• Online

30 March, 2021
12:00 - 13:15 h

  • Presentation: NL
  • Slides: EN
  • Q&A: NL EN FR

What we can learn from a digital nomad

Wanderlust, the constant force driving digital nomads to travel and being in the road. Their life is always changing and no two days look the same. It may not be for everyone, but as organizations and leaders we can learn a lot from digital nomads. How can you embrace parts of digital nomadism in your company? Or stimulate employees to think a little bit more like them?

Pexels Samer Daboul 1212818

The lifeboat and the sinking ship

The last year we all experienced the advantages and frustrations of working from home. It actually doesn’t come as a surprise that people would like to return to the office fulltime or almost fulltime. The last year, not everyone had the time, resources or chances to create a great work environment at home: children and partners were there as well, your internet connection is unstable, you don’t have the best office equipment working from the dinner table,….  “When the lifeboat is that bad, it's no wonder you want to return to the sinking ship” Koen said.

In order for your employees to truly be able to telework, you need your organization and your employees to be ready for remote work or location independent work.

The values of asynchronicity

What if you can not only work location independently but also time independently? Digital nomads don’t work 9 to 5, but they choose the best time for each activity or job, being work related matter or private related matter.

As a leader or organization you’ll need to have a profound look at your business processes. What needs to happen in sync and what can happen asynchronously? You’ll provide your employees with the luxury of preserving their best possible time for the harder ‘thinking’ work, creative assignments and other outcomes.

The need to hold meetings

In Belgium there still is a lot of work in the road to asynchronistic work. We all hate meetings, but whenever we come across an obstacle, we plan a meeting.

Think about if and why you need a meeting in the first place. And more importantly, which parts of the meeting really need to happen synchronously. For example: giving information to colleagues doesn’t necessarily mean they all need to hear it at the same time.

Try implementing some sort of silent brainstorming. Give people the right questions you want to see answered during the meeting one or two days in advance. You’ll find that a lot of issues can already be solved or answered before the meeting has started.

 The social factor

When employees are working from everywhere and anywhere it remains important to connect and keep that connection between your employees and between leaders and employees. Leaders need to enter into a dialogue that is much more personal, without crossing the borders of what your employees believe to be too personal.

Asynchronicity is an important matter, but equally important is to build in those synchronous social moments (the coffee corner moments). That’s when you find out what is really going on inside the heads of your employees. The key is to create a platform where all employees, introverts as well, can and will speak up their minds.

Digital nomadism (as well as teleworking) has its advantages and its obstacles to overcome. It’s not an all black or white situation.

Koen Blanquart collected stories about digital nomadism and his encounters with other digital nomads in his book. His book will soon be available for everyone to read, with everything we’ve heard so far and more, in much more detail.

Hear the full story of Koen

We could only cover so much in this article. Eager to hear more? Watch the full recording of the session in the Related tab.

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