Being a Nomad: Considerations For the Ethically Conscious Digital Nomad
The age of the office is slowly ending. As we reach a new age of unparalleled interconnectivity, the opportunities for remote working (being a nomad) become more and more diverse and proliferate. If your job involves the use of a computer, there’s a good chance that you can do it from pretty much anywhere. It’s this freedom that has empowered many self confessed travel bugs to get out from under the stifling fluorescent lights and temperamental AC of the office environment and take their laptop out on the open road as a digital nomad. Since travel is one of the best ways to learn, it’s easy to imagine being far more fecund when your senses are constantly assailed by new sights, sounds, tastes and smells.
Being a Nomad
As a digital nomad you can travel the world while still making money. But while this existence seems like a fairytale, it certainly comes with its caveats. Homesickness is an ever present threat, even if you love travel more than anything. Finding a quiet space to work and think can be challenging and hitting your deadlines on time can be challenging when you’re working out of a cafe in Prague with temperamental Wifi.
Aside from the practical and logistical considerations of being a digital nomad, there are also certain ethical considerations that you’ll need to bear in mind…
Disposing of your old tech
E-waste is one of the biggest threats to the environment that mankind has inflicted upon the planet. The internal workings of your tech can leach harmful chemical compounds into the environment if simply disposed of in landfill. Disposing of e-waste at home is fairly straightforward. An outsourced expert in IT Asset Management ITAM can help you to dispose of it in the most ethical way possible. Wherever you are, it behoves you to find somewhere to ethically dispose of your tech when it fails or is no longer useful to you. If you’re unable to do so from your current location, keep hold of it until you can.
The gentrification effect
Digital nomads are living the dream, working steadily while traveling the world. But sometimes their very presence can have a negative impact upon the places they visit. Western nomads flood into poorer economies across the world and bring with them cash which is of greater value in their current location than their place of origin. They spend freely and the owners of stores, restaurants and cafes raise their prices accordingly. But this can have a hugely detrimental effect on the local populations that want to use those same amenities.
The old tax chestnut
Even though you may be traveling the world and contributing to the economy in terms of using local hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars and cafes, the income you earn overseas is still taxable in your home state. Thus, your tax money is not going to support the economic stability of your chosen destinations.
None of these considerations is designed to deter you from the path of the digital nomad, they’re just things that you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that you travel with a clear conscience.