Who Says You Can’t Work From The Beach? HotelPlanner Confirms: Digital Nomads Combine Work And Play And Are Here To Stay

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Prior to the pandemic, it would’ve been unthinkable to imagine millions of employees across the country having the flexibility from their employer to work from anywhere. In the post-pandemic world, a permanent shift has taken place in corporate America that has enabled more employees to work remotely, either full-time or part-time. These adventurous people are called ‘digital nomads,’ and they are here to stay.

According to one survey, more than 35 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. That’s about 17% of the current employed workforce. If the pandemic has had any silver lining for workers, it’s the power dynamic shift from employers to employees, who now have more negotiating leverage to request remote work flexibility.

We’ve known for decades that employees can work from home or from their local coffee shop and be just as productive, perhaps even more so. But that local coffee shop/remote office has now gone global as more Americans are choosing the digital nomad lifestyle. And these people aren’t just the young backpackers and freelancers of old who typically stayed in hostels. According to Phocuswright, 80% of today’s remote workers are mid-career types with advanced degrees, full-time jobs, and more disposable income.

Some countries are already catering to digital nomads with visas to attract more remote workers from overseas. For example, Brazil has granted temporary visas and residence permits for foreign workers to stay for a year, with an option to extend to a second year, providing they can show proof of work. Other countries that have introduced similar digital nomad visas include Croatia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Portugal, Mauritius, and Estonia. Fortunately, you don’t need a long-term visa if you’re only visiting a foreign city for a few weeks.

Importantly, the digital nomad phenomenon has led to a significant increase in extended hotel stays across the world. At AirBnB for example, long-term stays of 28 nights or more is now their fastest growing customer segment, equating to about 22% of booked trips in a recent quarter. It’s also why HotelPlanner recently signed a deal with Extended Stay America.

And hotels are evolving as well to welcome digital nomads, such as pool cabanas equipped with workstations, printers and office supplies added to standard hotel rooms, or even fitness equipment and nursery space. Fast and reliable WiFi is obviously a must.

There’s no doubt that digital nomads are changing the way we live, work, and travel. They are also playing an important role in the travel & tourism industry’s post-pandemic recovery. In fact, the rise of digital nomads might prove to be the biggest change to the travel and hospitality sector since the advent of the commercial airplane.