The Difference Between Digital Nomads and Remote Workers
Digital nomads and remote workers are often lumped together, but there are some key differences between the two groups. Both digital nomads and remote workers typically work from home, or from a coffee shop, or from anywhere they can get an internet connection. And while they share the commonalities of being their own boss and setting their own hours, there are also some key distinctions. Here’s a closer look at the difference between digital nomads and remote workers.
The Biggest Difference: Location
The biggest difference between digital nomads and remote workers is location. Remote workers typically have one primary location that they call home. From there, they might travel for business or pleasure, but they always eventually return to their home base. Digital nomads, on the other hand, are constantly on the move. They might live in their van for weeks at a time as they travel from place to place, never really having a “home” base. This nomadic lifestyle can be freeing for some people, but it’s not for everyone.
Why They Work Remotely
For both digital nomads and remote workers, the ability to work remotely is often a huge selling point. They get to determine their own hours, set their own schedule, and take work with them wherever they go. However, the reasons why people want to work remotely can differ pretty significantly. For digital nomads, the ability to work remotely affords them the opportunity to travel constantly and see new places. For remote workers, the ability to work remotely allows them to have a better work/life balance since they’re not tied down to one location.
Of course, all of this talk about location leads us nicely into lifestyle differences. Since digital nomads are constantly on the move, their lifestyle tends to revolve around travel. They’re always looking for new places to explore and things to do. And while they love meeting new people when they’re on the road, they also value their alone time since they don’t have a permanent group of friends or family in any one place. For remote workers, meanwhile, their lifestyle tends to revolve around their community since they’re usually based in one location. They might have a close-knit group of friends or family members that they see regularly, and their social life is often centered around activities in their community (like going to the gym or grabbing drinks after work).
Cost of Living
Finally, let’s talk about cost of living. This is an important factor for both digital nomads and remote workers since it can affect where they choose to live (and how long they can sustain their current lifestyle). For digital nomads, the cost of living is often one of the biggest determinants of where they go next. If a city is too expensive, they’ll move on to somewhere else that’s more affordable. And since they’re always on the move, they don’t have many expenses beyond food and lodging anyway. For remote workers, cost of living is also an important consideration since it affects how much disposable income they have each month. But unlike digital nomads who are always looking for cheaper places to live, remote workers often stay put in more expensive areas because they value things like a good school system or access to public transportation.
So there you have it! Those are some of the biggest differences between digital nomads and remote workers. Of course, there are plenty of overlap between the two groups (like being your own boss and setting your own hours) but ultimately it comes down to lifestyle choices—namely location and cost of living—that determines which category you fit into best. So if you’re trying to decide whether a life on the road is right for you or if you’re better off staying put in one place, keep these distinctions in mind!