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Spacent team · Aug 1st 2023

Navigating the highs and lows of flexible work and digital nomadism

At Spacent our mission is to support flexible work, allowing employees to choose “when, where, and how they work” [1] while being productive and connected to their colleagues. Gladly we are not alone in our journey to provide solutions and resources for flexible workers, remote and hybrid organisations, and digital nomads. Together with LeafCo Portugal, we are sharing information and tips that help remote workers embrace the benefits of flexible work. 

This blog post is about the advantages and disadvantages of flexible work, and how to navigate through them. It is an adaptation of LeafCo’s article “Digital Nomadism: Highs and Lows of Flexible Working” – go check it out if you are interested in the topic!

The trend towards flexible work has been on the rise for the past decade [2], but many adopted this mode of work practically overnight during the covid-19 pandemic [3]. And the trend is here to stay, as multiple different studies have found that employees want to continue working remotely even after the pandemic.  


What is a digital nomad?

One of the embodiments of flexible work is digital nomadism, which is more of a lifestyle than just a way of working. By leveraging modern technologies, digital nomads can work remotely from anywhere in the world while simultaneously exploring new locations and cultures. This lifestyle provides workers with complete control and agency as they balance their work with leisure.

Digital nomadism is often associated with popular, faraway travelling destinations (like Indonesia, Portugal, Canary Islands…), but it can also occur domestically or close to your home country. For example, someone could live in the Finnish or Swedish skiing resorts during the winter season, while working from the archipelago in the summer. 

According to LeafCo, digital nomadism can be about “working to live, not living to work” (at least to some people). Our view is that you should design your work around your life, not your life around your work.



What are the benefits and challenges of flexible work?

Flexible working has been found to contribute to higher job satisfaction and quality of life [2], and it may even help boost productivity through increased focus as you can choose the best place to work from [4]. It may help you save time and money by avoiding commuting, or it can allow you to fulfil your dreams abroad while working.

However, flexible working may also challenge the vocational wellness of the worker. According to LeafCo, vocational wellness is about finding joy and meaning in work, developing professionally and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Because flexible work has little to no structure, daily routines and work-life balance may be harder to maintain [1]. Remote working has also been found to limit career development opportunities, as there is less mentorship provided than for office-based employees [4]. On top of that, remote workers may experience loneliness, as their access to professional networks can be limited. 


How to improve vocational wellness in flexible work?

While digital nomads suffer the most from these challenges, flexible and remote workers are also affected. Because vocational wellness is an important aspect of overall well-being, flexible workers must consider the ways to improve it – no matter if they consider themselves digital nomads or not.

Here are four ways you can improve your vocational wellness:

  • Boost productivity through routine 

Create morning and bedtime routines to improve productivity.

  • Accept your limits and define boundaries 

Set clear working hours for yourself.

  • Communicate your needs to others 

Keep in touch with your employer, clients, and colleagues.

  • Keep on developing 

There is always more we can learn through education, training, or reflective practice.

  • Last but not least, join a coworking space

Coworking space provides well-needed structure, social connections, and support as it gives remote workers a space to work alongside others, outside of the home environment. 

These tips can help digital nomads and remote workers maintain their well-being, productivity, and work-life balance while enjoying the benefits of flexible working. Spacent helps modern companies support their employees with flexible work easily and cost-efficiently. With Spacent, employees can work from almost 200 coworking spaces in the Nordics, Baltics and selected locations in Europe. 

LeafCo Portugal provides week-long working wellness retreats that help digital nomads and remote workers recharge, recenter and reconnect, making LeafCo a great partner for Spacent to support the Vocational well-being of remote workers. Read more about LeafCo retreats from their website, and reach out to us at Spacent to talk about flexible office solutions for companies.



[1] Allen, T. D., Golden, T. D., & Shockley, K. M. (2018). How effective is telecommuting? Assessing the status of our scientific findings. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19(3), 31-74.
[2] Gordon, G. (2019). The rise of the digital nomad. The Guardian. Retrieved from
[3] Kossek, E. E., Lautsch, B. A., & Eaton, S. C. (2020). Telecommuting, work-family balance, and the gendered nature of home-based work. Gender, Work & Organization, 27(1), 15-35.
[4] Bloom, N., Liang, J., Roberts, J., & Ying, Z. J. (2015). Does working from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(1), 165-218.