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The enthusiasm around remote and independent working has rapidly gained momentum in the last few years. The digital nomad phenomenon has frequently been portrayed as an exemplar of this pattern and referred to by the media as a highly location-independent form of nomadic work. However, findings from this study highlight the centrality of various spaces in digital nomadic work and suggest finding and configuring these spaces allows digital nomads to accomplish productive work. Building on interviews with 23 digital nomads and analyzing pictures of workspaces from Twitter, this study examines the unique relationship among disparate workspaces, work practices, and technologies that shape nomadic work. Our findings refine the common argument that nomadic workers can work from "anywhere, anytime," by attending to the large roles that space may play in shaping work.
Journal of Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies (forthcoming)
Nomadic Work and Location Independence: The Role
of Space in Shaping the Work of Digital Nomads
Caleece Nash, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Will Sutherland, University of Washington, Seattle
The enthusiasm around remote and independent working has rapidly gained momentum in the last
few years. The digital nomad phenomenon has frequently been portrayed as an exemplar of this
pattern and referred to by the media as a highly location-independent form of nomadic work.
However, findings from this study highlight the centrality of various spaces in digital nomadic work
and suggest finding and configuring these spaces allows digital nomads to accomplish productive
work. Building on interviews with 23 digital nomads and analyzing pictures of workspaces from
Twitter, this study examines the unique relationship among disparate workspaces, work practices,
and technologies that shape nomadic work. Our findings refine the common argument that nomadic
workers can work from “anywhere, anytime,” by attending to the large roles that space may play in
shaping work.
Keywords: Location-independent work, nomadic work, remote work, digital nomads, digital
work, coworking spaces, mobile work, spatial materiality, technology management, mobile
In recent years, media outlets and public press have promulgated the idea that location-
independent, nomadic work implies that many independent digital workers now have the ability to
“work from anywhere” (Adams, 2017; Chayka, 2018; Clark, 2017). This viewpoint offers a simplified
portrayal of nomadic, remote workers, particularly in regard to the spatial dynamics of their
work. While advancements in technology are increasingly allowing nomadic workers to travel more
“off the grid,” their dependence on certain workspaces that facilitate their technologies and work
practices does not vanish. For nomadic workers, managing their work spaces remains an essential
part of working productively (Brown & O’Hara, 2003; Nelson et al., 2017).
Pervasive assumptions of location-independence implicitly present nomadic work as a monolithic
activity that can be uniformly accomplished across any spaces, what Hislop and Axtell (2009) call
‘the anytime, anyplace’ rhetoric. For example, Davis (2002, p. 1) asserts that “knowledge workers
can work with full access to communication, data, and computing from any location at any time.'' In
addition to Davis, media outlets also have misrepresented the reality of nomadic workers by stating
that they are able to have “no boundaries or borders to abide to, while being able to live and work
from anywhere in the world” (Adams, 2017). In this paper, we go beyond such blanket statements
and rigid formulations of location-independent knowledge work. While nomadic workers are not
bound to a traditional office space, there is a pattern of distinguishable spatial needs that they must
seek out in order to facilitate practices that are imperative to their lifestyle (Bardram & Bossen, 2005;
Kakihara & Sørensen, 2002; Richards, 2015). Due to their dependence upon digital technologies
and specialized environment ecologies needed for their work, nomadic workers, or what some
researchers call mobile or multi-location workers, are in fact dependent on particular spaces for
conducting various types of work (Liegl, 2014; Rossitto & Eklundh, 2007; Spinuzzi, 2012). Thus,
while this professional lifestyle has been popularized for the ability to work unrestricted to any
location, such assertations can oversimplify nomadic work, even in one of the most extreme
manifestations of it (i.e., digital nomadism) (Vanderkam, 2014).
To highlight this, we seek to draw attention to varied work practices common to digital nomads in
order to examine the relationship between nomadic work and the concept of space. In doing so, we
focus on digital nomads as they are considered one of the most extreme forms of nomadic workers
with spatial, organizational and technological mobility ( Müller, 2016; Schlagwein & Jarrahi, 2020;
Wang et al., 2018). These workers have become recognized for their ability to continuously and
purposefully travel to and temporarily live in far-flung locations around the world, with no home
bases in most cases (Aroles et al., 2020; Reichenberger, 2018). This work context can be
understood as a fertile ground in which the phenomenon of interest (here mobility of work and its
relationship with space) is “transparently observable” (Pettigrew, 1990).
In addition, we explore the role of digital technologies and infrastructures in shaping the relationship
between nomadic worker practices and space. Past work has made it clear that the ability to enjoy
flexible, mobile work arrangements and enact a ‘mobile office’ hinges upon the use of a diverse set
of information resources and technologies (Dal Fiore et al., 2014; Kietzmann, 2008). Our findings
point to the fact that locating spaces to work can be a difficult undertaking due to the significant
influence that characteristics such as people, technology, and meanings can have on a particular
physical environment; these factors can be highly restraining to nomadic workers when attempting to
utilize a space for work-related purposes (Cook, 2020).
In what follows, we provide a brief review of relevant literature and a description of the method we
used. Then we focus on the findings from this work, which revolve around the relationships between
space and key work practices performed by a typical digital nomad. Finally, we suggest some
broader implications of this work based on the interplay among work, space, and digital technology.
Literature Review
Rise of Nomadic Workers
Previous literature acknowledges that mobility, nomadic work practices, and digital technologies
are highly dependent upon each other (Ens et al., 2018; Nelson et al., 2017). Nomadic workers
have previously been defined in the literature as workers who travel to meet clients or other
business associates (Mark & Su, 2010). However, more recent research has begun to highlight
the evolution of nomadic workers who are straying from the traditional definition by traveling for
adventure or other purposes as well as traveling for various lengths of time (Aguilera, 2008;
Nash et al., 2018; Richards, 2015). While definitions of mobile work are varying, nomadic
workers are normally distinguished from other forms of mobile workers by their desire and ability
to move their workplace across different locations (de Carvalho, 2011). It is clear that nomadic
workers must not only be able to maintain mobile lifestyles but also mobile social interactions
(BenMoussa, 2003; Humphry, 2014). Mobile technologies enable these to work in various
environments while maintaining these social interactions (Hemsley et al., 2020; Karanasios &
Allen, 2014).
Nomadic workers spend a lot of time finding and researching spaces that can accommodate
their necessary work practices and are sometimes willing to pay to access them (Halford, 2005;
Rossitto & Eklundh, 2007). Regardless of differences between nomadic workers, all of them
have several issues in common, including the most prominent being the “burden of mobility” or
the struggle to continuously find suitable environments for both working and living ( Cass et al.,
2005; Jarrahi & Thomson, 2017). However, through their ability to creatively solve problems and
consult others through knowledge sharing forums online, nomadic workers can learn how to
prepare for any potential issues and ask questions through information and communication
technologies (ICTs) before traveling to a certain area (Büscher, 2014; Jarrahi et al., 2018;
Messenger & Gschwind, 2016).
Space and Nomadic Work
For nomadic workers, there are two spaces in which they are considered to be inhabiting
regularly: the physical space or location they are in and the virtual space of the technologies
they use for their conversations (Lowry & Moskos, 2005). While it has been suggested that for
nomadic workers there is a decorporealization in spaces due to the prominent role that
technology plays in their lives, this does not in fact reflect the reality of nomadic work, since
space remains a practical concern that requires nomadic workers to make decisions regarding
where to work and what environment is most suitable for their designated tasks (Brown &
O’Hara, 2003; Cook, 2020; de Carvalho et al., 2011). Bardram et al. (2005, p. 137) states that
the “challenge of mobility work arises from the fact that in practice a place is not just an abstract
space, but must have a set of required characteristics in order to be appropriate for a line of
Nomadic workers are competent at using many of the corporeal implications that a particular
space can have to offer (Kusenbach, 2017). In order to use spaces that accommodate their
tools and have the necessary corporeal implications, nomadic workers often turn to coworking
spaces to provide these elements (Wang et al., 2019). These coworking spaces serve “as a
place where often ‘hip’ freelance creative workers gather and share knowledge” (DeGuzman &
Tang, 2011; Ross et al., 2015; Schuermann, 2014). Coworking spaces can provide
characteristics such as “collaboration, openness, community, accessibility, and sustainability”
(Capdevila, 2015, p. 2). Nomadic workers value having control over these types of
characteristics when finding places to work (Ivaldi et al., 2018). These environments often have
to be created and monitored with the nomadic workers’ needs in mind (Ivaldi et al., 2018; Lee et
al., 2019). Hence, nomadic workers will pay money to occupy these spaces in order to facilitate
both social and work interactions as well as enable their mobile technologies to work properly
(Orel, 2019). This successively enables the nomadic worker to accomplish their tasks
productively (Cook, 2020; Ens et al., 2018; Lee et al., 2019). Coworking spaces also provide
workers the opportunity to “bump” into other professionals to network and brainstorm ideas (Lee
et al., 2019; Urry, 2013).
Nomadic workers tend to seek out environments that provide necessary resources, such as
workspaces that allow them to feel like a member of a community or coworking offices that have
security and maintenance included (Spreitzer et al., 2017). In addition, many nomadic workers
value the ability to network and share tacit knowledge which can lead to innovations and thus
will choose to work somewhere which facilitates socializing (Brown & O’Hara, 2003; Ciolfi & de
Carvalho, 2014; Perry et al., 2001). This unique ability to engage in socialization work outside of
a traditional office has created an innovative appeal to coworking spaces. Previous literature
has already tied coworking spaces to mobile socialization work because of its specialized
communal infrastructure (Gerdenitsch et al., 2016).
Technology and Nomadic Work
Nomadic workers rely heavily on technology in order to facilitate their regular business practices
and work. Since knowledge workers are able to conduct work outside of one particular business
location, nomadic workers are generally considered knowledge workers as well (Davis, 2002);
(Fabbri & Charue-Duboc, 2013; Pittinsky & Shih, 2004). While nomadic workers may not be tied
to a particular spot, they are restricted to working in areas in which their technologies can
operate properly. Their ability to learn and share their knowledge relies heavily on their access
to ICTs (Lyu et al., 2019). The technologies and tools which serve as mediums for networking
and finding gigs, sharing their work, as well as receiving payment are crucial to their work
practices (Jarrahi et al., 2018). Tools such as strong Wi-Fi connections and outlets for chargers
are not found in every space and often nomads must seek out locations in which these tools are
accessible (Hemsley et al., 2020). These tools include both physical devices and software
For nomadic workers, the space they choose to work in must not only facilitate productive work,
but also facilitate their technologies needed to work and share their knowledge. While these
technologies are portable and mobile, they still do not overcome all the challenges nomadic
workers face in order to be able to work in any space throughout the world (McCarthy & Wright,
2005; Rossitto & Eklundh, 2007). Thus, while these technologies have created many
affordances for nomadic workers, they have also simultaneously created obstacles and
limitations for nomadic workers when selecting spaces.
Digital Nomads
From the rise of flexible working opportunities and advancements in portable technology,
various forms of nomadic work have become more prevalent and achievable. One of the
distinctive forms of nomadic work, digital nomadism, has become glamorized due to the media’s
portrayal as the ability to travel and work in exotic, remote locations (Nash et al., 2018). This
form of nomadic work is unique, since digital nomads are not required to travel, but instead elect
to travel nonstop for their own enjoyment (Richards, 2015; Thompson, 2019). Digital nomads
use various online platforms to connect with other digital nomads and find spaces to accomplish
productive work while visiting new locations (Prester et al., 2019). Digital nomads rely heavily on
the gig economy to find work that allows for “freedom and flexibility” (Thompson, 2018). Their
use of online platforms and communities to find skilled, digital gig work positions to fit their time
zones and travel schedules is imperative to their lifestyle (De Groen et al., 2016; Sutherland &
Jarrahi, 2017). Digital nomads frequently cite the challenges of working productively despite
spatial constraints and distractions as one of the most difficult, yet frequent issues (Cook, 2020).
However, through using spaces and technologies available, digital nomads are able to create a
larger barrier between their work and personal life (Hart, 2015). For digital nomads, leveraging
different resources to establish their workspace in different locations is a central concern, and in
this sense digital nomadism serves as an opposite site for refining understandings of
Previous work on nomadic work exploring the interplay between space and work practices
(Brown & O’Hara, 2003; Hislop & Axtell, 2009) serves as an inspiration for this research. These
studies have focused on more traditional forms of nomadic workers in the context of larger
organizations. For example, Hislop and Axtell (2009) highlight the particular task/location
relationships in the context of the consultants working for management consultancies. However,
our research here focuses on digital nomads as independent digital workers with extreme forms
of spatial mobility and non-existent or loose organizational affiliations. We re-examine some of
Hislop and Axtell’s findings, which were couched in specific task requirements of consultants,
with a focus on specific geographic mobility patterns (e.g., focused on spatial patterns of work in
transit, clients’ offices, employers' offices, and home).
The “location-independent” digital nomad lifestyle implies the ability to travel anywhere in the
world (Mohn, 2017). Inspired and motivated by the freedom that coincides with this lifestyle,
digital nomads seek to escape a life of traditional work arrangements. However, by avoiding
these traditional arrangements, digital nomads are forced to create inventive practices that
accommodate their mobility. These innovative practices highlight in particular their unique
relationships with various spaces and their technologies. Thus, in order to understand these
spatial patterns and technology needs, interviews with digital nomads and a review of pictures
from Twitter were conducted to provide data for empirical analysis.
Approximately hour-long interviews were conducted with 23 self-identifying, active digital
nomads. Interview participants were intentionally selected from a variety of professional
backgrounds and differing nomadic experiences. Some had been travelling for a little over a
year, while others had more than five years of experience. Participants were selected from three
online forums where large communities of digital nomads have developed: /r/digitalnomad, a
subforum of the forum site; Digital Nomads Around the World, a group for digital
nomads on; and, a website built by a digital nomad expressly for
the purpose of supporting digital nomadic work; and Twitter. Additionally, some participants
were contacted because they had written articles or blog posts about being a digital nomad, or
were prominent members of an online digital nomad community. Participants were asked a
variety of questions about their mobility and daily use of technology in a semi-structured format.
The interviews took place over video conferencing applications and were transcribed verbatim
afterwards. This enabled the participants to answer any immediate follow up questions and
allowed for a free-flowing conversation.
Interview transcripts were uploaded into a data management and analytics software to
understand common themes and identify patterns pertaining to the spatial dimension of a digital
nomads’ lifestyle. Specific statements were coded by types of nomadic work and generalized
spaces that digital nomads have regularly utilized. Two categories were also created for
“general work” and “general rental living place” for comments that were relevant to this study,
but the participant did not clarify the specific type of work or space.
Twitter Analysis
To visualize Digital Nomads’ differing workspaces and understand how they use their
technologies to “make spaces”, pictures from Twitter were downloaded into a data management
and analytics software chronologically. Pictures downloaded were dated from June 2017 to
January 2019 and were listed with the hashtags #digitalnomad or #digitalnomads in the caption.
All pictures downloaded from Twitter were from publicly accessible accounts that are available
online for anyone to view. Pictures which included advertisements or did not have any mobile
devices, desks, or indications of a designated workspace were not analyzed due to a lack of
relevance for understanding the spatial affordances of nomadic workers’ spaces. This reduced
the Twitter photographs eligible for review and analysis to 112 photos. Pictures were coded with
the same categories as the interviews. Through these thematic codes, we were able to analyze
trends and patterns within digital nomads’ spaces. The categories of “general work” and
“general rental living space” were also used again for any pictures in which the exact nature
could not be discerned from the picture or caption.
Figure 1. Example of a Digital Nomad’s workspace image from Twitter
Interview participants did reflect the media’s claim that the digital nomad lifestyle allows for the
ability to work across different places. Many participants discussed how there were few
restrictions when selecting the physical locations to conduct work, including Participant 15 who
claimed to “have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world”. Interview participants used
the term “location-independent” frequently to describe their lifestyle and many believe their
technologies enable them to be what they consider location-independent and unrestrained from
any physical location while working. Their passion for adventure and travel generally
supersedes the frustrations that arise from the burdens of extreme mobility. However, these
statements about being “location-independent” should be put in context as participants also
provided details about spatial patterns, constraints, and needs for accomplishing work
Consistently when digital nomads defined their office, they listed technologies they used on a
regular basis to conduct work. As demonstrated in Figure 1, digital nomads highlight their
technologies and tools used to accomplish productive work. Participant 8 commented that in
terms of her office, “it’s definitely not physical, when I think about my office it’s definitely not a
physical space. I guess it’s my laptop and my mobile phone; that’s my office”. Through these
portable technologies, digital nomads are able to create a mobile office (Nash et al., 2018).
However, Participant 7 noted that not only did she need her technologies to create their mobile
office space, but also needed to go “anywhere I can get a good phone connection.” Thus, digital
nomads must seek environments that can facilitate their portable technologies’ functions in
order to accomplish work.
Many digital nomads noted that in order to facilitate the type of work they intend to accomplish,
finding a physical environment that supports their tasks and productivity is crucial. Participant 4
commented that when searching for a space to conduct work, it is important to “match my
surroundings with the work that I’m doing.” Throughout the interviews, digital nomads discussed
their distinct, personalized spaces for different types of work, which often varied from each
other. Participant 2 stated that her selection of spaces was dependent upon the “different type
of kind of concentration, feasibility, and different types of environment which is best for certain
things.” While over 25% of the photographs of workspaces from digital nomads on Twitter were
taken on a beach or other outdoor space, interview participants were clear that this is not
representative of what their workspace is during the majority of their travels. The pictures
represent the idealized workspaces for digital nomads but are not necessarily the workspaces a
digital nomad utilizes on a daily basis in order to accomplish constructive work. This glamorous
but inaccurate portrayal on social media is likely part of the reason digital nomads are being
mislabeled as “location-independent” workers by the media.
Digital nomads often have the intent to accomplish a particular item or a few tasks in a certain
space which are decided upon prior to arrival. There are evident associations between the type
of spaces they select and form of work they prefer to accomplish in those spaces. There are
four types of work digital nomads regularly engaged in in order to navigate the unique spatial
arrangements they regularly encounter: 1) collaboration work, 2) socialization work, 3)
collaboration work, and 4) articulation work. These differing forms of work activities require even
the most extreme mobile workers to be dependent upon finding locations that have spatial
characteristics which allow for productive work.
Figure 2 demonstrates a general overview of the relationship between spaces digital nomads
frequent and different forms of work. Each space has its own unique facets, and therefore
enabling and constraining certain work practices (Kusenbach, 2017; Raulet-Croset, 2013).
However, by engaging in articulation workdigital nomads find and configure the relationship
between spaces and other forms of work activities.
Figure 2. The relationships between space and nomadic forms of work
1) Collaboration Work
In order to communicate with the necessary professional associates, digital nomads need an
environment in which they can collaborate and communicate with like-minded workers. When
digital nomads meet with other collaborators or clients, they also must have an internet or
cellular connection that is stable enough to maintain the connection throughout the duration of
the collaboration work session. These requirements are not only fundamental to carrying out
their collaboration work, but also imperative for creating a professional appearance. Participant
20 commented on how in the wrong environment, collaborators mention that it is “distracting
when we’re talking with them, they’ll be like where are you right now, why are there so many
trucks going by.”
Since digital nomads do not want their lifestyle to appear as unprofessional to collaborators,
they do not want to give off any impression that the collaboration work is inconvenient.
Participant 7 touched on the idea of ensuring the client does not have any reason to doubt that
the digital nomad is not in a professional workspace and admits that “I don’t always tell them
where I am because sometimes they get upset to think I’m far away” in order to avoid when
“clients get really bent out of shape.” Thus, physical spaces that allow for the digital nomad to
control the noise level and maintain a reliable online connection are the most ideal when
performing collaborative work.
Many digital nomads will create makeshift video or teleconferencing environments in their
Airbnb or housing since they are familiar with that particular space and can determine in
advance if it meets the necessary requirements to perform collaboration work. Figure 3 was
taken from a popular, public digital nomad online forum and demonstrates their ability to turn a
casual living space into an environment that is professional for video conferencing by using
boxes and sheets to transform the space. However, if the housing situation does not fulfill
expectations or cannot be adapted to fit their needs, then often digital nomads are willing to pay
for coworking spaces in order to be guaranteed their spatial requirements will be met. For
instance, Participant 10 stated that “we were having a lot of problems so I did like I guess about
six weeks at a co-working space where I had a private room where I could do some of my calls
and stuff because I couldn’t rely on the internet at home.” These environments for collaboration
work generally mirror a traditional office space as closely as possible. However, due to the
variations in coworking spaces, some encourage socialization, which can be distracting when
conducting collaboration work.
Figure 3. A collaborative, homework environment of a digital nomad
2) Socialization Work
Casual, workplace conversation, otherwise known as the “water-cooler” effect, often requires
intentional effort when seeking this convention outside of a traditional office space (Ross et al.,
2015). However, these opportunities are often missing in the remote lifestyle of nomadic
workers. One of the most notable spaces nomadic workers have popularized as a solution to
contrive these conversations are coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are built with the
intention of providing a space that offers the same conveniences and social affordances of a
traditional, stationary office (Garrett et al., 2014; Spinuzzi, 2012). Often, coworking spaces have
designated rooms or areas to help facilitate socialization work, which is often the most difficult
for digital nomads to partake in due to the moving nature of their office. Notably, coworking
spaces have helped to fill this void creating environments to encourage and facilitate networking
and creative problem solving with surrounding professionals.
Coworking spaces also help nomadic workers to separate their workplace and home while
avoiding complete isolation and an enervating sense of loneliness (Lee et al., 2019). Participant
5 commented how working outside of private areas is “so important I think for my mental health
and my emotional health as well as just for my state of mind, just a general state of mind, and
like being around people.” Figure 4, taken from Twitter, demonstrates the value coworking
spaces provide for casual conversations and discussions to learn and share new ideas. While
coworking spaces vary in environments and aura, Participant 2 noted that some coworking
spaces can be very difficult to accomplish other forms of work since “there’s lots of distraction in
co-working spaces unless you have a dedicated desk there.” Thus often coworking space
managers play a large role in shaping the environment to fit the needs of the occupants (Ivaldi
et al., 2018).
Beyond coworking spaces, digital nomads often seek out conferences and events with fellow
mobile, remote workers. There are many programs such as Nomad Cruise, which provides
group mobile accommodations and resources geared specifically towards digital nomads.
Participant 5 cited how these conferences and events can be “actually like a feeling of like
community and connection that there was maybe a broader social context of the work that we
were trying to do, and that wasn’t necessarily a motivation to keep doing it, but I think it was
reaffirming to know that other people were in a similar place as me.” This participant frequently
hosted conferences which gave him the opportunity to share his experiences and expertise in
creative writing and yoga. He held conferences in a range of places during his travels from
Germany to his home base in Rhode Island, United States. However, for digital nomads who
are not able to budget money on coworking spaces or conferences will spend time in social
public venues to network and meet with others. Participant 2 stated that “when I’m at coffee
shops obviously it’s a good place to meet people just because it’s more social.”
Figure 4. A group works together at a conference hosted at PuzlCowOrKing space
3) Focus Work
For digital nomads, focus work can be the most tedious and crucial to maintain a balance
between highly mobile lifestyle and productive work. In order to perform this work productively
and exemplary manner, finding an environment that is quiet and enables the digital nomad to
focus is vital. Participant 10 stated how “being in a café is often not very conducive to doing that
kind of focused work, I need quiet, you know, no distractions.” Generally, many digital nomads
concurred that public environments are not adequate when attempting to complete focus work.
However, some digital nomads considered public environments that had minimal to no noise
levels were also acceptable for completing focus work. Participant 4 discussed that when
“working on something that I really need to lose myself in and I need to be completely absorbed
by it, being in the library is one of the best places.” Participants frequently referenced this
important ability to be engulfed by their focus work when necessary. Generally, many
participants needed a silent area in order to shift into that mindset that would be free from
distractions. Photos that displayed focus work were generally taken in private areas in which the
digital nomad was the only person that had access or was inhabiting that particular space.
Digital nomads frequently referenced their housing area as a good environment to achieve
focus work due to its generally silent nature and predictability. Participant 10 decided to rent a
private room at a coworking space since she needed to make regular calls that required internet
connection but could not work at her house due to the intermittent internet connection at that
location. Other participants also discussed the benefits of being able to access more physical
space which enables them to spread out their devices. Participant 8 noted: “I work best at home
when I’m working on client stuff because at home, I actually have dual monitors and that’s really
helpful for me. Like if I’m looking at something on one screen and working in another, like if I’m
helping a client set up a system or work on a website it’s easier to have both monitors.” This
ability to access all of their technologies in a comfortable environment can allow digital nomads
to focus even more on their necessary tasks. Figure 5 is an example that Participant 15 shared
during the interview process that demonstrates a typical space that some digital nomads would
envision as an ideal place for conducting focus work. This photograph was from her living space
on a Nomad Cruise excursion that was sailing in the Arctic Ocean. Her living space was suitable
for creating a simple, yet sufficient environment to conduct focus work.
Figure 5. A digital nomad’s focus space
4) Articulation Work
Articulation work differs from the other forms of work practices discussed in this paper and is
arguably the most important to sustaining a nomadic lifestyle, particularly in regard to their
spatial needs. Generally, this practice consists of coordinating the arrangements and planning
the logistics for how work can be accomplished (Corbin & Strauss, 1993; Strauss, 1985).
Articulation work is a “supra-type” of work, the planning, scheduling, organizing, and meshing of
other tasks that are actually being paid for by the client or corporation. For nomadic workers, it
is crucial to dedicate a significant amount of articulation work to finding places and configuring
resources to do their work.
During articulation work, digital nomads must decide and plan what type of spaces to seek out
and how to alter the spatial affordances of that place with their technologies. Many digital
nomads felt articulation work was an appropriate use of time as necessary or at locations that
were not ideal for any of the other forms of work. Participant 3 stressed the importance for
digital nomads of having “no free time or no dead time” and as long as she could access her
technologies, she felt responsible “using that time to be efficient and productive”. However, in an
environment that can be loud and often distracting, such as an airport lobby or in transit,
Participant 10 achieved tasks that were meaningful “for my business and less about client
work”. Places related to transportation continuously surfaced in interviews with digital nomads
for achieving articulation work. However, despite being labeled as work for “dead-time”,
Participant 8 demonstrated her range of tasks involved with articulation work including
“marketing, set up social media posts, plan my events, check email, so just kind of like the quick
tasks or like writing projects”.
Many participants commented on the importance of researching and finding places that
facilitated their other forms of work once out of the “dead-time”. Digital nomads have been
known to be skilled at networking with each other online for information gathering and sharing,
particularly in regards to finding recommendations or solutions (Jarrahi et al., 2018). For digital
nomads traveling to foreign locations, planning and ensuring that they can find access to spaces
that can facilitate their work is crucial to their lifestyle. Participant 3 commented how when she
thinks that she has found a potential space to conduct work she would make sure “it’s safe and
just stop in and be like oh do you have WiFi we can use?”. Once digital nomads find a space,
they can then begin to adjust and personalize the space by altering the spatial characteristics to
fit their needs (Brown & O’Hara, 2003).
Digital nomads’ creativity with their spaces and technologies is readily apparent when setting up
their mobile office. For digital nomads, this is particularly evident throughout the process of
configuration work, a form of articulation work in which the surrounding environment and tools
are configured to fit the appropriate context of the environment, form of work, and types of
technologies used (Jarrahi & Nelson, 2018). Figure 6 shows a digital nomad’s office which has
features to supplement their technologies, such as the adjustable height laptop stand, but also
innovative technologies, like the vertical ergonomic mice for both the left and right hand. All
these portable tools and technologies can be configured to help make the mobile office more
spatially adequate for the digital nomad to complete work.
Figure 6. A digital nomad’s creatively engineered space
While recognizing the advancement in technologies that allow digital nomads to work outside a
traditional office space, the dominant rhetoric of location-independence fails to recognize the
nuanced interplay of space, work, technology in enabling and constraining nomadic lifestyle.
These dynamics became apparent to our research participants when discussing their mobile
workspaces. The imperative reliance on affordances of specific spaces and technologies
prevents them from being able to conduct work practices from any spaces in which they may
find themselves. While technologies are increasingly miniaturized and portable, they may often
not be operable in particular spaces. As evidenced in previous research, the spatial materiality
of certain locations are simply impossible to alter in order to use technologies and perform
certain types of work, thus restricting digital nomads when choosing spaces (Mitev & de
Vaujany, 2013). For example, connectivity and maintaining operable battery levels on devices
were issues that digital nomads had to consider throughout their travels and sojourns. Digital
nomads must find spaces that accommodate these necessary attributes to complete their work
before they can begin to select spaces that appeal to their spatial preferences. These qualifying
infrastructural possibilities are not found in every space.
It is important to note the difference between spaces and places in the context of location
independence. Saar and Palang (2014, p. 6) define space “as physical and social landscape
which is imbued with meaning in everyday place-bound social practices and emerges through
processes that operate over varying spatial and temporal scales”. Thus, while space is the
physical area, place is instead the meaning that influences the particular space. Digital nomads
may be able to use technologies to create different places to work in, but not all spaces provide
the possibility to be turned into functioning work ‘places.’ Technology has both enabled and
restricted the ability for digital nomads to work in various spaces. However, the constraints
technology places on digital nomads suggest that even these workers are limited by and
dependent on locations and spaces. For nomadic workers, each space they inhabit involves
certain types of affordances, thus their lifestyle is more nuanced than implied by the common
use of the term location-independent. Rossitto et. al (2007) argues that spatial discontinuity
corresponds closely with technology discontinuity. As nomadic workers change the spaces in
which they are working, the technologies and tools they use may jointly change as well.
Mobility vs. Location-independence
While digital nomads have the ability to be mobile and the opportunity to work in a range of
spaces outside of a traditional office, they are still not completely ‘location-independent.Our
findings from observations of hypermobile independent workers support the premise of earlier
work on multi-location consultants working for an organization conducted by Hislop and Axtell
(2009); they argue “while the consultants were able to carry out some work activities in all four
of the locations examined, they were far from able to carry out any task, anywhere” (p. 71).
The characteristics of spaces can still restrict and enable what forms of work can be conducted
in certain locations. While some characteristics can be altered through technology, others
cannot, which in turn makes some spaces not conducive for work. Thus, it is not possible to be
location-independent since space matters to digital nomads and is carefully selected to enable
their nomadic practices. Digital nomads have differing spatial requirements for various forms of
work which inhibit them from being able to work in any location. For example, a digital nomad’s
collaboration work is similar to socialization work since information and knowledge is being
shared, but yet they often need vastly different environments for collaboration work. Articulation
work is vital to be able to plan and arrange these other forms of work. Digital nomads must
continually engage in articulation work to mesh different tasks and the resources of different
locations dynamically. Their technologies and capability to take strategic advantage of their
environments can help to reduce the amount of constraints a space has in regards to a
particular form of work; however, it often does not completely eliminate the need for certain,
differing spatial characteristics in their workspaces. Thus, while digital nomads are an
interesting form of nomadic workers, even their extreme mobility does not translate to being
When nomadic workers are unable to find a space that fits all their needs for a space, they are
often able to use technology to alter the affordance of space in order to fit their requirements or
become better-suited for their productivity levels (Brown & O’Hara, 2003). In order to be as
productive as possible, nomadic workers often utilize their technologies and applications to
create an appropriate space to focus on their tasks (Humphry, 2014). This phenomenon of
“making space” requires advanced preparation as well as thorough planning in order to achieve
productive work (Perry et al., 2001; Büscher, 2014).
However, nomadic workers cannot “make space” if the environment has limitations that are not
naturally conducive to their work or cannot be altered through the use of technologies available.
For example, while a nomadic worker may be able to use noise canceling headphones to drown
out the background noise of a coffee shop, it may not diminish the effect of visual distraction
and the limited time some coffee shops allow for each person to sit and use the space. This is
particularly essential during focus work since nomadic workers must find an environment that
supports productive, solo work.
Despite bearing the burden of mobility and “making spaces” for work, digital nomads still
maintain their immense ambition to travel to new locations. Their desire to travel and have
flexible schedules is one of the main catalysts that cause digital nomads to lose interest in
traditional office jobs. Their sense of adventure and eagerness to travel distinguishes them from
other forms of nomadic workers. Digital nomads are highly adept with creatively using
technologies and spaces to overcome challenges and make a sufficient income in order to
continue living their preferred extremely nomadic lifestyle.
Figure 7. The interplay among work, space, and digital technology
Digital work, one of the least location-bound forms of work, is closely tied with the use of digital
technologies and infrastructures. Our findings demonstrate that digital work still depends on
different spaces and locations as depicted in Figure 7. Digital technology has changed how
work and space shape each other; technologies such as cloud services or local digital
infrastructures have certainly expanded the notion of workspace as many digital workers are
able to work from a larger number of locations and on the move. However, space matters in
how work is conducted, and technology may not render digital work completely location-
independent as portrayed by the media and business press.
Digital nomads have been pioneers in terms of creatively problem solving many challenges nomadic
workers face on a regular basis. While spaces have previously been studied in the context of mobile
work, understanding the term location independence through this context has not received an
adequate level of attention. If a nomadic worker were to be location-independent, by definition they
would be able to transform any space into an adequate place to work. As mobile work continues to
evolve into more extreme trends, understanding the role of digital technologies and the changing
relationship with space is critical for scholars. Forms of work that are independent from a particular
space are now gaining traction and have become very appealing to many young professionals.
However, through recognizing that being location independence cannot be achieved by any form of
nomadic worker, we can begin to perceive a greater conceptualization of the dynamic relationship
between space, work, and technology.
Labeling digital nomads as location-independent nomadic workers is a fundamental
miscategorization that has been created and perpetuated from both social media and various
publications. In order to complete their work, digital nomads deeply rely not only on their
technologies but also the ability to find and use environments in which they can conduct productive
work and use their technologies. While digital nomadism is indeed considered one of the most highly
mobile trends in work, it does not lift the burden of finding sufficient spaces to work. Although many
digital nomads are quick to label themselves as location-independent, their reliance upon being able
to find and create certain workspaces is pivotal for conducting productive forms of work. Discovering
spaces that fit the requirements necessary to accomplish work while also prioritizing spaces that
accommodate individual preferences could not be accomplished without technology. The important
role that space has for nomadic workers should not be overlooked, especially as these workers
become more prevalent.
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... Reichenberger (2018) illustrated that their professional and spatial freedom contributed to digital nomads' personal freedom by creating a holistic lifestyle of opportunities for self-development and learning. Nash et al. (2021) focused their studies on the dynamic relationship between space, work, and technology, suggesting that labelling digital nomads as location-independent nomadic workers is a miscategorization. Mancinelli (2020) concluded that this type of traveler has a minimalist attitude toward property and consumption and gives importance to flexibility and entrepreneurialism. ...
... Digital nomadism is a location-independent lifestyle conducted, usually, by young professionals who work in an online basis, which allows them to travel and work simultaneously, blurring the lines between travel, leisure, work, and the boundaries between personal and professional life (Reichenberger 2018;Mancinelli 2020). By taking advantage of their spatial mobility and flexible working hours, and due to the lack of family commitments at earlier stages in life, digital nomads choose to explore the world (Reichenberger 2018;Richter and Richter and Richter 2020;Mancinelli 2020;Nash et al. 2021). Digital nomads are characterized as location-independent entrepreneurs or freelancers that are able to combine work and their personal life within high levels of flexibility (Müller 2016). ...
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... Their remote employment enables them to cut down costs of transportation, avoid office-based distractions and provide childcarefriendly scheduling (Thompson, 2019). Another study by Nash et al (2021) defined a digital nomad as someone who travels for work to meet with clients or other contacts. Other researchers asserted that digital nomads are those who frequently relocate their workplaces across borders, regardless of whether they ever return home (Al-Hadi & Al-Aufi, 2019). ...
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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.
... Local communities can allow the digital nomads to establish businesses and support some of their activities (Krakat, 2021;Krakat, 2021b). The local communities can benefit from employment opportunities, income generation through hosting digital nomads (e.g., providing accommodation and transport services), and skills development when collaborating in business activities in co-working spaces (Nash, Jarrahi & Sutherland, 2021). ...
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This paper explores government strategies for promoting digital nomadism in the tourism sector. The study used the case of the city of Cape Town to analyse secondary data, e.g., government strategies and media reports using thematic analysis. The findings showed that digital nomadism has the potential to promote innovation, new ways of working, and job creation. However, there are also challenges that recovery strategies must address for digital nomadism to be successful, e.g., delays in the introduction of remote work visas and the lack of clarity about digital taxation. The study contributes to the understanding of the benefits and challenges of digital nomadism in the context of developing countries.
... Many coworking spaces in Bali offer amenities like high-speed internet, comfortable seating, and free coffee or snacks, making it easier for digital nomads to stay productive and energized while working. The Indonesian government has also recognized the potential benefits of attracting digital nomads to the country and has taken steps to make it easier for remote workers to live and work in Bali (Nash et al., 2021). In 2021, the government introduced a new visa scheme specifically designed for digital nomads, which allows them to stay in Bali for up to six months without having to leave the country or apply for a work permit. ...
Global Market is part of the norm and it is supported by the digital age. With internet, people is able to access transaction from other region or other state, hence it includes what happened to Bali tourism. Bali tourism has been part of the state’s important income, it’s as equal as State Owned Enterprise business. In order to preserve the business, some problems occurred and that includes how work field and multirace community faced struggle. With content analysis, the research reveals the problem of Russian Tourist and their traffic capability or the gentrification within digital nomads due to the work is being filled with foreigners. Each of them had the persuasive communication to deal with this kind of problem. The persuasive communication interestingly involves the foreigner itself with satiric content in order to make them understand the rules. Keywords: Russian Tourist; Content Analysis; Digital Nomad; Bali; Persuasive Communication
... However, this prima facie very appealing aspect of digital nomadism -the flexibility to be able to travel as often as the mood strikes and regularly change country of residence (Nash et al. 2020) -is of potential relevance for enforcement purposes since it has consequences for the shifting of liability for taxes, social security and labour law from one country to another and, accordingly, it creates spatial barriers to the enforcement of one's rights. A digital nomad might move country every few months, or s/he might live in one country for many years while always working for an employer abroad, and this variation might have different consequences from the perspective both of the substantive law and its enforcement. ...
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In order better to illustrate the key challenges in the enforcement of remote workers’ rights, this chapter uses the example of digital nomads as a comparatively extreme case of ‘remote work’, as opposed to the more mundane kinds of remote working (for example, teleworking once per week from home in the same country where the office is located). Due to the cross-border nature and spatial flexibility that characterises digital nomads, they potentially face one of the widest arrays of enforcement issues that can be experienced by remote workers and therefore present a potentially promising case study from this perspective. At the same time, as I also argue in this chapter, many of the enforcement issues that digital nomads face are not unique to this group and can be experienced by other ‘atypical’, ‘precarious’ or ‘dispersed’ workers (e.g. workers in agriculture, domestic workers and transport workers). As such, the enforcement of remote workers’ rights might present a rather special conundrum: while remote workers often constitute a relatively privileged, well-paid group of workers, when it comes to enforcement their situation might have significant parallels with (other) underprivileged categories of workers. This poses an additional definitional challenge to the question of remote work. It may be that, for the purpose of other matters, the ‘working from home’ definition used in the majority of chapters in this book and by major data sources such as Eurostat might be tempting but, as shown below, it might not be suitable for addressing the enforcement challenges since it does not account for the plenitude of situations that remote workers, such as digital nomads, encounter; and its widespread use might create a privileged sub-group while keeping other groups of workers facing similar enforcement challenges in the shadows. The chapter unfolds as follows. In Section 2, I locate digital nomads in the context of remote work definitions and discuss the key characteristics of this kind of work. This section tries to place the matter of the enforcement of digital nomads’ rights against the broader background of remote work and exposes the many uncertainties surrounding this type of work, especially from a definitional perspective. It seems necessary in the light of the very sparse literature on the topic to take some time to locate where digital nomads stand in the discussion on remote work as such. In Section 3 the focus is on the enforcement challenges and gaps they face in Europe that, together with the very sparse regulatory framework dedicated to them, might specifically leave them largely under the radar of most enforcement mechanisms. The chapter’s conclusions are contained in Section 4.
Since the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digital transformation around the world, one notable trend in the tourism industry is the emergence of long-stay tourism, such as workcation which combines working and vacationing. Although workcation travel displays unique experiential characteristics compared with traditional travel experiences, conceptual and empirical knowledge on the nature and dimensional structure of such experiences is lacking. To fill this gap, this research conceptualizes workcation travel experiences and develops a multi-dimensional scale to measure the degree of such experiences. Based on the analysis of qualitative interviews, four workcation travel experience dimensions are identified: relaxing, improvised, autonomous, and localized experiences. Building on this, two online surveys with workcation travelers were conducted to develop a multi-dimensional scale of workcation travel experiences. Lastly, the nomological network of the developed scale with workcation satisfaction and revisit intentions was investigated. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.
Az átalakulóban lévő foglalkoztatási struktúrák, megoldások, az egyre bővülő lehetőségek hatással vannak a munkavégzés módjára, térbeli és időbeli megszervezésére. A munkavégzés helye rugalmasabbá vált, és a technológiai fejlődésnek köszönhetően szélesedik az a réteg, akik megválaszthatják, hogy hol töltik munkaidejüket. Jelen tanulmány bemutatja, hogy a távmunkában dolgozó munkavállalók milyen feltételek mellett próbálnának ki egy olyan szolgáltatást, ahol a munkahetüket egy turisztikai desztinációban, közösségi térben tölthetnék el. Az eredményeink útmutatóként szolgálhatnak szállodatulajdonosok, -üzemeltetetők számára, azzal, hogy irányt szabnak, hogyan bővíthetik a szolgáltatásaik körét és javíthatják a minőségét. A megváltozott körülményekhez és igényekhez alkalmazkodva újfajta megoldást kínál a munkavállalók számára a munka–magánélet egyensúly problematikájának kezelésére.
Purpose The study focussed on information literacy practices, specifically on how higher education staff managed the transition from established and routinised in-person teaching, learning and working practices to institutionally mandated remote or hybrid working patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach The qualitative study forms part of a broader research project, examining how information literacy and information practices unfolded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase Three of this project, which forms the subject of this paper, employed semi-structured interviews to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace and, in particular, the role that technology and digital literacy plays in enabling or constraining information literacy practices necessary for the operationalisation of work. Findings The complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a fracturing of workplace information environments and worker information landscapes by disrupting all aspects of academic life. The study recognises that whilst the practice of information literacy is predicated on access to modalities of information, this practice is also shaped by material conditions. This has implications for digital literacy which, in attempting to set itself apart from information literacy practice, has negated the significant role that the body and the corporeal modality play as important sources of information that enable transition to occur. In relation to information resilience, the bridging concept of fracture has enabled the authors to consider the informational impact of crisis and transition on people's information experiences and people's capacity to learn to go on when faced with precarity. The concept of grief is introduced into the analysis. Originality/value This study presents original research.
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This research-in-progress examines the mobilities of digital work. We study digital nomadism as an exemplary case of extremely mobile forms of digital working. The recent "mobile turn" in the social sciences provides us with theoretical grounds to understand societies that are increasing defined by dynamic, global environments (e.g., freelance work, globalization and migration) and less by the conventional foundations of society (e.g., lifelong employment, local economies and nation states). In this work, we are particularly interested in how and in which ways information technology (IT) makes new forms of (digital) working "mobile", unbound by conventional restrictions. To theorize the mobilities of digital work, we draw on ethnographic participant-observations and more than 100 first-hand and secondary interviews with digital nomads. The preliminary theoretical analysis reveals four interdependent mobilities of digital work: administrative mobility (working independently of organizations and businesses of others), spatial mobility (choosing where to work), temporal mobility (deciding when to work) and content mobility (freedom to determine the nature and contents of one's work). Digital nomads are the ideal-typical manifestation of the multiple mobilities of digital work.
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The digital nomad idea of freedom is often a generalised and subjective notion of freedom that imagines a lifestyle and future where the tensions between work and leisure melt away. This paper finds that in practice, digital nomadism is not always experienced as autonomous and free but is a way of living that requires high levels of discipline and self-discipline. The research suggests that digital nomads often overlook the role of disciplining practices when first starting out, and do not foresee how working in sites of leisure and tourism might make managing a balance between work and non-work problematic. Longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork examines the extent of these disciplining practices and reveals that they are utilised to keep work and leisure time separate.
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We analyze a set of Twitter hashtags to ascertain how contemporary parlance in social media can illuminate the rich cultural intersections between modern forms of work, use of technology, and physical mobility. We use network word co-occurrence analysis, and topic modeling, which reveal several thematic areas of discourse present in Twitter, each with their own affiliated terms and distinctive emphases. The first theme centers on worker identity and is currently dominated by the experiences of digital nomads. The second theme focuses on the practicalities of working in a physical location and is currently dominated by issues related to co-working spaces. Finally, the third theme is a loose and speculative set of ideas around predicting how work will evolve in the future, with a particular emphasis on the role of the enterprise. We contribute to scholarship on social media methods by showing how a robust analysis of Twitter data can help scholars find sub-thematic nuance within a complex discussion space by identifying the existence and boundaries of topical sub-themes. We also contribute to scholarship on the future of work by providing empirical evidence for the ways that the myriad terms related to mobility and work relate to one another and, most importantly, how these relations signal semantic centrality among those who share their thoughts on these types of work.
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Digital nomadism, a mobile lifestyle that encompasses a wide array of professional endeavours, ranging from corporate remote workers to digital entrepreneurs, has benefitted from a steadily growing appeal. Despite this, there is a dearth of research exploring the premises and development of digital nomadism. This paper is concerned with the image of digital nomadism, its underlying structure and practices, and its relation to the current world of work. In order to explore these aspects and problematise digital nomadism, the paper traces the development of digital nomadism and takes inspiration from the Deleuzo‐Guattarian image of the nomad. Adopting a qualitative approach to content analysis, this paper argues that digital nomadism is becoming increasingly institutionalised and professionalised, and, as such, is distant from the emancipatory dimension underlying its discourse and many of its cultural representations. Overall, digital nomadism appears as an extension of capitalist logics, rather than an alternative to them.
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The rise of co-working and co-living spaces, as well as related shared spaces such as makerspaces and hackerspaces-a group we refer to as various types of "co-spaces" - has helped facilitate a parallel expansion of the "digital nomad (DN)" lifestyle. Digital nomads, colloquially, are those individuals that leverage digital infrastructures and sociotechnical systems to live location-independent lives. In this paper, we use Oldenburg's framework of a first (home), second (work), and third (social) place as an analytical lens to investigate how digital nomads understand the affordance of these different types of spaces. We present an analysis of posts and comments on the '/r/digitalnomad' subreddit, a vibrant online community where DNs ask questions and share advice about the different types of places and amenities that are necessary to pursue their digital nomad lifestyle. We found that places are often assessed positively or negatively relative to one primary characteristic: either they provide a means for nomads to maintain a clear separation between the social and professional aspects of their lives, or they provide a means to merge these aspects together. Digital nomads that favor the first type of place tend to focus on searching for factors that they feel will promote their own work productivity, whereas DNs that favor the second type of place tend to focus on factors that they feel will allow them to balance their work and social lives. We also build on linkages between the notion of a third place and the more recent theoretical construct of social infrastructure. Ultimately, we demonstrate how DNs' interests in co-spaces provide a kind of edge-case for CSCW and HCI scholars to explore how sociotechnical systems, such as variants of co-spaces, inform one another as well as signify important details regarding new ways of living and engaging with technology.
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Digital nomadism is a growing phenomenon wherein technology enables new forms of resistance against the norms of the market economy. However, digital nomads inevitably also comply with the market economy. In this paper, we synthesise literature about the complicating role of technology in the market economy throughout history, to develop a research framework for an empirical study of digital nomadism and the market economy. Based on this research framework, we have conducted some preliminary fieldwork, observing the emergence of five trends in how digital nomads participate in the market economy: collaborative creative consumption; self-driven and self-disciplined work; reimagination of work materials; interjurisdictional prospecting; and unregulated de-facto citizenship. These trends have a range of theoretical and practical implications that we will continue to uncover in our ongoing research.
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Digital technologies have redefined many jobs and are challenging how people define themselves at work. Scholars have long argued that people's work identities are mainly derived from the organizational environment in which they are embedded. But advances in digital technologies, in combination with a global restructuration of labor markets, have led a large segment of the workforce into alternative work arrangements outside of traditional, hierarchical corporations. Understanding work-related identities and in particular the ways in which they emerge thus becomes an important topic in the context of digital work. Building on an ethnographic study of digital nomads, this research-in-progress shows that digital workers, not associated with an organization or profession, are nonetheless able to construct work identities. Our preliminary findings illustrate how identity is emerging in the flow between two opposing practices and how this flow is continuously shaped by material, spatial, and temporal forces.
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Numerous studies in the existing literature have investigated the virtual community. However, these studies mainly focus on social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Weibo, etc.). In contrast, a few studies have examined another type of the virtual community, that is, questions and answers (Q&A) networks (e.g., Zhihu, Quora, Stack Overflow, etc.). In these studies, factors and motivations that influence the knowledge‐sharing behavior are investigated. However, few studies have examined the sense of virtual community, trust, and knowledge‐sharing comprehensively and the relationship among them. The present study focuses on the relationship between the sense of virtual community and individuals' knowledge‐sharing. In addition, whether trust plays a mediating role in this relationship is examined. The sense of virtual community, knowledge‐sharing, and trust of individuals were measured with questionnaires. A total of 432 users of Q&A networks participated in this study. Results show that there was a positive relationship between the sense of virtual community and knowledge‐sharing, with trust, which was positively related to the other two variables, partially mediating this relationship. Moreover, this study reveals that there were statistically significant differences between participants in different ages, education levels, and job occupations, regarding the virtual community sense and trust, except for that there was no significant difference between participants in different ages regarding trust. In addition, there were statistically significant differences between participants in different lengths of time that they registered for, frequencies of access, lengths of usage, and the methods of participating in the virtual community, regarding the knowledge‐sharing.
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Individuals in the creative sector often pursue the idea of the location-independent style of living and working (Müller, 2016). Digital nomads represent a modern ‘knowmad’ society (Moravec, 2013), whose boundaries between leisure, travel, and work appear blurred (Reichenberger, 2018). This new type of fluid workforce tends to merge itself with the selected geographic area or environment for a brief period of time, and by that utilising its logistic and digital infrastructure to maintain an individualised lifestyle (Richards, 2015). Digital nomadism has brought upon a new form of creative tourism (Putra & Agirachman, 2016) that emancipates the involvement of individuals in the creative life of the destination and interaction with local communities by exchanging skill sets and ideas in a synergetic way (Richards & Marques, 2012) by frequently using local coworking spaces. However, the motivational factors behind the usage of local coworking spaces remain unclear, as do the benefits offered by these flexible office environments. This paper thus investigates the popularisation of digital nomadism and the influence of the digital nomad lifestyle on the work-leisure balance that appears to be affected by the use of coworking spaces.