– And it’s no surprise that Millennials are leading the charge when it comes to mainstreaming this form of work and lifestyle. Millennials are more mobile than any generation before; it’s not a far stretch for Millennials to become Nomadic users—in many ways, they always have been.
Millennials have grown up with technology, blending it into their lives almost constantly. Portable movies on small, inset DVD players in the car salvaged long family car trips, eliminating fights from the back seat; music stored on small, portable devices allowed large quantities of music files to create instant access to songs any time, freeing teenagers from the confines of radio broadcasts; and of course, cell phones made communication portable, making the era of pay-phones and waiting to make calls obsolete.
Notice that the key word here is portable. Millennials are accustomed to technology allowing instant access and being available at their fingertips at any time. Therefore, when this generation entered the workforce and their new employers walked them over to a cubicle with a tangle of cords from monitors, PCs, and desk phones, it’s no wonder that they balked at and rejected the traditional office.
And others followed suit; Gen X employees--no strangers to technology and equally engaged albeit as adopters rather than native users of portable tech--agreed and soon joined the movement for a looser, less restricted style of workplace. Companies began to evolve and respond by allowing less stringent policies about working remotely. It became time to find a way to disconnect from the office while still connecting to the work; corporate America entered the Cloud.
The effect of cloud computing eliminated a need for hardware or even centralized servers for a company. Employees could work from anywhere. It was no longer necessary to have four walls and an outlet. Work wasn’t restricted to a 9-to-5 day. A company could hire its workforce from anywhere in the world.
With the portability of work, many Millennials (soon to be followed by Gen Z) and even some Gen Xers became Nomadic users, logging in and working from anywhere. Some even took the concept to an extreme, choosing to live as true Nomads, traveling the country or even the world while still holding down a job, even giving rise to a new form of lifestyle, a Vandweller.
All thanks to the Cloud, it’s no longer necessary to have a street address in order to work for a living…you just need an IP address.