The Internet is enabling so-called digital nomads to travel and work from anywhere in the world. Is it an anomaly or a trend that's here to stay?
The workplace is changing beyond recognition, thanks to new technologies like the smartphone (the new office in your pants) and near-ubiquitous Internet connectivity. Now, people don't have to be tied to a desk or even an office; you can work remotely from home, from a café or really, any place that has WiFi. The freelance economy is growing as more and more people work for themselves, with some predicting that half of the American workforce will be self-employed by 2020.
Here on TreeHugger, we've discussed the ins and outs of this telecommuting phenomenon for the last decade. It appears to have now grown into a critical mass of location-independent digital nomads, who are eschewing the conventional 9-to-5 office job in growing numbers, freeing them up to travel to far-flung places like Asia, Europe and South America -- while still earning a living. Todd Wassermann at Mashable explains: