Is be­ing a no­mad the new nor­mal?

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREER ONE - Laura Tri­este

IT WAS not all that long ago that work­ing from home was con­sid­ered the height of flex­i­ble job ar­range­ments.

Now there is a new wave of work­ers who have taken this op­tion a step fur­ther.

KPMG de­mog­ra­pher Bernard Salt says this grow­ing group of peo­ple have been coined the of­fice no­mads.

“It’s not some­one who wan­ders aim­lessly around the of­fice an­noy­ing peo­ple,” he says.

“An of­fice no­mad is some­one who works for an of­fice oc­ca­sion­ally and then wan­ders off to other lo­ca­tions.

“They might work from home or a cafe or an air­port lounge. They might be vis­it­ing a client’s of­fice or a build­ing site and then they come back to their base to col­lab­o­rate, to take fur­ther in­struc­tion, and then they are off again.”

Salt says the grad­ual trend of peo­ple opt­ing for free­lance work over per­ma­nent jobs has largely been fa­cil­i­tated by the in­ter­net.

“The old idea of work­ing nine-to-five is now a 20th cen­tury con­cept,” he says.

“We see value in fit­ting our work around our lives, rather than our lives around our work.”

While it is a work­ing style that has nat­u­ral ap­peal to young, in­ter­net-savvy gen­er­a­tions, Salt says the of­fice no­mad life is best suited to peo­ple who have a de­cent amount of ex­pe­ri­ence in their job and works best for those in the pro­fes­sional and knowl­edge in­dus­tries.

“Work in fac­to­ries is di­min­ish­ing and knowl­edge work is ris­ing, so we will see more peo­ple pur­sue this in the fu­ture,” he says.

It is also a piv­otal part of the start-up cul­ture of en­trepreneurs and cre­ative types start­ing busi­nesses on their own terms.

Salt says a rise in cowork­ing spa­ces across Syd­ney in the past few years has added to the ap­peal of en­trepreneuri­al­ism as they of­fer the ben­e­fit of a flex­i­ble place to work when needed and al­low you to in­ter­act with like-minded peo­ple. For more de­tails:

Cowork­ing space Cre­ative Fringe, Pen­rith.

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