Digital nomad success, part 2: Tools for work
Note: To see part 1, click here.
You know the typical picture that's painted of digital nomads. It's similar to the one often painted for people that work remotely or those that work from home:
But this perception is changing. Digital nomads (and remote workers in general) are accounting for an increasing percentage of the global workforce.
In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF here) shows that 22 percent of employees are already doing some of their work remotely.
Work from anywhere
The digital nomad lifestyle is a combination of work and travel, but it’s important to understand that travel should not be confused with vacation. Simply put, in freeing up your commitment to an office space you've granted yourself the ability to work from anywhere.
And, ideally, a digital nomad's physical location shouldn't alter their capacity to get things done.
To help ensure this, innovators have come up with a variety of solutions to help digital nomads do their best work regardless of where they are.
You may not be at “the office," but these tools will help you keep up, or better yet, stay ahead, as if you were.
The exciting life of a digital nomad doesn’t make coffee any less important to a work day. Coworking.Coffee is a website for digital nomads to find and share the best workplaces all around the world.
If an office environment isn’t for you, this website gives you great alternatives to meet other digital nomads.
Visitors of each space can rate it based on coziness, kindness, quietness, WiFi connection and community. In addition to this simple scale, people also leave reviews so you can learn more about their overall experience.
This way of assessing different coffee shops and coworking spaces is very important for people who have particular workspace needs such as a fast and consistent WiFi connection or a super quiet environment.
WiFi Finder + Map
WiFi is a must-have for most digital nomads. Your professional and personal relationships live online, so unless you’re taking a day off, you basically always need WiFi.
With the WiFi Finder + Map app, digital nomads can see the WiFi spots around them and how people have rated the quality/speed of the connection.
The best part of all: this app works offline! So unlike other WiFi-finding apps that you need an internet connection to search from, this app allows you to preload all the spots.
Copass allows you to access over 500 coworking spaces with one pass. The pass comes in four different plans, which vary from unlimited to pay as you go.
Copass can be used in different coworking spaces internationally, which is great because it gives digital nomads the freedom to travel wherever and know ahead of time that they have an office if they need it.
Work Hard Anywhere
This app is truly all about the digital nomad lifestyle. The Work Hard Anywhere app combines the best traits of the above three above options into a crowdsourced library of over 7,800 spots including coworking spaces, bars, libraries, and cafes.
Simply open the app and it will display all the locations around you.
One of the best features of this app is how users rate each spot based on WiFi, outlets, capacity, parking, price, and food.
Finding a space that fits your work day can save you from an awkward mid-morning location change when you realize there’s no plug for your dying laptop.
Or, just as important, it can save you from having a choppy reception for an important call that leaves the client questioning their confidence in your ability to provide consistent, quality work while you’re traveling the globe.
As more coworking and nomad-friendly workspaces pop-up, knowing what these places can offer you and how much they cost is critical to creating a sustainable digital nomad lifestyle.
In Digital nomad success, part 3: Communicating with your team and clients, we'll highlight the tools and services you need for keeping in sync (across borders and time zones) with your colleagues and clients.
Originally published July 28, 2017, updated Jun, 18 2019