Being a digital nomad once meant quitting the day job, setting up as a self-employed freelancer and risking almost everything to pursue a dream of traveling the world.
Since the pandemic, a remote working protocol has been adopted by many companies. Major employers such as Spotify and Salesforce have even begun using a “work from anywhere” policy.
Many employees have taken these policies quite literally and have relocated to different states, countries and continents. Working from anywhere allows employees to take advantage of “geo arbitrage.” Employees can get paid in US dollars, for example, and live in a country where the cost of living is much lower than in the US. For instance, it is estimated that the cost of living in New York is 240% greater than living in Mumbai. To get paid the same wage as someone living comfortably in The Empire State, in Mumbai, means that workers can either save a lot of money or live like royalty!
Luxury Nomadic Income
Speaking of royalty, many knowledge workers are not too accustomed to slumming it or roughing it in a cramped campervan. While nomadic individuals in the past worked seasonal, relatively poorly paid jobs, in 2021, there is no reason why you can’t set up a large business with a motorhome HQ. With today’s pandemic-tried-and-tested cloud storage and video communications technology, you can run a business from a campervan or an RV, in much the same way you would from within the walls of a bricks-and-mortar office, without the giant overheads that come with an office lease.
Being a digital nomad just means that you can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It has nothing really to do with your income level, which can be as varied as people who work from home or in an office. You could be a self-employed copywriter or president of a large tech startup.
Smart Home on the Road
If you want to live in style and enjoy the benefits of a productive workspace, a smart office or smart motorhome can make your day run seamlessly.
The essentials for a smart home of any sort include an internet connection and a central hub such as an Apple Homekit or Google Voice device. LTE modems, also known as “4G routers,” offer high-speed internet connectivity for mobile broadband services. LTE modem contains built-in broadband modems; it utilizes radio waves to provide the fastest possible mobile internet speeds for computers, tablets and mobile devices.
It is also a good idea to improve the WiFi router of the LTE. The LTE modem does come with a WiFi router, but if money allows, getting a top of the range, Google router will make life working online a lot easier. The Google WiFi router comes with a 5-star review from TechRadar, and it’s affordable at under $200 from most retailers.
Movies on the Go
While you can invest in fast WiFi and a large monitor, one of the best ways to watch movies and TV shows in a motorhome is with a wireless, WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled smart projector.
While you may use the projector placed on a table in small motorhomes, it can be more practical to use a suction pad or plate to place a small projector on the ceiling. If the projector comes with a screw-in tripod stand, it probably has room for a suction pad to be screwed in instead.
All you need to do is mount the projector somewhere, link it to your WiFi connection and point it at a flat surface like an interior wall in your motorhome. A roll-down window blind is perfect for the projection area if you don’t have any walls that are free of items!
Smart Motorhome Office
Once you have a solid WiFi connection established in your motorhome – to make it a smart home, you will need to invest in a smart hub. You can choose from the Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings, an Apple HomePod, or a Google Nest Hub – to name but a few options.
We’ve opted for the Apple HomePod because, like most people, we love the Apple brand, and it comes with a vast range of compatible devices from an array of manufacturers.
One basic but enjoyable feature to have in a smart office of any type is smart lighting. If you can get the lighting to come on at a specific time or when you enter the office area, it helps you hit the ground running. After all, the whole point of a smart office is to make the experience seamless and productive.
If you have a separate room for the office, you can add a sensor to the door. Otherwise, you can set a timer so that the lights turn on automatically, Monday-Friday, at 6 am.
You can also turn the lighting from bright in the morning to read or something darker in the evening. Red light improves sleep quality, so this can be a good choice of color for late afternoons and evenings in the office and around the motorhome.
Smart Scenes & Automations
“Scenes” and “automation” on the HomeKit are known as “routines” if you have a Google Assistant. Automations are found at the bottom of the HomeKit app, usually down on the right-hand side. To create a new scene, go to the Automations tab at the bottom, and click the plus (+) button on the top right to create a new scene.
You can then choose to add a scene or an accessory – choose “scene.” You can then select a suggested scene, including “Arrive Home,” “Good Night,” and “Leave Home.” You can choose one of these scenes to begin with and then add “accessories” to the scene. The accessories are just smart appliances that will be activated or deactivated when the scene is initiated.
A great scene to have is a “Leave Home” scene. For example, you can create an automation so that when you tell your Apple HomeKit you’re “leaving home,” – the lights get turned off or dimmed, and you can even set it to lock the door on a time delay.
Receptionists in the Cloud
Every good office has a professional and polite receptionist. If you are a nomad with a yacht, then you can probably afford to pay a full-time receptionist to come and stay on board. However, if you’re not quite that level of baller yet, you can opt for a virtual receptionist instead.
With an online telephone answering service, such as Moneypenny, you get your very own dedicated receptionist. Your virtual employee is assigned to you based on their industry knowledge and relevant experience. You can meet your receptionist face to face or via a phone call. You can explain how you want your calls to be handled and stay in touch via email or the free app.
You can also opt for a 24/7 answering service, with a small team of receptionists answering your calls outside of regular working hours. The great thing about Moneypenny is that you can choose a toll-free or standard landline number, which will make your business look like it has a traditional bricks-and-mortar office presence. The app also functions a lot like a business phone system, and the receptionist can route calls to different people in different locations if required.
Luxury Out of the Box
If you don’t want to invest time in adding extras and features to your motorhome or campervan, then if budget allows, you can buy a luxurious motorhome with everything you could want, straight off the sales forecourt.
For example, the Newmar 2021 King Aire 4531 Luxury Motorhome comes with lots of under-carriage storage and a large fridge-freezer. It also has an Oasis heating system providing hot water and heating. It also comes with lithium batteries, a tag axle and a 605 horsepower, 15 liter motor with 20,000 towing capability.