The digital nomad lifestyle has grown dramatically in recent years. The number of digital nomads has increased by 42% – with over 15.5 million Americans identifying as digital nomads in 2021.
So what’s caused this huge increase? The following factors are likely to be at play:
- COVID-19 lockdowns
- Increased flexibility of working from home
- Higher salary expectations
- The desire to work and travel
- Technology improvements
- Societal and cultural changes
- A greater shift towards work-life balance
Whilst working around the world might sound amazing, in order for it to be successful, you must know how to stay connected in the growing digital age. Not only will it increase productivity, it can also go a long way to stopping loneliness. Here, we share six ways you can stay connected with coworkers as a digital nomad, to help you get the most out of this new way of working.
Schedule coffee calls
An excellent way to stay connected is by scheduling daily virtual coffee breaks with coworkers. You can plan these calls for the morning, afternoon, or night, depending on your schedule. These coffee calls don’t need to be lengthy – they can be as short as ten minutes.
They can be purely work-focused, or you can simply use them as a chance to touch base and connect socially with your colleagues. Either way, these calls enable remote coworkers to speak with each other on a scheduled basis, which can improve team morale and productivity.
Host online socials
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it helped us to stay connected through the internet. Although nothing beats face-to-face social interaction, you can host online team socials to stay connected and boost enthusiasm.
Popular social events include ice breaker games, video charades, a virtual scavenger hunt, and team-based challenges. These fun social events can break down social and mental barriers between remote colleagues. Make sure to remove all ‘work-talk’ and make these events a fun,no-pressure experience.
Utilize communication tools
Your team should use the best communication technology to stay connected when working remotely. Digital messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams are popular, but if you’re also using email, you should make sure to set up guidelines around what information should be shared where. This will ensure that you don’t miss requests for work or important information amongst all the pet photos and social chats.
You can also consider setting up an employee newsletter or social channel for sharing non-work-related news – this ‘water cooler’ chat can often be the thing that people miss when they’re not in the office.
Keep some office traditions
You don’t have to miss out on some of the best office traditions when you’re a digital nomad. Fun company contests – such as an annual Halloween costume contest, sales competitions, and talent contests – can boost morale and communication between digital nomads when you conduct them remotely.
You can also boost wellbeing by organizing virtual yoga sessions, or meditations sessions. These are all benefits that many offices offer, and so taking them virtual can be a good way to ensure that remote employees don’t miss out.
With around 87% of employees looking to work remotely in some way in the future, the digital nomad trend is likely to keep growing. As more people leave the office, it’s essential to encourage communication to boost morale and prevent loneliness.