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Work from anywhere

How to become a digital nomad in Australia

If you’re looking to leave the world of commuting and bad water cooler chat behind, becoming a digital nomad might be the answer! Australia is a great place to make the change as there are plenty of opportunities to work online. If you’re looking to take your career on the road and work from anywhere, we'll show you how to become a digital nomad in Australia and tell you where you can make the most of your travels.

When your office can be anywhere.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely and often travels while doing so. This type of work arrangement is normally chosen by people who want to travel around Australia and experience the natural beauty of this country, while still keeping a foot in their profession.

Digital nomad vs remote worker: what's the difference?

Generally speaking a digital nomad is just that — nomadic — meaning they can work from anywhere and everywhere. In contrast, a remote worker generally tends to have a home base like a permanent desk at a co-working space or a home office but can work flexibly from other locations if they want to. 

An office in the trees.

How much do digital nomads earn?

A better question would be ‘how long is a piece of string?’. Your line of work will have a much bigger impact on your salary than where you’re working from. The key when weighing up whether the life of a digital nomad is right for you is figuring out how much money you need to make to support your nomadic lifestyle based on the average cost of living in the locations you choose, plus travel costs, accommodation etc. Depending on your line of work you may need to take on multiple clients or jobs to earn the amount you need to support yourself — but ultimately the sky’s the limit!

After you knock off, you're on holiday!

The benefits of being a digital nomad

Flexibility

You have total flexibility to work from anywhere and everywhere! All you’ll really need is a laptop, internet connection and a comfy place to sit. Being able to travel and work from anywhere you want is great if you’re the type of person who’s motivated by variety and gets bored easily.

Happier employees

If you’re a business owner or employer, allowing your employees to work as digital nomads will not only save you money on a permanent office space but you’re likely to have much happier employees too. Being entrusted with total flexibility, no commuting and all the other perks that come with travelling all the time would make anyone happy!

Increased productivity

Aside from the extra time you save when you remove a painful commute from your daily routine, there’s lots of evidence that remote workers are more productive than traditional office workers. Less interruptions, avoiding office politics, choice of focus time and a quieter work environment are all benefits that digital nomads commonly mention.

Relax with a vino after work.

Challenges of being a digital nomad

It doesn't work for every job

It might sound obvious, but not every job can be done remotely. If you work in a job that requires specific equipment (like in a factory), isn’t digitally based (like a gardener) or where you need to be face-to-face with people (like a nurse), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to swing the nomadic lifestyle.

Communication difficulties

Different timezones, dodgy internet connections and the inability to read body language over a screen can all impact your work effectiveness as a digital nomad. With practice and time, many remote workers hone their skills and working rhythms to make the best of it though. 

Knowing how to get started

The first thing you need to do is identify your skills and the job that you want to take on the road! Once you’ve got all that sorted, it’s pretty simple. Just make sure you’ve set up your tech, got enough savings under your belt and know what soft skills you need like organisation, self-discipline, budgeting and communication. 

Have a break with a view between Zoom calls.

Tips for becoming a digital nomad

Whether your employer is giving you location independence or you are looking to work for yourself in a freelance capacity, there are a few tips for becoming a digital nomad.

Firstly, creating a strong digital presence and portfolio so that you can stay connected with potential job prospects is key. A strong network will be what keeps you grounded and within reach of work opportunities, even if you’re hundreds or thousands of kilometres away from home.

Secondly, make sure your tech is sorted! Having a reliable laptop, phone and internet connection will make all the difference. And don’t forget about setting yourself up with organisation systems to make your life easier, like Trello to keep track of workflows or Google Calendar to keep track of any appointments or meetings you have, especially if you’re crossing timezones.

Finally, have a plan — while flexibility is one of the key perks of the digital nomad life, spending half your day figuring out where you’re going next, sourcing WiFi and then discovering your destination isn’t particularly suited to the work you’re doing isn’t going to serve you. 

Sure beats an office chair.

The best places to be a digital nomad in Australia

Aussies are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding ideal remote working locations. Here are some of our favourite places where you can work and travel in Australia.

Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s most iconic city and one of the best places to work online, thanks to the myriad of great cafes, public spaces and gorgeous outdoor spots that are all highly digitally connected. The diverse cultures and communities will mean you’re sure to find your people and enjoy both work and play.

Working remotely in Sydney? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Sydney for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Melbourne

Consistently ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world, and known for its thriving arts, culture and live sport scenes, who wouldn’t want to be a digital nomad in Melbourne? Cafe culture is huge so if co-working spaces aren’t your thing you’ll have no shortage of laneway coffee bars to set up shop for the day. The only probably might be your high caffeine intake!

Working remotely in Melbourne? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Melbourne for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Image changing up your morning run every few days.

Brisbane

If you love being based in a sunny city but want a cheaper option than Sydney, Brisbane is the perfect solution. Popular with backpackers, the choice of co-working spaces is growing and this riverside city’s bar and restaurant culture is going from strength to strength.

Working remotely in Brisbane? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Brisbane for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most beautiful spots, so why wouldn’t you want to live and work there? Lunch breaks can take place on the beach all year round and there’s no shortage of exceptional cafes to get nutritious food with your daily caffeine fix. Plus, there are always heaps of backpackers and tourists in the area so you’ll fit right in.

Working remotely in Byron Bay? Base yourself at Ingenia Holidays in Byron Bay for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Wake up to this.

Gold Coast

While at first the Gold Coast might conjure up mental images of theme park rides and family fun, it’s actually an awesome place for digital nomads who love the sun and surf. If you venture beyond Surfer’s Paradise to coastal towns like Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and Coolangatta you’ll find plenty of options for co-working spaces and friendly cafes that welcome digital nomads from all walks of life.

Working remotely on the Gold Coast? Base yourself at a BIG4 on the Gold Coast for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Noosa

Noosa is the perfect gateway to the gorgeous Sunshine Coast, one of the most relaxing locations for remote work. Take a stroll to the beach before starting work for the day and then choose one of the many air-conditioned co-working spaces, cafes or poolside restaurants to park yourself at while you max out your productivity.

Working remotely in Noosa? Base yourself at Ingenia Holidays Noosa for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Take care of your laundry when working remotely at a BIG4 park.

Cairns

Head to Tropical North Queensland to escape the cold in the southern states and work from paradise. The cost of living is lower than other parts of Australia and the good weather means that when you’re away from your desk you can make the most of the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and more that are on Cairns’ doorstep.

Working remotely in Cairns? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Cairns for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Perth

As a city, Perth has it all. Great nightlife, a tasty food scene, nearby wine regions and stunning beaches. The city itself is a little sleepier than its East Coast counterparts so for those who are easily distracted you might have more success getting some work done here before you head out to enjoy what Perth and its surrounds have to offer.

Working remotely in Perth? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Perth for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Jump outside in between meetings with a cuppa.

Adelaide

As far as cities go, Adelaide is another great choice for digital nomads! Affordable, close to beaches, and world-famous wine regions and if you pick your time of year right, you might even hit one of the city’s many popular festivals like Adelaide Fringe.

Working remotely in Adelaide? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Adelaide for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

Hobart

If you’re a lover of fresh seafood, wine, nature and art, Hobart is for you. A peaceful paradise for digital nomads who like the idea of finding a cosy co-working space with a community feel, Hobart is cheap, quiet and small enough that your barista will know your name in no time.

Working remotely in Hobart? Base yourself at a BIG4 in Hobart for affordable, comfortable accommodation.

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