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Remote Work: Good For Employees, But Not For Their Temporary Homes

The life of a digital nomad can have unintended implications. Remote Work: Good For Employees, But Not For Their Temporary Homes South Park/Giphy

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There are many reasons individuals have largely embraced the remote work revolution that emerged during the pandemic. Some love the opportunity to work from home, but others take a much different approach and choose to work as far away from home as possible.

They’re called “digital nomads” and the trend has become increasingly popular recently.

What it means

Many employers have become far more receptive to the idea of allowing workers to “clock in” from just about anywhere they like … as long as the work is getting done. And a growing number of people have taken advantage of that freedom by taking extended trips to locations around the world.

It’s no wonder why people might enjoy trading in the view from a dreary cubicle for the exotic backdrop of a Caribbean island. And on paper, it might seem as though the injection of money from these digital nomads would benefit the places where they set up shop.

But that’s clearly not the case, at least from the perspective of those who live there all the time.

“Temporary colonizers”

Medellin, Colombia’s Provenza community has become a popular destination for digital nomads, and locals aren’t shy about expressing their opposition. You can find a collection of pointed posters and signs hanging up throughout the neighborhoods where existing homes have been transformed into rental properties to fill the need created by remote workers.

Ana Maria Valle Villegras is responsible for creating many of these signs, which say things like:

  • “Digital nomads, temporary colonizers”
  • “I’ll trade an Airbnb for a neighbor and a home”
  • “Medellin is not for sale — stop gentrification”

She said her criticism is not unique, explaining that “rents have been going up” and people have been kicked out of their homes in order to make room for digital nomads.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 23rd, 2023
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