What is a digital nomad?

Digital nomad

A digital nomad is a remote worker who uses technology and online communication tools to work from changing locations. A digital nomad can be temporarily based anywhere, but they are still subject to their host country's entry and visa regulations.

Workers choose the digital nomad life for a number of reasons, including the desire to travel while earning a living. Digital nomads can be full-time, part-time, contract workers, or independent workers.

Timothy Ferriss's bestselling book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” is often credited with helping the idea of digital nomadism become more mainstream. Additionally, the advancement of mobile internet and synchronous and asynchronous collaboration technology has made this work model more accessible.

According to MBO Partners, some of the most common professions for digital nomads are creative careers (writers, editors, content creators), IT professionals (programmers, developers), and marketing-related fields. Digital nomadism is most popular among millennial workers (59%), but workers across all working-age groups explore this way of remote work.

What do I need to get started as a digital nomad?

Unless you’re a digital nomad who intends to work and travel within their country of ordinary residence, you will need a valid passport. You may also need to apply for entry documents like visas depending on where you intend to visit and work.

As a digital nomad, you will also need a laptop or tablet that allows you to access and deliver your work electronically. Many location independent workers also invest in mobile, handheld internet devices.

Beyond equipment and paperwork, digital nomads will still need to consider some of the more practical aspects of traveling like accommodation, booking co-working spaces, and general budgeting. They will also need to ensure that they can easily access their salary wherever they are located.

Can anyone become a digital nomad?

For legal and tax reasons, many companies still prohibit their employees from working from other countries. They may also be less inclined to hire freelancers or contractors from abroad for similar reasons. Find out more about how to tackle these issues in our guide on how to pay tax as a digital nomad.

Staying compliant with Oyster

Oysters’ global employment platform can help by making it easy for companies to hire employees and contractors anywhere in the world while complying with local rules and regulations. Take a closer look at how Oyster can help you get hired anywhere in the world.

Disclaimer: This article and all information in it is provided for general informational purposes only. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or tax advice. You should consult with a qualified legal or tax professional for advice regarding any legal or tax matter and prior to acting (or refraining from acting) on the basis of any information provided on this website.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.