Saturday, 24 October, 2020
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OPINION

Nepal's High Prospects As Remote Work Destination



Ravi Dhungel

 


Over the last few months, the growth of remote work has been phenomenal. Nowhere in the history of mankind, working from home has been so important for employees and employers, thanks to the information and collaboration technologies and the digital transformation of business processes to address COVID-19. The post COVID-19 research from LinkedIn shows dramatic increase in work from home across all the industry verticals. Business units across the organisations are innovating and acclimatising with the new remote workflows and processes. Automation in back-office work and innovation is happening at an unprecedented rate.

Fresh study
A recent study from Stanford University shows that about 42 per cent of the US workforce is working from home. Also A Gartner, Inc. survey on June 5 of 127 company leaders, representing human resource, legal and compliance, finance and real estate, revealed 82 per cent of respondents intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. Nearly half (47 per cent) said they intend to allow employees to work remotely full-time going forward. For some organisations, flex time will be the new norm as 43 per cent of survey respondents reported they will grant employees flex days, while 42 per cent will provide flex hours.
This enables the travel tech industry to entice the travellers to travel and work remotely from any part of the world. The Barbados Welcome Stamp, which has just started taking applications, gives international visitors the opportunity to work remotely on the island for up to a year.
Nepal also has unique advantages to enable the travel tech industries. In fact, Barbados has already introduced policies to address the opportunities of working remotely. Nepal can bring unique opportunities on the table for travel tech services to entice travellers for remote work. 5:45+ GMT gives a unique time zone to synchronise well in Europe and North America. The recent growth in tech companies in Nepal from Europe and America has already proved that time zone is really helpful to establish a global team. English speaking young vibrant community in the country makes the country a unique place to collaborate for remote work and the living cost here is very low compared to the western world.
If someone is spending six months in Nepal for remote work, s/he can save a substantial amount of his income. More importantly, most of the food in Nepal is not genetically modified organisms (GMO) products, thus providing travellers the opportunity to eat organic food and the rise in food delivery services provides food in the room. The country is full of culture and festivals, an opportunity to engage with locals and understand the unique festivals of one of the oldest nations in the region. Work from here will also provide Nepal an opportunity to bring high paying tourists. The tech industries across the globe are in the forefront on allowing remote work opportunities, and tech companies are leaders in working remotely, and the workforce a high median salary.
Nepal should lead the new wave of remote work tourism by establishing work from Everest initiative. Travel tech industry will be growing at an unprecedented rate in the years to come as many companies will continue to adapt with the new changes in the workflow and work from home opportunities. Nepal should establish the new visa category called “Remote Work” or “Work from Everest” for travellers who want to visit Nepal for remote work. Nepal should provide more tax rebate and investment opportunities to improve internet connectivity and build collaboration with high tech spaces for remote work. The hotels should develop a collaboration space so that the remote workers can schedule and attend the meetings at collaboration space with state of the art technologies to engage with their global team.

Motivation
In a typical day, a traveller can roam around the city of Bhaktapur, start with the mountain biking from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot and start his only meeting at 9:00 pm in the collaboration room with his global team in San Diego ( 8:15am ) and Denver (10:15am). The very next day, he can wake up at 5 am in the morning and work for the next 6 hours watching the panoramic views of Mt. Everest and call his day off. On the weekend, he can fly to Pokhara and work from the Lake Side for a day. Next couple of days, the traveller will be hiking at Annapurna Base Camp route with collaboration space available across the trek in teahouses, s/he will be able to spend 5-6 hours every day while trekking. The next month, he will be staying at Jungle Safari in Chitwan and enjoy his time with animals.
This kind of remote opportunity will bring a person closer to nature and his passion brings innovation and motivation. The work efficiency of the individual continues to increase while being closer to nature, travel and a collaboration space. With very low living costs in Nepal, the individual can also save money in living costs while working remotely and travelling.

(Dhungel is a cyber-security practitioner and avid hiker based in California, USA ravi@esrtech.io.) 

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