Included are those who tend to be settled in one location – remote workers – and individuals who are instead regularly on the move, whether those moves occur every few days, weeks or months – digital nomads.
As a result of the increase in this section of the workforce, countries such as Barbados, Croatia and Greece are pushing to become their homes.
The reason why places such as those are doing their best to promote themselves to these workers is partially because they have some of the most inviting features that digital nomads and remote workers are looking for: nice weather and beautiful beaches. With that said, the primary driving force is that many of these countries are facing tough financial times due to the pandemic and are wanting these home-fluid individuals to bring money into their local economies.
Another reason why these hotspots want to attract digital nomads is money! Digital nomads stay in one destination between 1-6 months and they are considered as high-spenders. Not as high as regular tourists but from a long-term perspective, is good for the local economy.
However, it is not all smooth sailing for digital nomads and remote workers as immigration restrictions had already been increasing before this pandemic started. Although digital nomads can generally move from country to country without needing a visa, that can become a mentally taxing process, particularly considering that where they are allowed to go has decreased so significantly in 2020.
Also, their former homes, many of which are struggling financially as well, are desperate to have them back helping their own financial situations. At the very least, they want to ensure that these individuals’ tax obligations are being met.
For example, the United Kingdom threatened bankers who had left the City of London for places such as the French Mediterranean, telling them to come back or see their residency statuses changed. These threats are occurring domestically as well, evidenced by the ones that were sent to wealthy New Yorkers who had moved to the Hamptons.
The future of being a digital nomad or remote worker is uncertain as countries, both ones that they hold passports to and ones that they are visiting, continue to vie to be their homes.