What is the life of a digital nomad really like? Just ask Robert Kropp, an entrepreneur who has spent the last 3 years travelling the world and working out of more than 100 coworking spaces.
“Everyone kind of imagines us all on the beach, with a mountain view, travelling the world and just making recurring money without work,” says Robert. “I still put in a solid 10 hours most days.”
He says that while flexible work helps people to improve productivity levels, it is inherently a personal preference. Having the freedom to work where, when and how you want, and the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, helps people stay focused.
For Robert, the most important thing is getting out of the house and into a coworking space, which enables him to “flip that switch to work mode”. Besides the essentials – good Wi-Fi and coffee – Robert says that the external pressure of having people around him means that he stays accountable.
However, coworking isn’t all about work.
“Coworking is relationship building,” he says. “The people that I work next to become my ‘team’ or friend group. That is extremely valuable.” When you’re constantly on the move and working from place to place, having friends around you is incredibly important. It’s also a great way to build your professional network.
At the dozens of coworking spaces he’s worked in, Robert has come across designers, developers, marketing companies, and IT companies.
Some people may feel awkward breaking the ice, but Robert’s advice is simple: “Just say hello and introduce yourself.”
“There’s a micro-barrier that gets created if you don’t initiate contact immediately. It’s a weird thing, you don’t really connect with people if you don’t breakdown that barrier.”