New research shows employees wish for a more nomadic work style

Gene Villeneuve

As Coronavirus cases continue to increase in Canada and the United States, remote work will be the norm for much longer than we expected. It’s no shock that since the onset of COVID-19, today’s remote work lifestyle has changed how employees view full-time work: whether they love it and could do it forever, or are ready to go back to the office ASAP. However, working just from home has led many workers to one commonality: if this remote lifestyle is going to continue, they want more options. And that’s why many are exploring a more nomadic lifestyle. 

Curious about employee trends in “digital nomadism,” AKA, working remote from anywhere, regardless of location or time zone, Tehama conducted a survey and discovered 85% of full-time workers expressed interest in becoming a digital nomad, with 83% agreeing that if given the opportunity, they would travel while working remotely. The data explores whether employees are coming around to the idea of long-term remote work, whether they’d pursue it full time, if it's encouraging them to explore becoming a “digital nomad”, as well as whether they feel they have the technology and connectivity to make that lifestyle a reality.


Tehama’s comprehensive survey conducted in October 2020 included more than 600 male (50%) and female (49%) full-time employees across the United States and Canada. The survey was conducted at 95 percent confidence with a +/- 4% margin of error. Respondents had to be working full-time for an employer that is now offering remote work options due to COVID-19, and must have some interest in working at least partly remote post-COVID.  

Employees want to explore the world (when it’s possible) while keeping their jobs

80% of respondents stated that if given the opportunity to work fully remote long-term, they would choose to travel while working. 48% plan to mostly travel within their home country, while 23% said they would plan to mostly travel internationally. Digital nomadism isn’t just about travel for everyone, though. It’s about the deeper flexibility and cost savings benefits. 78% of respondents agreed they’re more productive working remotely and 61% of respondents believe a nomadic lifestyle is cheaper on their finances. 

The current, and likely lasting remote workforce has employees’ thinking about new routes of personal employment as well. In fact, many are considering self-employment more than they did before the pandemic. Notable data points on those considering self-employment include:

  • 63% of respondents are more interested in self-employment now than before the pandemic 
  • 27% have the interest or intention to pursue self-employment (starting their own company, freelance/contracting) within 6-12 months
  • 87% of employees interested in self-employment said keeping their flexible schedule is the main influencer, with the ability to set their own hours (63%) and live in remote locations outside of their hometown (38%) following. 

Access to reliable technology and connectivity is key

To make digital nomadism not only possible, but efficient, 98% of respondents agreed that access to reliable technology and connectivity is a key factor in enabling their ability to work remote while traveling, with 60% agreeing that lack of access has already prevented them from traveling during remote work. But not to fear, improvements in access to reliable technology are clearly underway, as 92% of respondents said their concerns about remote work have been eased since the beginning of COVID. 

For employers, the good news is that no matter where your workforce is located or how big it is, Tehama’s unique Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution makes secure and compliant virtual rooms and desktops accessible from any device, anywhere with an internet connection. Unlike traditional DaaS or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) setup strategies, which can often take months to set up and run securely, Tehama can get the job done in minutes. On top of that, thanks to secure perimeters, least privilege permissions, automated encryption, malware protection, and Zero-Trust network isolation, Tehama’s security controls will ease any business’ concerns about their employees putting sensitive data at risk while working abroad. 

Employers must reconsider the needs of their remote workforces, not only because of the current state of the pandemic, but because even after the pandemic is over, 56% of respondents said they are likely to leave their current job if their employers don’t allow for remote work post-COVID. 

Digital nomadism is soon to be the next workplace trend as we navigate the ongoing global pandemic. 97% of respondents said they have already adopted the right strategies and tools to keep them focused during remote work, so employers need to meet their employees in the middle with the technology and options to succeed and maximize in our ever-changing market.

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