The boom of technology has changed the way we work. No longer do you have to worry about being stuck in a 9-to-5 job in an office cubicle for most of your professional life, and more and more individuals are choosing to join and stay in the gig economy. In fact, 79% of Americans who turn to freelance work never look back, finding that it’s much better than traditional work. This rise in freelancing coincides perfectly with the proliferation of digital nomads, who fund their lifestyles with work they do online, and from anywhere in the world.
For a big chunk of these location-independent workers, New York City is the place to be. A study conducted by freelance platform Fiverrr found that more than half a million workers in NYC are professional freelancers. These digital nomads have chosen to make the ever-exciting Big Apple their (temporary) home, and if you’re thinking of doing so yourself, read on to learn about some crucial points to consider.
Perhaps the most intimidating part of moving to New York are the sky-high real estate prices and the impossibility of ever being able to buy a unit there — which can make a sizeable dent in your budget.
But as a budding digital nomad, you can be excused for not owning your own furnished townhouse with a sprawling front yard, and maybe you never should in a city like NYC anyway. Yoreevo details how renting is a much simpler and flexible option compared to buying real estate. That’s because renting will yield much more affordable short-term and accessible options. For one, you can split the monthly cost with a roommate, or choose areas in less trendy neighbourhoods like Jackson Heights and Kensington.
Alternative places to work
One of the many freedoms that digital nomads enjoy is choosing where to work, and NYC has some of the best places for that. If you’re feeling a little holed up in your flat, there are lush areas like Gramercy, Riverside, and Prospect Park, which are not only ideal places to jog, but also suitable options as an alternative outdoor office.
However, if green spaces aren’t really your thing, the city’s many libraries will provide you the quiet space and reliable internet connection you need to finish the day’s tasks. The Library for the Performing Arts and the nearby Alice Tully Hall are strong options, too.
If you have some extra cash to spend, NYC also offers some great co-working spaces to really boost your productivity! One of the more well known establishments in town is Spacious, a company that turns old restaurants into affordable office spaces for freelancers in the city. The fee is $99 per month for an annual subscription, and it comes with Wi-Fi, tea, coffee, and outlets in the building. Another top-rated option is WeWork, which is a bit pricier at $300-$600, depending on which branch in New York you want to go to. It has all the basic amenities like fruit-infused water, 24/7 access, printing services, office supplies, and more.
Whatever your financial situation may be at the moment, and whatever type of space you’re comfortable working in, NYC most likely has the ideal one for you around the corner.
Life for freelancers in NYC is never boring, what with the metro’s dynamic nature.
Writers can work from a variety of coffee shops that are always popping up around the corner, each better than the last. For illustrators and graphic designers, the coolest people and up and coming artists are always in reach in neighbourhoods like Chelsea, with gallery openings almost every night. Photographers will never run out of interesting subjects with the city’s many attractions.
But perhaps most importantly for digital nomads, new opportunities and jobs are always available and around every corner.
Although the life of a digital nomad is not for everybody, there are rewarding perks and exciting opportunities for those who choose this way of life. That’s why it’s no surprise that according to the New York Times, 4.8 million Americans consider themselves digital nomads, and 17 million more aspire to be. Adapting to the nomadic lifestyle is not easy, but living in a city as vibrant and exciting as New York might just make the switch completely worth it.