In the newspaper article in Sunday's Calgary Herald (Rosenwald, 2009, p. D9) digital nomads avoided the long commute in to work, the windowless cubicle, and the stale coffee, by
Image via Wikipediaputting down digital roots in coffee shops, libraries, poolside locations in hotels, and sometimes even in private homes. These digital nomads could simply stay at home in their pajamas and work all day (I'm sure many of them do just that.) However, this is too lonely for some of them. The gregarious, extroverts need human stimulation. So they congregate with others who are also working outside the office. They work side-by-side, for different companies, exchanging idle conversations, and assisting with technology glitches. Official gatherings of this sort are called "jellies, after a bowl of jelly beans the creators were eating when they came up with the name." (Rosenwald, 2009, p. D9)
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Coffee shops welcome these digital offices because it makes them look busy and attracts more customers. The benefit for the digital nomads is that the coffee is always fresh. I remember that earlier during this class, one of my classmates commented on visiting a mall which had comfortable living room type armchairs in the hallways. There were people sitting in those armchairs using their laptops. Maybe those folks were digital nomads. They enjoy the hustle and bustle of people passing by their nomadic worksite. It energizes them.
Employers find that often these digital nomadic workers work even harder than the ones who remain in the office. The workers feel it is a privilege to be untethered from a physical location. So they work harder in order to keep this privilege. However, this can also be a negative since they can become stressed out by the demands of their nomadic lifestyle.
As a digital nomadic student right now, I can relate. Since I am taking an online class, I do not frequent a physical classroom at the University of Alberta campus. Rather, I am a denizen of an e-classroom on the internet. I can spend time working on the class from any locati
Image by Axel Bührmann via Flickron which has an internet connection. This morning at breakfast (at my B & B), I interviewed the adults there about their computer use. I am continually researching and thinking about this class far more than if I only thought about it within the walls of a physical classroom somewhere.
Just like the digital nomads working by poolsides or in libraries, I can also feel lonely for physical classmates. I look forward to meeting some of my classmates in real time at a real place next Sunday morning for breakfast. Until then, I will toil away in digital isolation--reaching out my digital hand to touch the digital world.
Rosenwald, M. (2 August 2009). Digital nomads ditch their cubicles. In the Calgary Herald. p. D9.