The Emergence of the Digital Nomad: A Review and Analysis of the Opportunities and Risks of Digital Nomadism

Part of the Human Resource Management book series (HRM)


By earning a living through skillful use of location-independent digital technologies while on the move, the concept of digital nomadism has become increasingly popular. Under the influence of digitalization and globalization, people – including entrepreneurs, freelancers, and employees – have started to leave the regular “9-to-5” work structures behind and change their expectations of work, particularly in terms of their balance between work and private life, thereby extending the concept of work-life balance to work-leisure balance. Due to this changing perspective, work is increasingly seen as a part of a lifestyle that encourages workers to choose their environment based on leisure preferences rather than professional circumstances. Within this chapter, we review the existing but still fragmented literature on the phenomenon of digital nomadism, which constitutes an “extreme” form of flexible work. In doing so, we aim to contribute in two ways. First, we provide a comprehensive overview and definition comprising four recurring elements of digital nomadism (i.e., digital work, flexibility, mobility, and identity and community). Second, we analyze the opportunities and risks associated with each of these four elements of digital nomadism in order to spur future research in these directions. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Flexible work Digital nomads Digital nomadism Review Opportunities and risks 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business and EconomicsTechnical University of DortmundDortmundGermany

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