A few years ago, after a vacation in Bali, I hit upon a novel idea: What if my wife and I relocated from our home in Jerusalem and worked out of a villa in Indonesia? We found a super cool coworking space in the arts village of Ubud. We figured, “have laptop will travel” at least for a few months a year.
The Covid-19 pandemic stopped that idea in its tracks as Indonesia – and most of the world – closed its borders and sent tourists scrambling for a way home.
But the “digital nomad” idea never left my fantasies. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one.
Israel-based freelance marketplace Fiverr and international travel network Lonely Planet have released data from the first “Anywhere Worker” study of some 1,400 people from 67 countries who have worked remotely while traveling from at least two locations.
The demographic profile of anywhere workers is no longer limited to single individuals in their 20s, the study found. Rather, it’s become a normal part of life for families, couples and “pods” of friends seeking more flexibility and autonomy over their lives and careers.
Here are some key findings about anywhere workers from the study:
- Over 60% work full-time but are still able to travel to and work in different locations. Among the most popular destinations: Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Japan and the United States.
- About 25% consider themselves “slomads” (someone who works remotely but sticks to one or more locations for extended periods), the majority traveling every three months or so.
- Ninety-eight percent plan to continue working remotely and traveling for at least another six months.
- Anywhere workers are looking for places that are affordable but also realistic in terms of finding work for their families or partners. Local culture and weather conditions were among the top priorities, but cost of living takes the lead (33%).
- Unlike the digital nomads who came before them, anywhere workers scout locations that provide education facilities for their children. Almost half (45%) are married and 70% are parents.
- About half earn $2,000 a month and up.
- Seventy percent are between 25 and 44 years old. Thirty-five percent are between 45 and 54. There’s an almost even split between genders.
- It’s not all roses: almost 90% of the people surveyed said they felt lonely during their travels.
“There has been a revolution in the way we work and where we work for millions of people around the world over recent years, and we can largely attribute this to the pandemic,” said Gali Arnon, chief marketing officer at Fiverr.
“More people from every walk of life are taking the opportunities that remote work and platforms like Fiverr offer them to travel the world and experience new ways of living.”
“We are in a moment in time which offers us the unique opportunity to live and work in places we’ve only dreamed of,” added Nitya Chambers, SVP of content and executive editor for Lonely Planet.