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How the digital nomad went corporate

And other stories that will make you think differently about borderless living

Welcome to Borderless. Every week, we handpick the best links on digital nomads, remote work and global mobility to help you navigate the quirks of living and working on the internet.

Can you really call it "nomadism" if you make a corporate policy for it?

The term "nomadic" is often associated with freedom and adventure. It conjures up images of people traveling the world, living in different places, and experiencing new cultures. But what happens when nomadism becomes corporatized?

When companies create work from anywhere policies, it can start to feel less like nomadism and more like a set of restrictions. There are time obligations, top-down expectations, and even tracking software. The freedom to travel and explore is still there, but it's just not quite the same. 

And yet, the fact that companies are trying to find ways for their staff to work from anywhere is largely positive – we just need to find the right balance between structure and spontaneity.

The stories in this week’s issue will challenge your assumptions about what it means to be a nomad. From the case for corporate nomadism and the comfort of tourist traps, to how getting away with doing nothing at work isn’t a dream job. 

Wherever you are in the world right now, have a joyful and productive week. 

– Anna at SafetyWing

While some companies embrace nomadism, data suggests that many want to limit it. In a survey of 800 companies, only 7% supported more than 60 days of work from anywhere. “Companies haven’t killed off digital nomadism for the masses, but they are wresting it into a less risky and more controlled form. [It’s] being corporatised.”

Sarah O’Connor for The Financial Times

Despite their bad reputation, the occasional visit to an easy-to-find tourist trap can be freeing. “There is no pressure to be cool. You are allowed to be a guidebook-toting, comfortable-shoe-wearing, selfie-taking outsider — all enthusiasm, no shame.”

Natalie B. Compton for The Washington Post

Once a haven for creatives, Austin has transformed into a bustling tech hub, attracting major companies like Google, Tesla, and Apple. This rapid growth is putting the city’s quirky charm at risk of extinction. Can Austin be a major player in the global economy and still stay weird?

Lawrence Wright for The New Yorker

If a pro-AI manifesto were to come from anyone, it would be Marc Andreessen. The infamous venture capitalist and co-founder of Netscape takes a punch at the naysayers by outlining why AI will make everything we care about better – as long as we stop freaking out about it. His proposal? A Ronald Reagan-inspired “we win, they lose” strategy that sees the West aggressively double-down on AI development before China does. Spicy!

Marc Andreessen for a16z.com

It’s an open secret that remote work has made it easier for people to slack off. You probably know someone who fits the "jobless employed" description: people who have a job but don't do much work. While some might dream of a job where they can do the bare minimum, it leaves many feeling guilty.

Emily Stewart for Vox

Numerous studies have found that just using your phone less won’t necessarily make you happier or less anxious. Nonetheless, we could all do with putting our devices down more often. Break the mindless scrolling cycle by simply asking yourself: “What am I getting from this?”

Rhiannon Williams for MIT Technology Review

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