By Katerina Michael
The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the need to adopt new forms of employment with individuals in their personal space without a physical presence in a previously defined workplace.
After all, many of the traditional professions, which until now were done in specific places, can now be done by teleworking with the advancement of technology.
The attraction of the creation of a digital prefecture should be a goal for every country or city.
Cyprus has all the guarantees to offer what a digital prefecture needs at every level.
Is it time to highlight and promote the advantages of our island?
According to the Digital Nomad Index of the British company CircleLoop, which evaluates 85 countries based on hosting digital nomads, Cyprus was 42nd in 2020.
The list takes into account data such as infrastructure, facilities, and incentives of each city.
With the close cooperation of stakeholders in the public and private sectors, the necessary infrastructure can be improved, making a significant contribution to attracting digital nomads.
Optimal broadband infrastructure, the provision of practical facilities regarding residence and security issues such as residence permits, living and working spaces, health care, taxation, etc., are a complete-requested package for those choosing a country or a specific city to settle in for a while.
Limassol, Cyprus, meets the requirements to be a magnet for digital nomads.
It is a sought-after tourist destination worldwide and an ideal place for digital nomads (developers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed workers of various industries).
Its people, rich cultural tradition, UNESCO World heritage sights, wonderful cuisine, beaches, and enchanting landscapes along its coastline, make the lifestyle in Cyprus charming.
The work of digital nomads is also based on the possibility of teleworking.
Digital Nomads are those who can travel and at the same time work remotely without fixed professional headquarters, taking advantage of the possibilities of the internet.
They are people who choose to work remotely from their laptop, able to change their place of residence frequently, without staying in an area for long.
They belong mainly to Millennials (25-40 year-olds) and Generation Z (up to 24).
Digital nomads locate their job in new environments, friendly to them, environments that offer all possible comforts and cover all the job requirements.
The first reference to the term digital nomad was made in the 1997 book of the same title by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners.
The two authors state, “the existing and future possibilities that technology will provide in combination with the natural momentum of man to travel will offer humanity the opportunity to live, work and be on the move.”
Living the dream
As a result, digital nomads live a life that used to be a distant dream with complete control and management of their personal time, in an environment that inspires them and gives them all kinds of little joys of which they may have previously been deprived.
At the same time, they perform the tasks assigned to them with the same and perhaps even greater zeal than if they were located in a traditional office and can meet the schedules and requirements set for them.
All that is required is a fast internet connection that should be provided in the space of their choice and an employer ready to accept the new settings.
Many countries now see significant opportunities in promoting this new form of work on the one hand as a digital nomad work destination, but also as a place where such work can flourish.
Cities are advertised on the internet as digital prefectures, where a digital nomad could live their dream with the cost of living significantly lower than what their previous place of origin and work would require.
The digital prefecture upgrades the digital nomads’ quality of life and allows them to make a financial profit.
This trend gives a new dimension to the digital nomad’s life, that of technology tourism.
Greece is also trying to take advantage of this new form of work.
A recent study by the MIT Enterprise Forum for Greece highlighted the growth potential and dynamics created by Digital Nomads.
In particular, if Greece attracted 100,000 digital nomads a year, with an average stay of 6 months, it could benefit by more than €1.6 bln.
This amount corresponds to the revenue generated by a week-long stay of 2.5 million tourists.
Therefore, it is clear the benefits for the local economy and society are significant.
Whether you choose a quiet traditional scenery or an energetic live city, Cyprus can become the business capital of the eastern Mediterranean; attracting digital nomads is a key step in that direction.
However, for a digital nomad to live comfortably within a country outside their own, they need a strong financial institution for their monetary transactions such as deposits, loans, investments, and currency exchange.
The digital nomads’ salaries are serviced by online bank accounts, a rapidly rising alternative, as there is no need for physical presence to perform day-to-day transactions.
The online payments provider eCREDO, based in Limassol, admits that they have serviced such accounts for Digital nomads residing anywhere within the EU in the last year.
Furthermore, the same company has chartered some of its operations to digital nomads living in the UK.
It’s a lifestyle with its ups and downs, but it certainly makes life an adventure, especially for those who love to travel.
After all, who would not want to live, work, and have fun in the country of their choice and even change scenery on a whim, all the while not missing a paycheque?
Katerina Michael is Head of Content at eCREDO.com