Most 21st century nomads need little more than a laptop, internet and electricity in the digital age. Work is done anywhere and everywhere regardless of time and space – in cafés, co-working spaces or on far-flung isles where others go on holidays. Most digital nomads combine work with travelling and value their self-determined lifestyles, work ethics and freedom. And their numbers are growing, a study by the German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs has found. Accordingly, some 93 per cent of interviewees want to be able to determine when and where they work themselves.
Digital, nomadic ways of life
Anja Greszik, a social media manager and journalist, has been a digital nomad since 2012. Following a stint in an advertising agency, she went in search of freedom, became self-employed and has spent the past three years travelling the length and breadth of five continents. Freedom, new friends and wanderlust are her top priorities. This particular nomad drew up editorial plans during a long bus journey in the Philippines and developed a digital strategy aboard a cruise ship to Brazil.
However, all these adventurous, liberating trips have to be organised – regardless of the length and destination. Greszik must keep a watchful eye on her next professional goal, the destination, her accommodation and whether the Wi-Fi is good. But home is always on her mind: “Hamburg is and remains my anchor. I have kept my apartment here and would never go so far as to start living out of a suitcase.” Greszik spends five to seven months of the year in Hamburg to find peace and quiet. Her next big trip will take this digital nomad to Southeast Asia in spring 2018. Then, yoga and mediation will take centre stage – to balance out her fast-paced (everyday) travels.
Working digitally, maximum freedom
Flexibility is the order of the day at the Otto Group in Hamburg. On arrival at work, each employee is given a notebook with access to the company’s network regardless of the place. Frank Surholt, Press Officer at Otto Group, told Hamburg News: “Our 1,000 employees in the IT, e-commerce and business intelligence divisions have particularly flexible work structures. They can work at our special co-working spaces on the company’s premises or from their home offices. That means we are putting a great deal of trust in our employees and we are not being disappointed. The change of scene is going amazingly well and often triggers fresh, new ideas.”