the company manages the itinerary for the group to move to a new
country each month. Other businesses organize digital nomad
conferences to promote the lifestyle to newcomers. Digital no-
mads also congregate in specific geographic hot-spots popular
with tourists: Chiang Mai, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia; Medellin,
Colombia; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I began this research by attending three major community
events. The first event was the third annual DNX Conference for
Digital Nomads & Life Hackers in Lisbon, Portugal, on 9-10 Sep-
tember 2017. The DNX hosts events in both German (the found-
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2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
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ers are German) and English, thereby representing the large Ger-
man digital nomad community. This event was aimed towards as-
piring nomads, with speakers presenting their personal, inspira-
tional stories, often tracing a popular narrative: from corporate
job to digital freedom. The conference included meet-ups across
the city, however, most locations were based in bars, so non-
drinking, newcomers may feel excluded from the alcohol-fueled
Next, I attended the Digital Nomad Girls retreat in Javea,
Spain, from 18-27 September 2017. As an immersive, ten-day re-
treat, with a full agenda, and even shared rooms, the fifteen par-
ticipants bonded in a way reflective of such intensive time spent
together. Each day, several participants would conduct presenta-
tions about their business, with the others providing feedback.
Half of the attendees were already nomads, while the other half
were aspiring. Other days, tourist outings, such as snorkeling and
boating, would occupy the group. Because of the intensive time
spent with the participants, I was able to bond with, and secure
interviews, from the majority of them including the founder
Jenny Lachs and her partner Simon. This conference provided a
large number of the participants in this study.
There was a total of thirty-eight participants in this study. All
of the participants were from strong passport countries, and those
who had citizenship in weaker passport countries, had dual pass-
ports thus paired with a stronger one. A passports strength is
measure by how many visa-free countries one can enter. The par-
ticipants overwhelmingly spoke only English. Those who spoke
two or more languages were primarily of non-English speaking na-
tional background (n=7). Rarely, did white English speakers learn
a second language (n=4). Nearly all participants bemoaned their
lack of bilingual abilities, but few put sustained effort into learn-
ing another language, instead relied on the dominance of English
to permeate the countries they visited. Thirteen participants spoke
two or more languages, and five spoke three or more. Twenty-two
participants spoke only English.
Their ages ranged from 21 to 49, with the majority in their
thirties. Twelve of the participants were in their twenties, twenty-
two were in their thirties, and four were in their forties.
Twenty-eight of the participants were racially white (includ-
ing one Arab and two Hispanic white). Five participants were of
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African descent, two were Asian, and three were mixed race Asian
and white.
Thirty of the participants were heterosexual, three were bi-
sexual, and five were lesbian, gay, or queer identified. Six of the
participants were married (with two in the process of divorce),
while the majority of them were single (n=32), with ten in signifi-
cant relationships. Only one participant out of thirty-seven had
children (now grown). Only six participants hoped for children in
the future, with fifteen unsure, and thirteen adamant about re-
maining child-free.
Most of the participants held Bachelorsdegrees (n=23). Nine
participants had graduate degrees (MA=6; JD=1; PhD=2). Six
participants did not complete college. Four had some college edu-
cation, and one participant graduated with a high school degree.
Half of the participants had no student debt (n=20) and the other
half had student debt (n=18). Excessive student debt is a barrier
for becoming a digital nomad for many North Americans. Crimi-
nal records pose barriers for travel. Only one of the participants
had a minor misdemeanor criminal charge, which had been ex-
Only six participants held a religious identity: including one
Hindu, one Muslim, and four Christians. Some qualified them-
selves as spiritual”.
I asked the participants about the occupational background
of their parents. Eight participants had mothers who spend ex-
tended years raising children and not working outside of the
home. Five of these mothers worked before or after their chil-
drearing years, including as a hairdresser and four who worked in
offices. Eight of the mothers worked in elementary education or
in daycare. Three mothers worked in the service industry, three in
office contexts, and three in nursing. Five worked at higher levels
in business, and two mothers were engineers. Many of the moth-
ers graduated college, but half did not. The mothers tended to
work in female-dominated careers, took time off for childcare du-
ties, and had occupations that were lower-skilled, lower-ranked,
and lower-paid than their spouses. Six participants did not specify
their mothersoccupations.
Thirty-four participants specified their fathers occupation. In
general, their fathers were college-educated, well-paid, and held
high-ranking positions. Eleven worked in business: as middle-
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managers, business owners, or in sales. Three were computer pro-
grammers. Three were professors. Three were medical doctors,
including one anesthesiologist. Three worked in finance: banking,
accounting, and foreign exchange. Three held trade work: sheet-
metal, electrician, and plumber. Four worked in the service indus-
try. One was a teacher. Four served in the military. The partici-
pants gained socio-economic privileges from their parentseduca-
tion and occupational background and parents were often the
source of material and cultural capital resources.
In the United States
Moos, Pfeiffer and Viinodrai (2018) contextualize the millen-
nial age-cohort in relation to how policy and urban-planning can
best meet the needs of this upcoming generation. Millennials are
the most highly-educated generation in the U.S. at 38 per cent
(Fry 2018: 54). The exponentially rising tuition costs has put this
generation into student loan debt like no other (Geobey 2018:
132). The youngest three cohorts in 2012 had an average debt-to-
asset ratio above 100 (Fry 2018: 58). They enter a neoliberal job
market rapidly shedding benefits: health care, pensions, sick days,
seniority, and security (Vinodrai 2018: 46). Worth (2018) exam-
ines intergenerational transfer of wealth from parents to children
in the form of money tuition payments, subsidized living ex-
penses, cars, bills paid, and down payment for houses. This famil-
ial subsidy further exasperates inequalities by raising the prices of
housing and other material goods. Mawhorter (2018) looks at
boomerang kidswho are able to move back in with their par-
ents in order to eliminate their rental expenses completely. This fit
with the complimentary shift in either not marrying, or marrying
much later, perhaps once they are more financially established.
Living with parents offers a significant savings, as Millennials were
paying a large portion of their relatively small incomes towards
rents; for those without a college degree, they were often paying
half of their income towards rent (Mawhorter 2018: 207). While a
college degree does not guarantee employment, not having a de-
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2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
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gree is a real detriment. Journalists do not often dwell on Millen-
nials who are not white, college-educated, and middle-class. Ralph
(2018) finds that for Millennials without a car, their employment
options are restricted. For high school graduates of Latinx or
Black background working at low-wage jobs, or unemployed,
their situation provides significant economic challenges.
In Australia
Jennifer Rayner (2016), an Australian millennial and former
federal political advisor, wrote Generation Less, a statistically-
laden overview of the downward mobility of her age-cohort.
While austerity measures are slowly gaining traction in Australia,
they have much farther to fall than their American counterparts.
Youth unemployment rates are at 11.2 per cent (Rayner 2016:
240). Rayner (2016) points out that 65 per cent of hospitality
workers, and 40 per cent of retail workers are casual employees,
without access to the entitlements received by full-time employ-
ees, such as five-to-six week of annual paid-leave. Casual workers
in Australia are compensated for such precarity with higher wag-
es. Australian millennials are renting property well into their thir-
ties before purchasing their own property and their overall finan-
cial worth has declined, while their debt rates have risen, especial-
ly with student loan debt, whereas tuition was free for many of
their parentscohort (Rayner 2016: 590).
In the United Kingdom
Millennials make up 13.9 per cent of the total population in
the United Kingdom, but there is a definite concentration in Lon-
don, where 19 per cent of them live (Brown et. al. 2017: 3). Mil-
lennials are most commonly employed in the retail sectors, fol-
lowed by health/social work, and education, and have experi-
enced the largest falls in average earnings since the 2008 recession,
with employment rates of 82 per cent (Brown et. al. 2017: 3). This
age cohort is among the most educated, with nearly 40 per cent of
those in their late 20s and 30s holding a tertiary level degree. As in
other peer countries, 59 per cent of millennials are renting their
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2018, 1, DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.1.11
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homes well into their mid-to late-30s, unlike previous generations,
which were able to purchase homes in their late twenties. This
generation is also more liberal politically, with 32.4 per cent vot-
ing for Labor in 2015 and the majority voting remain during
Brexit (Brown et. al. 2017: 4). Therefore, their political interests
should temper the direction of neoliberal governmental policies if
they were to become more politically active. The United Kingdom
provided defined benefit pension schemes for the baby boomer
generation, but such benefits are now provided to less than 10 per
cent of private sector employees, who enroll in defined contribu-
tion (DC) schemes instead, a drop of 14 per cent of pensionable
earning contribution (Brown et. al. 2017: 39). Adult milestones
are increasingly postponed as young people have less capital with
which to establish themselves. Those in the UK are increasingly
postponing moving out of the parental home, with a rise from 11 per
cent to 14 per cent for those aged 25-34 (Brown et. al. 2017: 46).
In the European Union
The European Union brings together twenty-eight diverse
countries with an estimated total popular around 507 million, of
which 33.3 per cent are young people under the age of 30 (Euro-
stat 2015: 10). Increasingly, young people in the EU find the job
market difficult to navigate, even with the ability to transgress na-
tional borders within the region, making multilingual ability an
important skill for employment. In 2013, 20.9 per cent of those
aged 25-29 were neither employed nor in school, with 70 per cent
employed, with such employment distribution unequal among
countries such that the Netherlands, Malta, and Austria, which
had high rates of employment, and countries such as Italy, Spain,
and Greece, recording lower rates (Eurostat 2015: 11). Those with
a tertiary education in countries like the Netherlands and Malta
reached the high employment rate of 93 per cent (Eurostat 2015:
149). Temporary work contracts were more widespread with
younger, and female, workers. Similar to other countries, young
people were leaving the parental home much later in life, with an
EU average age of 27 for men and 25 for women (Eurostat 2015:
44). These rates were especially skewed by country, where north-
ern Europeans were the first to leave the parental home in their
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late teens and early twenties; whereas the vast majority (70-84 per
cent) of young people age 25-29 remained with their parents in
countries such as Croatia, Slovakia, Malta, Italy, and Greece (Eu-
rostat 2015: 47). Following this trajectory, young couples were less
likely to give birth to their first child, and more young couples
remained childfree or unmarried.
The participants began their work lives as teenagers with en-
try-level, part-time jobs, often in the service industry, where they
slowly developed skills in navigating work, and subsidizing their
tuition payments for college. While they have cultural capital
rooted in family and citizenship, many struggled to gain a foot-
hold in their field, except for those especially in the intangible
economic fieldsbased on high-skill and demand, such as com-
puter programming, software engineers, computer technical sup-
port, and skilled digital marketing (Haskel and Westlake 2017).
Amna was born in Pakistan and raised there until her parents
divorced when she was eight-years-old, when she migrated with
her mother and siblings to the United States. Her father was a
businessman, who later earned a Ph.D. and became a professor.
Her mother had earned advanced degrees in medicine, and
worked managing doctorsoffices. Amna attended Bryn Mawr, an
elite womens college, where she racked up a significant student
debt, along with earning her degree. Her work life before and af-
ter college consisted of small and random gigs:
I was cobbling it together. I never had a full-time job. When I grad-
uated, I was tutoring French, English, and babysitting. I was that person
on the streets of New York City handing out coupons and ice cream
Amna realized if she was cobbling it togetherin New York
City, the transition to living in more affordable places could be a
distinct possibility. Her research on digital nomads lead her to
find online jobs, working remotely, as she had done with hustling
gigs in the U.S.
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She became involved in email and search engine-optimizing
marketing, finding clients through various networking events.
Connecting with other digital nomads provided her with the ideas
of where to find new clients and gigs, and her various skills, in-
cluding speaking some Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Spanish,
were a further asset. However, she did not have a clear plan or
trajectory, and was following her new digital nomad friendstravel
itineraries. Amnas experiences of finding small and random gigs,
both in New York City, and abroad, represent the lack of oppor-
tunities that Millennials face in the United States, even when they
have extensive elite education, language abilities, and are bright,
with significant cultural capital.
Nick is an American with an elite education in software de-
velopment from Georgia Tech, raised in the suburbs of Washing-
ton DC, with parents who worked in the medical field, as well as
finance. His parents paid for his tuition and he viewed his college-
time retail job as a mind-break from his grueling university com-
puter courses. Not long after graduation, he was employed in a
string of shorter term full-time as well as freelance jobs, and this
soon led to a full-time position with a six-figure salary, and exten-
sive benefits. He maintained this position for two and a half years;
however, during a holiday to Norway with his partner, the com-
pany quickly announced they were going out of business, and
fired everyone. Nick received only a one-week severance package.
However, the money he had earned could support them for six-
months of world travel, compared to two months in their former
home of Santa Monica, California, so they took the opportunity to
launch into their digital nomad lifestyle. Since then, he has
worked as a consultant and freelancer in the same industry, but
makes half of his previous salary.
I was originally trying to start a new company with the bones of the
technology that I had built at this full-time company that was shut down.
There were a lot of customers who were left hanging. I was trying to
band together with some of the other developers and rebuild a bootstrap
version of the software. It was very stressful. Six months later, I switched
to being purely freelance. Take on a client. Do what they want. Make a
ton of money. That was a better strategy. I design software, websites, and
mobile optimize. I can do UX design. Nowadays, most of my develop-
ment experience is in mobile, so IOS and mobile-responsive websites.
Neither of those are going away anytime soon. You have to keep yourself
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up-to-date as the technology shifts but, luckily, its as evergreen as it
could be right now… Everything in my world is personal connections
that I made as a full-time developer in L.A. Another person had come
along needing some help. Shortly thereafter, I worked on a project for
Disney. Then, that led to another project. There was a string of projects.
For the first 5 years nomading, I never looked for work. Work dropped
into my lap.
In addition to work, Nick has his passion projects, including
being a co-founder and organizer of the 7in7 conference, which
takes significant time away from freelancing hours, yet has not be-
gun to turn a profit.
Speakers at digital nomad conferences often pronounce that
anyone with enough desire to travel and work can adopt the life-
style. They often encourage their audience to quit their job and
follow their bliss. As one nomad stated, if youre unhappy with
your job five days in a row, you should reconsider keeping it”.
This perspective reflects a privileged position of one who is confi-
dent in their ability to secure another lucrative job in a strained
economy. Few are in such a sought-after position. The powerful
passport becomes the most significant factor for being a digital
nomad, in addition to freedom from family obligations, and some
income. Of the three participants who had passports from Latin
American, or African nations, they also had a dual passport with
Spain and Ireland. None of the interviewees had a passport solely
from a developing nation. Alexandra is a twenty-nine-year-old
Australian who moved to the United Kingdom after college to be
with her then-boyfriend. She describes her transition from univer-
sity to working life in the UK and the benefits underlying this
process. She states:
I had very few expenses. In Australia, people dont go outside of
their hometown to go to university. So, I just lived at home in Sydney.
Its not expensive to go to university. You can either pay tuition up
front, it might be $1,500 a semester, or the government gives you a loan.
My parents paid for most of my degree. I had a couple of jobs during
college. After college, I continued with the kind of piecemeal job situa-
tion. And then, the occasional freelance things, for a different magazine.
And I did that until I moved to the UK. I was only allowed to be there
for two years. I had a soul-destroying job doing phone survey research.
What happened was I got a really nice big tax return from Australia. So,
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I was like, “Right. I’m going to quit this job”. And then I got a full-time
job as an editor of a trade publication kind of thing, making L20,000
year. In Australia, I was paid $28 an hour, but time and a half on week-
ends, and 20 per cent more after 9 pm. My boyfriend owns a flat in Lon-
don, so he rents that out for money, or sometimes we stay there. For
now, we have kind of settled a bit more in the UK, we are more location
independent than digital nomad at the moment.
While Alexandra does not have her ideal job, her position is
quite comfortable. She was able to earn a college degree without
debt, have a large tax return, travel freely, gain a two-year working
visa in the UK, and free lodging in London with her boyfriend.
Temi identifies as African, or Nigerian British, as her mother
was an immigrant from Nigeria and her father was raised in the
United Kingdom. Later on, her family moved to British Columbia,
Canada, but frequently returned to the UK. Temi gained dual citi-
zenship. Her parents had successful careers: her mother owned
small businesses, her father was a computer programmer at a
bank. Temi earned a college degree in English and Marketing.
She professionally networked easily, including contacts from her
I had worked with my dad, helping with development and content
management systems. I had an interview to be a hostess, but the sales
and marketing manager recruited me instead, Nah, we wont have you
be a hostess. You can work in the sales and marketing team”. I was like,
“Sweet”. Because I knew I wanted to get into marketing. I worked part-
time and on the weekends for three years during college summers. After
I graduated, I was very driven… I worked at my first agency, a small
business, a recruitment and employer communications agency. Within
that year, I went from being an account executive, to a digital project
manager. From there, I went to a start-up called Glossy Box, they mail-
order beauty products. After that, I was poached from Glossy Box by a
French beauty brand. This is kind of when I think I realized I was more
interested in digital marketing strategy. I worked with the accounts man-
agement for big clients like E-bay, Google, and Pizza Hut. Learned so
much in two years. I was 24 or 25 at this time, sometimes working 65
hours a week. I got really burned out and depressed. I decided to quit
and move to Australia. In advertising, with my first job I probably
earned L 20,0000 in 2011. By 2013, I started at 33,000 pounds. Within
three years I had increased my salary by 13,000 pounds. I received full
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Her fathers professional position initially launched her. By
twenty-five, she was a university graduate, had experience work-
ing with a variety of companies, including large clients. Advertis-
ing in the UK was in the industrial forefront globally, creating a
great deal of pressure, increasing burn-out, and depression for
workers. At twenty-five, she had a privileged professional posi-
tion, resume, and thus more control of her options. She decided
to move to Australia for a while to relax. Instead, she was offered
better jobs, as her experience was more advanced than the locals.
In Australia, the advertising ministry is probably three-to-five years
behind the UK and the US. Basically, I entered this talent pool with a lot
more experience than most people my age had in Australia. I was work-
ing with more brands than most people my age, doing more campaigns. I
became a big fish in a small pool. I spoke to one recruiter. His eyes wid-
ening when I went through my experience. With my UK passport, I
could apply for a working holiday visa in Australia… The income and
compensation in Australia is much higher. I worked at two agencies
within the six-month visa term. I headed the digital department of a lux-
ury PR agency in Sydney. I had an entire team. Im responsible for build-
ing an entire digital offering. I had never had as much responsibility and
trust in a role before.
Temi had the kind of privileges and opportunities that make
for a good digital nomad life. Impressive experience working in
digital marketing agencies, a passport that allowed her easy access
to employment in Australia, and the ability to earn an even larger
paycheck before attempting again to find a country in which she
could relax.
The working environment and culture in Australia is much different
to the UK. There was a huge belief in Australia that you have work, and
then you have a life. This came from the top down. At 5:00 p.m. people
would say, “why are you still here? Go home”. That never happens in
the UK. In Australia, the managing director would come in to the office
in his surfing gear. Hed say, “yeah, I just hit the waves”. Its an Australi-
an stereotype, but it was true. The manager told me, “we want to spon-
sor you so you can get a business visa”. I said, Do you know what? I
really think I need to take some time. I need to do this for myself. I think
I’m going to get sick”. I ended that role, and I finally went and just re-
laxed. I went to Indonesia and Thailand. I was making about $130k Aus-
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tralian dollars with that job. Salaries were around 30-40 per cent higher
in Australia than the UK.
Temi was in a position to down-shift her career, as her work-
life balance was important to her, and she wanted more time to
relax off work. Transitioning to a freelance career, in which she
already had established business contacts and a portfolio, allowed
her to be able to control the amount of work she took on. Unlike
other digital nomads, who may struggle even to pay their rent in
Thailand with piece-meal digital marketing gigs, she had a high
freelance income in an affordable country. While nomads pay tax-
es in their home country, where they do not often access benefits
such as healthcare, they also do not contribute to the host coun-
tries outside of economics consumerism.
Participants with high-tech and advanced skills in computing
professions such as software engineers, web design, and IT sup-
port had the easiest transition to remote work. But for many oth-
ers, their desire to be nomadic and travel was the first decision,
and the employment area was of a secondary development. Many
had random work histories without a particular specialization.
They would often read digital nomad blogs and groups to find
which were the most accessible remote jobs to find often at a
subsistence level, such as digital market piecework.
Jenny and her boyfriend Simon completed their chemistry
Ph.D.s before deciding that this career trajectory was unappeal-
ing. Their peers were gaining employment in pharmaceutical in-
dustries. Both had UK passports, which entitled them to work vi-
sas in Australia, which they took advantage of for a while, before
moving on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, the most popular location
with digital nomad communities. They began networking in co-
working spaces and began trying out all the typical digital nomad
jobs: drop-shipping, search-engine-optimized copywriting, social
media marketing, and online translation work (for Jenny, with her
German and English background). Simon settled into online chem-
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istry academic copy-editing primarily supporting both he and
Jenny. Simon began this work while they were still in Australia:
I pretty much started straight out doing proof reading work, which
I found through various online sources. The stuff that I do solely now is
chemistry editing and proof reading. I found that pretty much immedi-
ately. In fact, I think Id done a few jobs while I was still in Australia. So,
that was a small thing. Maybe half or two-thirds of my income. Then, I
was just taking odd proof reading jobs of some really boring sales stuff. I
also did a guys autobiography that was fairly poorly written. I edited
texts for a couple of websites written in poor English. Stuff like that. Ive
done far fewer jobs than my girlfriend did. She worked through a hell of
a lot of trash to get to the good stuff. For me, the chemistry editing thing
became quite stable.
In the meantime, Jenny was busy establishing herself within
digital nomad communities online especially focusing on wom-
en. Jenny had established a Facebook group Digital Nomad
Girls for which she organized meet-ups, events, and eventually a
ten-day long retreat. I met both she, Simon, and her attendees at
this event in Javea, Spain. Jenny told me about the process of
growing her online community:
The group had already grown to a few hundred girls. A lot of them
were in Chiang Mai at the time so we said, Do you want to meet up?
We met at a wine bar and 10 or 12 girls showed up. It was really incred-
ible and super fun. I set up a Facebook event for them. They were start-
ing to do meet-ups around the world. Sadly, I never counted how many
we had and in how many cities: London, Sydney, Brazil, and everywhere.
Thats how it started. Then, pretty soon after that, people started asking,
When are we going to meet in real life?”. I’ve always organized events
or meet-ups, but Id never organized a retreat before. I winged it, to be
honest. I found a place. People came. It was incredible. I had no idea
this would happen. We had 14 people from 10 different countries. So,
the first retreat was by far the most diverse. Then, it was immediately,
When are we going to do the next one?”. So, I organized the next one
and it just went from there.
Shifting from organizing low stakes meet-ups, to major re-
treats, made the difference between a hobby and starting a busi-
ness. Yet Simons income supporting the both of them allowed
Jenny the freedom to explore her possibilities without needing to
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bring in a paycheck. Such partner financial support can be over-
looked when examining employment.
Marta was a retreat support worker, as she was a friend of
Jennys, and I was able to conduct an interview with her where
she described first meeting Jenny in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where
they had together explored the realm of digital nomad work. Mar-
ta was the only interviewee from Eastern Europe:
I earned a Masters degree in Psychology, in Warsaw, Poland.
While a student, I worked full-time at various jobs to pay for my educa-
tion. Afterward, I started working, as an assistant in an office. Later, I
organized training for conferences for one company. I moved to market-
ing for a few years until I was 27. Then, I left my corporate marketing
job. With my fiancé, we decided to try out the nomadic lifestyle. I started
looking for a different way of working. I had to reinvent myself. I was
trying various remote jobs: making websites in WordPress, SEO, mar-
keting copy, landing pages, online marketing, advertising, some social
media advertising, and e-commerce stores. Then, I came back to online
advertising, which is what Im doing now. For a long time, I was making
very little money while traveling. Before traveling, when I had a stable
corporate job, it would be around $2,000 U.S. dollars per month, rang-
ing from $1500 to $3000. Then, when I left, I just earned a few hundred
dollars here and there. It was very difficult, to say how much I earned
because it was mostly gigs and one-time projects. Now I would say I earn
around $2,000-3,000 U.S. dollars per month. But, it varies. It depends on
if I have more clients, or fewer clients.
Marta was also able to gain some financial support from her
fiancé and her digital nomad income was much more precarious
than her full-time employment in Poland.
Kavis family moved to Canada when he was just ten-years-
old, after migrating from Fiji to Australia. Kavi was born in Syd-
ney. Both his parents worked in banking: his father in foreign ex-
change investments and his mother in management, but later
stayed home to be a full-time mother. Kavi did not attend college
yet he was ambitious in his writing career from a young age, and
his persistence eventually lead to lucrative freelancing and ghost-
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writing. He estimates his salary around $100k, placing him as one
of the top earners of this study. Ghostwriting political speeches is
where he makes the bulk of his income, allowing him the ability to
work on more passion writing projects that are paid much less. By
chance, he attracted the attention of an editor at Forbes Magazine,
from which he landed an ongoing gig. While writing for this busi-
ness magazine, one of his topics was on how labor unions would
need to change to keep up with the shifting labor context.
Labor unions have been the source of protection for workers, but
they are outdated. Australia, in particular, is a heavily unionized culture.
The Italians, the Europeans, places like these still have a very heavy un-
ion influence. You are starting to see unions wake up to the idea that
protection in this age is different from protection in past centuries. A lot
of that is based on the fact that people no longer have to go through a
union to have their complaints heard. I can just go online and write
something. If companies want to retain and track good talent theyre
going to listen more to the people that they are hiring in order to create
an environment that will make them happy. But, from the companys
perspective, which I think is absolutely fair, they want to create produc-
tive workers that turn a profit. Companies have to earn money. Another
question is how to create good jobs that provide upward mobility to deal
with the cost of living, the rising cost of health care, the rising cost of ed-
ucation…We dont look at that enough, definitely not in this [digital
nomad] community. We need to be critical and say, Were those jobs
good enough? Do they result in bringing people up and out of pov-
erty?”. Thats a role where legislation plays a bigger part.
Kavi compares the ability to complain online as a consumer
or worker with labor union protection, which continue to lose
ground. Yet, the power of unions is that they organize workers to
act collectively, pressure companies, and fight for a particular
goal. Despite the viral Twitter complaint that becomes news, most
social media complaints go ignored, and consumers have little
power in achieving their will against corporate giants. For digital
nomads, the most relevant opportunity to organize labor must be
at the platform sites themselves, which other authors have ad-
dressed (Fuchs and Sandoval 2014; Graham and Wood 2016;
Kelly 2017). Swedish economist Fredrik Soderqvist proposes a
platform institution tasked with creating digital standards and
guidelines for firms, in addition to calling on traditional unions to
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adapt to the new economy (Burns 2017). However, without a
powerful organizing effort pressuring the platforms, this seems an
unlikely development, especially considered the complex interna-
tional breadth such a campaign would necessarily entail, and the
breadth of living standards such workers maintain. A standard
wage for varied income workers would hardly be one pleasing to
workers from high-income countries.
The United States leads other industrialized countries in the
shedding of employment and governmental social safety-net bene-
fits. No longer can workers expect to have a lifelong job, pension,
healthcare, and paid leave. Privatization of former public goods
such as government subsidized tuition, healthcare, paid family
leave, and so on. Now workers are expected to pay for benefits
previously covered by employers, and for digital nomads, they
even paid for their own office space and business supplies.
The participants who had healthcare mainly were from coun-
tries that provides it for free, or affordably, for citizens. Citizens of
Australia and the UK have healthcare coverage that they use while
at home. One Austrian participant resented the extra fees she had
to pay for her healthcare coverage. The American participants
complained of unreasonably high healthcare costs, continuing un-
der the Affordable Care Act of the Obama presidency, from
which the Trump Administration removed the financial penalty
compelling residents to join. For example, Americans Nick and
Kit purchase a family health plan, for which they have seen expo-
nential costs develop over the last few years. Nick tells me:
For the moment, yes, we have health insurance. But things are going
to change quite rapidly because in the States right now, everything is go-
ing to poop for health insurance and a lot of subsidies are being killed.
Kit and I already pay together for a family plan. Its about $525 U.S. per
month. When we first got these plans 2 or 3 years ago, it was $300 a
month. If I renewed it, which Im not going to do in January, its going
up to $740 a month. It’s bananas money because of how the health in-
surance market is shifting. Im probably going to have to shift. There are
a few programs that are designed for ex-pats. You have to be careful be-
cause they have strict requirements for how long you can be in the States
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and some of them dont qualify for ACA coverage. Im going to have to
troubleshoot that over the next month because I dont have $9000 a year
or whatever to pay for health insurance.
Very few of the participants actually bought travel insurance
except while traveling in the United States.
Only the two highest paid participants had adequate retire-
ment plans, as they had incomes in excess of $100k. One partici-
pants had already retired from airline work at age thirty-six and
lived on a pension of $36k annually; he kept himself busy with
volunteer work with the Red Cross. Two of the women of color
had cashed out their retirement plans and were using it to fund
their current business. A small handful of participants had retire-
ment plans that were established under previous, fulltime em-
ployment. They took it upon themselves to continue contribu-
tions, however, none were contributing at a suitable level recom-
mended by a financial advisor. For example, many participants
were contributing less than $100 a month. Less than five partici-
pants initiated their own retirement fund, and they were contrib-
uting very little. The other participants simply did not have a re-
tirement fund. When savings accounts were mentioned, often
such accounts had less than one thousand dollars.
Half of the participants did not have student loan debt
(n=19). The main reason for this was that their national govern-
ment subsidized college tuition so that it was free (Austria), very
cheap (Dominican Republic), or loans were provided by the gov-
ernment and paid back as a small percentage of earned income
(Australia). The other participants were able to work during col-
lege and pay off the tuition as they incurred the debt, however,
these tuition rates were often reasonable. Other participants had
parents who paid their tuition fees. The other half of the partici-
pants did have student loan debt (n=18). Most of the European
participants had debts under $10,000 USD. American participants
were the most hard-hit by astronomical tuition fees. One partici-
pant had a total debt above $130,000 and was making monthly
payments of $170. Four American participants were in deferment:
they did not earn enough to make a minimum payment.
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The concept ofdigital nomadshas captured the imagina-
tion of the business and popular press, because of the symbolic
freedom presented in the image of a beach-bound laptop worker,
for an audience of those still living in cubicles, and their employ-
ers still paying for their cubicles. Makimoto and Manners (1997)
were the first to define the term based on their book, Digital No-
mad, and their prophesy was eventually did result in a lifestyle
movement although one much smaller to which the subculture
would allude. Speakers at digital nomad conferences promote the
idea that anyone can be a digital nomad and that everyone
should. But what is the reality of digital nomad employment, lei-
sure, and their socio-economic standing in society? Few studies
are based on empirical evidence outside of Gandinis (2016a)
study of location independent workers in Europe, and Schor and
W. Attwood-Charles(2017) work on labor in the sharing econo-
my. However, these studies do not focus on those who call them-
selves digital nomads”, or who use their location independence
to travel internationally. This article contributes empirical evi-
dence of thirty-eight digital nomads from developed nations
around the world and documents their experiences via qualitative
methods of in-depth interviews and observation. The findings
show that while digital nomads may have the freedom to spend
their time in countries that are very affordable for themselves, this
is matched with a downward mobility in their financial status, as
they can no longer count on full-time employment like their par-
entsgeneration, but must rely on digital piece-work, or gig, em-
ployment. However, this isnt necessarily due to their digital no-
mad status alone, as Millennials in developed nations around the
world are facing downward mobility, shrinking governmental
safety nets, and raising rates of debt.
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... The employment landscape has witnessed significant transformations over recent decades, with the gig economy emerging as a pivotal component of the global workforce (Thompson 2018). ...
... Thompson's exploration of 'digital nomads' underscores this duality. While this cohort, largely composed of the Millennial generation, enjoys the perks of telecommuting, they also grapple with unstable employment scenarios devoid of essential benefits (Thompson 2018 In synthesis, whether navigating the challenges of motherhood, the expectations of traditional employment, or the uncertain terrains of digital labor, women continue to face multifaceted challenges. Recognizing these intricacies and creating supportive structures becomes imperative for fostering a more equitable labor landscape. ...
... As highlighted by the experiences of Sarah and Zara, issues such as sporadic internet access and the absence of modern equipment can significantly impede professional development. This sentiment aligns with the research of Thompson (2018) and Wood et al. (2019), which posits that despite the theoretical inclusivity of freelancing, geographical and infrastructural challenges can result in a fragmented experience. ...
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This research delves into the intricate gender dynamics within the digital gig economy, with a specific lens on the experiences of female freelancers in Bangladesh. Utilizing a qualitative methodology, the study draws from 14 in-depth interviews and a pivotal key informant interview. The findings unravel multifaceted barriers women face, including societal expectations rooted in motherhood, pronounced economic barriers in accessing essential resources, and vulnerabilities in the form of harassment and deceit. Despite the allure of flexibility promised by the gig economy, women's experiences are shaped by the weight of societal norms and infrastructural disparities. Furthermore, wage disparities and infrastructural challenges, such as sporadic internet access and lack of modern equipment, amplify the obstacles. Yet, amid these adversities, the narratives also underscore the remarkable resilience of Bangladeshi female freelancers, as they navigate and adapt to these challenges. This study provides a crucial addition to the discourse on the gendered nuances of the digital gig landscape and the intersection of culture, labor, and technology.
... A portrait of a digital nomad can be drawn by looking at previous research. Studies assessing the profile of digital nomads have shown that they are mainly Western, young professionals, single, highly educated, self-employed with an average income, and usually working in a field such as digital marketing, web design, software management, computer programming, as well as in distance language teaching [6,7]. Digital nomads often travel to warm places with a low cost of living (e.g., Southeast Asia). ...
... Thompson [7] states that digital nomads are workers who work remotely and are usually employed in the fields of web design, programming, or online marketing. He also mentioned that digital nomads are a very different type of worker than teleworkers (remote workers). ...
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As remote work goes from trend to mainstream, digital nomads are on the rise, becoming a market every destination needs to attract. Considering the needs and wants of digital nomads, this paper aims to investigate the strengths and the opportunities of Greece, as an ideal destination for digital nomads, underlining, at the same time, the opportunities and threats challenging the country’s attractiveness towards this market segment. Furthermore, the authors analyze the content of website “Work From Greece: Become Digital Nomad in Greece”, the official Greek website dedicated to digital nomads in order to define Greece’s online presence, within this digital global community. In addition, co-working spaces in Greece are explored as an advanced form of hospitality favorable to digital nomads. The research methodology employed to draw conclusions combines a SWOT analysis and content analysis for websites of tourism businesses and organizations, as has been developed in previous research. The findings of this study reflect the current situation, providing academic and managerial implications when it comes to further research and recommendations for tourism policy and destination planning.
... observable in the virtual gig economy Acker (2006). This research adopts an intersectional lens to identify how power dynamics operate among employers and workers, with experienced workers with greater marketplace bargaining power expected to secure contracts more efficiently Yuen Thompson (2018). There is an evident lack of both quantitative and qualitative academic studies addressing this multilayered discrimination from Bangladesh's perspective. ...
... Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that computerization of work increases its intensity by enhancing monitoring and accelerating pace Green, Felstead, Gallie, and Henseke (2021), reducing the gaps between tasks and creating a mechanical atmosphere that extends the workday and disrupts work-life balance Yuen Thompson (2018). Such environments particularly burden female freelancers who juggle household responsibilities with their monitored online work. ...
This study explores the gender pay gap within the freelancing sector of Bangladesh, focusing on the relationship between factors such as education, work experience, and monthly investment with hourly earnings. The analysis, aimed at understanding the current situation, uncovers significant disparities between male and female freelancers. Specifically, the average hourly payment for female freelancers was found to be $17.08, compared to $24.05 for male freelancers. Additionally, female freelancers reported fewer years of education (9.5 years on average) and work experience (3.58 years on average) than their male counterparts (12.42 and 6.83 years, respectively). Furthermore, the average monthly investment was considerably lower for female freelancers ($3.92) in contrast to male freelancers ($11.73). The correlation analysis unveiled gender-specific differences in the impact of work experience and education on hourly payment. The findings emphasize that the gender pay gap in freelancing is a multifaceted issue, influenced by an array of interconnected factors. Given the intricacies of these disparities, there is an evident need for more extensive research to comprehend the underlying causes and to propose effective solutions.
... No "ABC da gentrificação" (Zukin, Kanisitz & Chen, 2015) a letra "A" representa as galerias de arte, a "B" as boutiques e a "C" fica, claro, com os coffee shops. Em sua já clássica análise sobre a gentrificação em Nova Alguns autores chamam esses estilos de vida de "place independent" ou "location independent" (Reichenberger, 2018;Thompson, 2018) Pensadas enquanto "arquiteturas da circulação" (Larkin, 2013), as infraestruturas são sistemas sociomateriais que facilitam o trânsito de coisas, informação, pessoas etc. São, em outras palavras, o que parece ser necessário para que algo funcione, flua, aconteça (Kockelman, 2013). As tentativas recentes nas ciências sociais de compreender a vida das/nas cidades a partir de suas infraestruturas (Amin, 2014) têm lançado luz sobre os dispositivos e materialidades urbanas e suas capacidades de produção do social. ...
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O crescimento exponencial do turismo em Lisboa, Portugal, transformou a cidade num destino atraente também para outras populações mais ou menos móveis. Nômades digitais, "expatriados", estudantes internacionais e uma forte mobilidade intraeuropeia fazem-se notar na paisagem urbana de Lisboa, sobretudo em espaços que mesclam práticas de consumo e de trabalho, como coffee shops, espaços de coworking e de coliving. Este artigo, organizado em forma de notas, debruça-se sobre essas novas infraestruturas urbanas que permitem a ancoragem (ainda que passageira) de práticas e estilos de vida móveis em Lisboa. Em particular, discute-se como os coffee shops facilitam a manutenção desses estilos de vida e como estão inseridos em processos mais amplos de gentrificação transnacional. O artigo resulta de um projeto coletivo de pesquisa financiado pela União Europeia e inclui trabalho de campo qualitativo nesses espaços, com seus proprietários e utilizadores. Palavras-chave: cafés, mobilidades, estilo de vida, nômades digitais, gentrificação transnacional.
Crowdwork platforms have been widely celebrated as challenging gendered labor market inequalities through new digitally mediated possibilities for reconciling work, home, and family. This paper interrogates those claims and explores the wider implications of digital labor platforms for an expansive work–family research agenda stubbornly rooted in formal modes of employment in the “analogue” economy. Based on ethnographic research with women platform workers in the UK (using PeoplePerHour, Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and Copify), the paper asks: what are women crowdworkers' lived experiences of integrating paid work and family relative to formal employment? And what coping tactics have women developed to reduce gendered work–family conflicts on digital labor platforms? In response to these research questions, the paper makes three contributions. First, it offers a critical review of recent commentary to theorize how disruptive innovations by digital labor platforms to recast long‐standing definitions of “work”, “workers”, “managers”, and “employers” have served to position platforms and platform workers as somehow outside the analytical gaze of the expansive work–family research agenda. Second, it extends a growing alternative work–family analysis of platform work to examine the kinds of “work–life balance” (WLB) provision available to women crowdworkers in the absence of an employer; and how women's experiences of algorithmically mediated and contradictory work–family outcomes further challenge widespread claims of new platform work–life “flexibilities”. Third, the paper points to exciting and urgent possibilities for advancing and recentering work–family research through new engagements with platforms, algorithmic management, and “independent” platform workers in support of feminist activism and campaigning around WLB.
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The major goal of green technology is to lessen the greenhouse effect and control global warming. Hence, the main idea is to come up with new inventions that do not deplete natural resources. The research, here, is attempted to examine the factors influencing consumers to purchase hybrid cars like environmentally friendlier automobiles that are gaining more popularity. Hybrid car is a vehicle that uses at least two or more power supply as to make the vehicle move. The combination of an internal combustion engine and electric motors is one of the uniqueness owned by hybrid cars. This study discusses various theoretical models and proposes a conceptual model based on those theories, especially on UTAUT2 (Extended Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology) which adapted and identified seven independent variables (performance expectancy, social influence, environmental concern, price value, hedonic motivation, facilitating conditions, and health benefit) and one dependent variable (behavioral intention to purchase) from the related literatures. Though there is huge importance or advantages of hybrid cars, there have been many people in Bangladesh till now who are not currently buying/using hybrid cars. This study is significant and rationale in environmental, marketers, and economic perspective. The expected outcome of this study will enhance new understanding on the profile of Bangladeshi consumers in purchasing hybrid cars as well as marketers, and policymakers can take opportunity to take decisions by utilizing the findings of this study.KeywordsHybrid carUTAUT2Conceptual modelBangladesh
Although digital nomadism is already an old concept, its visibility has recently become popular, and there are still very few scientific studies developed in this area. This research offers a significant contribution, to the systematization of this concept as it explored the origin of this phenomenon, the characteristics associated with the digital nomad and their preferences regarding destinations. The study provides a set of valuable insights that the entities responsible for destination management might use to format their offer in order to gain attractiveness towards this tourist segment.KeywordsDigital nomadsDestinationsTourismTechnology
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The world has experienced many changes in the era post-COVID-19. Remote work arrangements have recently emerged as a working model in which professionals work outside the traditional office environment. The number of remote workers is expected to increase in the years to come in the post-pandemic era. With the growing trend of remote work arrangements, more people experienced leisure travel without detachment from work. Hence, this paper aims to provide a holistic definition of a digital nomad. In doing so, past articles from 2009 until 2023 have been reviewed, analysed, and the definition provided from past articles have been extracted and compiled. The paper concludes with a holistic definition of digital nomads and its implications for practitioners.
Digital nomadism is defined as “the blending of tourism, leisure and professional activities to create a unique lifestyle based on remote work, global travel and multi-residential practices” (Mancinelli). Considering digital nomadism as a lifestyle, individuals need to be constantly on the move in order to maintain this lifestyle. In this case, lifestyle mobility can be mentioned at the intersection of travel, leisure time and migration. The relevant book chapter will address the issue of digital nomadism from a similar holistic perspective. For this purpose, developments in communication technologies and digitalization will be discussed in the first part, and the prominent features of digital nomadism as a lifestyle mobility will be mentioned in the second part, and finally, critical approaches to digital nomadism will be discussed and whether this lifestyle can be evaluated as a hedonic choice or a necessity.
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In this introductory essay, we explore definitions of the ‘sharing economy’, a concept indicating both social (relational, communitarian) and economic (allocative, profit-seeking) aspects which appear to be in tension. We suggest combining the social and economic logics of the sharing economy to focus on the central features of network enabled, aggregated membership in a pool of offers and demands (for goods, services, creative expressions). This definition of the sharing economy distinguishes it from other related peer-to-peer and collaborative forms of production. Understanding the social and economic motivations for and implications of participating in the sharing economy is important to its regulation. Each of the papers in this special issue contributes to knowledge by linking the social and economic aspects of sharing economy practices to regulatory norms and mechanisms. We conclude this essay by suggesting future research to further clarify and render intelligible the sharing economy, not as a contradiction in terms but as an empirically observable realm of socio-economic activity.
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Telecommuting has not permeated the American workplace, and where it has become commonly used, it is not helpful in reducing work-family conflicts; telecommuting appears, instead, to have become instrumental in the general expansion of work hours, facilitating workers' needs for additional worktime beyond the standard workweek and/or the ability of employers to increase or intensify work demands among their salaried employees
The overall task of this paper is to elaborate a typology of the forms of labour that are needed for the production, circulation and use of digital media. First, we introduce a cultural-materialist perspective on theorising digital labour. Second, we discuss the relevance of Marx’s concept of the mode of production for the analysis of digital labour. Third, we introduce a typology of the dimensions of working conditions. Fourth, based on the preceding sections we present a digital labour analysis toolbox. Finally, we draw some conclusions. We engage with the question what labour is, how it differs from work, which basic dimensions it has and how these dimensions can be used for defining digital labour. We introduce the theoretical notion of the mode of production as analytical tool for conceptualizing digital labour. Modes of production are dialectical units of relations of production and productive forces. Relations of production are the basic social relations that shape the economy. Productive forces are a combination of labour power, objects and instruments of work in a work process, in which new products are created. We have a deeper look at dimensions of the work process and the conditions under which it takes place. We present a typology that identifies dimensions of working conditions. It is a general typology that can be used for the analysis of any production process.
Problem, research strategy, and findings: Mixed-use zoning is widely advocated to increase density; promote active transportation; encourage economic development; and create lively, diverse neighborhoods. We know little, however, about whether mixed-use developments affect housing affordability. We question the impact of mixed-use zoning on housing affordability in Toronto (Canada) between 1991 and 2006 in the face of waning government support for affordable housing and increasing income inequality due to the occupational restructuring accompanying a shift to a knowledge-based economy. We fi nd that housing in mixed-use zones remained less affordable than housing in the rest of the city and in the metropolitan region. High-income service occupations experienced improved affordability while lower wage service, trade, and manufacturing occupations experienced stagnant or worsening affordability. Housing in mixed-use zones is increasingly affordable only to workers already able to pay higher housing costs. Our findings are limited to Canada's largest city but have lessons for large North American cities with similar urban economies and housing markets. Takeaway for practice: Mixed-use developments may reduce housing affordability in core areas and inadvertently reinforce the sociospatial inequality resulting from occupational polarization unless supported by appropriate affordable housing policies. Planners should consider a range of policy measures to offset the unintentional outcomes of mixed-use developments and ensure affordability within mixed-use zones: inclusionary zoning, density bonuses linked to affordable housing, affordable housing trusts, and other relevant methods.
For social analysts, what has come to be called the “sharing economy” raises important questions. After a discussion of history and definitions, we focus on 3 areas of research in the for-profit segment, also called the platform economy: social connection, conditions for laborers, and inequalities. Although we find that some parts of the platform economy, particularly Airbnb, do foster social connection, there are also ways in which even shared hospitality is becoming more like conventional exchange. With respect to labor conditions, we find they vary across platforms and the degree to which workers are dependent on the platform to meet their basic needs. On inequality, there is mounting evidence that platforms are facilitating person-to-person discrimination by race. In addition, platforms are advantaging those who already have human capital or physical assets, in contrast to claims that they provide widespread opportunity or even advantage less privileged individuals.
Exploring the new professional scenes in digital and freelance knowledge, this innovative book provides an account of the subjects and cultures that pertain to knowledge work in the aftermath of the creative class frenzy. Including a broad spectrum of empirical projects, The Reputation Economy documents the rise of freelancing and digital professions and argues about the central role held by reputation within this context, offering a comprehensive interpretation of the digital transformation of knowledge work. The book shows how digital technologies are not simply intermediating productive and organizational processes, allowing new ways for supply and demand to meet, but actually enable the diffusion of cultural conceptions of work and value that promise to become the new standard of the industry.
Debates about research impact highlight the importance of involving practitioners in research processes but are unclear as to how precisely to foster this dialogue. This paper considers how dialogic encounter can be encouraged through trading zones' where academics and practitioners collaborate. We draw on our experience of conducting research on women on boards for over 15 years to examine (a) how we established and evolved our role within trading zones in this field, achieving impact on policy and business practice, and (b) how we interfaced between trading zones and the academic field, thereby enabling cross-fertilization of ideas between academics and practitioners. We contribute to literature on research impact by empirically examining and critically evaluating the key characteristics of trading zones. First, trading zones are theorized to be action-oriented. Our analysis reveals how multiple stakeholders collectively redefine the action goals, illustrating the need to expand our understanding of relevant practitioners' beyond managers. Second, we find that durability of trading zones is crucial because it enables gestation of ideas and reframing problems. Third, we problematize the notion of psychological safety in trading zones, arguing that dialogic capability and the pursuit of impact require acceptance of trade-offs and political manoeuvrings.