Travels with The Greying Digital Nomad – An Italian Adventure
The travels of the greying, digital nomad has been captured through the UK and France in recent times in other short articles –
This third entry on the matter – Italy – Florence and Rome in particular - further supported the notion of WFA but with some new considerations that would enhance the process and ensure high levels of communication and support in relation to the Sydney/Melbourne headquarters.
WFA as a concept
The notion of WFA has been explored as a contemporary and appropriate approach to work in a recent publication – Whateley, Bofinger and Kanwar (2022) WFA – Working from anywhere and the digital nomad – DN, Intertype ISBN 978-0-6556620-1-6 incorporating 23 chapters looking at the issue from every conceivable angle – chapters are available electronically for consideration –
Whateley and Bofinger - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/3998/wfa.pdf
Whateley and West - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4058/studying-from-anywhere-sfa.pdf
Manly, J and Whateley - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4064/gymnasiums-where-wfa-did-not-work-out.pdf
Mienczakowski - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4083/permanent-alternatives.pdf
Najmaei and Sadeghinejad - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4087/digital-nomadism-and-nomadic-students.pdf
Sadeghinejad and Najmaei - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4099/a-socio-materialistic-view-of-digital-nomadism.pdf
Rigg and Bofinger - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4100/recording-from-anywhere.pdf
Manly, J and Whateley - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4104/how-technology-has-changed-the-way-gyms-operate.pdf
The view being that WFA is effective, doable and is here to stay.
The importance of a SOHO on the road
It became clear that the best way to operate was establishing a small office home office (SOHO) scenario that provided a dedicated space where order overcame any form of chaos. I had prepared for the need carrying an enabled GCA laptop, a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse, a mouse pad for all surfaces, a high quality digital camera (Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam, a display stand and a notebook and pen (old school) that worked well in tandem and supported the range of activities needed. A calendar and a time piece (adjusted to local time – Sydney/Melbourne time was shown on laptop) also were indispensable.
In both Florence (Firenze) and Rome (Roma) I was able to secure a quiet, stylish, comfortable space with minimum interruption irrespective of the hour -
A nook in the old quarter of Florence overlooking the Duomo
A dedicated spot beside the Spanish Steps in Rome
This worked extremely well and is highly recommended. The secret is ensuring that you have the right bits and pieces from the outset – good planning is essential.
WFA as a practice
I have operated now in England, France, Italy, Bangkok and Singapore in recent times and conclude that despite the challenges (essentially time zone related) the concept of working from anywhere (WFA) is highly successful and the notion of a greying, digital nomad wandering the planet and at the same time maintaining a presence with home base is both doable and highly likely to continue.
In some ways the most flattering (and possibly tell-tale) compliment came from a colleague who had not realised I had actually been away. So, it does work!
Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBSS and Vice President (Academic) at GCA. He is a greying, digital nomad and author of numerous papers on the subject including a recently published book.