More and more Millennials are ditching the traditional 9-5 in pursuit of remote careers. A remote career could be anything from full-time monetized blogging to part-time freelancing, to moving from country to country and working as a digital nomad. Businesses are beginning to catch on to the value of adding “telecommuting” to their employee package, so the dream of an FDN lifestyle has become a reality for many.
To learn more about why Millennials are so drawn to the FDN lifestyle, we conducted a survey to gain insight from current freelancers and digital nomads.
Nearly 85% of respondents said that working remotely was not on their radar when they considered “what they wanted to be when they grew up.” Exactly 100% of those surveyed said they had worked in traditional jobs before they began working remotely.
While almost 90% of respondents went to University, only about 50% of them said that their major or area of study aligned with their current role as a remote worker.
When asked what drew them to remote work, respondents’ answers varied, but there was a recurring theme: freedom.
WHAT A MILLENNIAL WANTS, WHAT A MILLENNIAL NEEDS
When we consider the advantages of working remotely, it’s easy to understand the attraction. Some of the benefits of a remote career as noted by our FDNs are:
● A flexible and self-managed schedule.
● The lack of office drama and gossip.
● A career that utilizes a wide range of skills for each position.
● The opportunity for professional and personal growth.
● General independence or autonomy.
● The ability to work from absolutely anywhere, and to travel more.
● Having the freedom to pursue different passions, in different areas of work.
● Being able to work from home and spend more time with family.
WHY THE SUDDEN INTEREST?
Remote work has become more popular and in-demand in recent years for one very obvious reason: it’s possible.
Grandma and Grandpa, and probably even Mom and Dad, weren’t designing websites, developing apps, or sending content copy from their laptops. SEO wasn’t a thing, and there was no need to manage social media accounts or to analyze and track paid (digital) advertisements.
Until Millennials came of age, we would have been hard-pressed to find someone working from a co-workspace or coffee shop, or sending files from their smartphone while sitting at the pool.
Technology and the internet have made remote work a possibility, and in some cases, it can be argued that working (or hiring) remotely is preferred. As technology advances, and with the advent of AI, a lot of the “busy work” required in-office has become obsolete or, at least, easier to manage, allowing businesses to expand their reach to… well, everywhere.
Working remotely or being a digital nomad isn’t simply a new trend. It’s the future.
SO WHAT COMES NEXT?
As our survey made clear, Gen Yers (and some Gen Xers) are transitioning from their traditional jobs – ditching the 9-5 life – in favor of remote careers that provide a sense of freedom and opportunity for professional and personal growth. So, what does this mean for Gen Zers and even later generations?
Working remotely may not be an option in every industry, but with the way technology advances, businesses may want to consider modernizing their organizational and personnel structures. Gen Zers and later generations that will become the employees and masterminds of the future workforce will most likely expect more from their employers and business partners than a 5×5 cubicle and fluorescent lights.