🧑‍💻 The first successful digital society

PLUS the next wave of remote work is already here, global gentrification and how to deal with it, how much to tip around the world, and Remote's new influencer report

Hey Insiders, hope you’re doing well! This is Remote Insider, the only source you need to stay up to day on all things remote work.

Today’s email is a 4min 20sec read:

  • 🇪🇪 How Estonia became the first digital society

  • 🌊 The next wave of remote work is already here

  • 🌎 Global gentrification

  • ➕ PLUS how much to tip around the world

But before we get into all that, here’s how to use Zoom so it’s more valuable and everyone hates it a little bit less…


How To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms To Make Meetings More Productive

As remote workers, we have a love-hate relationship with Zoom, and even though many of us pray for a better alternative, for now, we’re stuck with Zoom, so we might as well learn the best way to use it.

One of Zoom’s most useful, yet underutilized features, is the breakout room which allows you to break up a team call into several smaller calls for a period of time, then pull everyone back into the main call.

This feature is great for brainstorming, but to use it right, it’s best to follow a few best practices:

  • Set clear objectives - communicate the expectation from each room and what the goal of the session is

  • Assign roles - each room at a minimum should have a facilitator responsible for leading the discussion, and a note taker

  • Gather feedback - always leave a few minutes for people to provide feedback on how future calls can be improved.


How Estonia Built The First Successful Digital Society

In 2014, long before COVID forced the world to bend a knee to remote work, Estonia became the darling of remote workers and online entrepreneurs by launching its e-Residency program.

This program allowed non-Estonian citizens to access the country’s services such as business formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation.

e-Residency was a massive hit and provided location-independent entrepreneurs with better access to the EU and its financial services. Estonia also benefited greatly from the program, this year it crossed 100,000 members and has generated over €150 million in tax revenue.

This program however is not a fluke, but part of what many call the first successful digital society.

Estonia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and immediately began to invest heavily in the technology sector. Then in 1997, the country decided to launch its e-Governance initiative with the goal of fully digitizing the operations of the country.

As part of this initiative, Estonia launched e-Tax in 2000 allowing citizens to pay all taxes online, then in 2001, it introduced the mandatory Digital ID card which streamlined access to the country’s services. This was followed by i-Voting in 2005 which made Estonia the first country in the world to offer internet voting in general elections.

Estonia’s adoption of digital services has served as an inspiration for governments around the world. It’s likely that many of today’s “nomad” visas looked at the e-Residency program for guidance.

Nearly 30 years after launching, the e-Governance initiative has proven its value, security, and effectiveness. Hopefully, with the continued acceleration of remote work around the world, more countries follow in Estonia’s footsteps.


Remote Releases Their 2023 Remote Influencer Report

Every year, Remote publishes a report that highlights the most influential people in remote work, and the 2023 edition is officially out. Check it out to find the 150 people you should definitely know in the space… you may even see a few familiar faces 😜


💰 29-year-old makes $2 million a year by teaching Excel

  • Kat Norton launched her TikTok account Miss Excel in 2020 and within a few weeks went viral and quickly grew her following

  • Today, Kat has over 900K followers, sells Excel courses, and has corporate clients whom she consults on how to best use Excel

  • Best of all, Kat only works on her business 3 - 4 hours a day

🌊 The next wave of remote work is about outsourcing jobs overseas

  • Companies are realizing that if someone can work 100 miles from the office, then someone 1000 miles from the office can do the job as well

  • Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University, believes that up to 20% of US service support jobs could move overseas in the next decade.

  • While this may sound worrying to US workers, it could benefit skilled workers in developing countries by decentralizing access to well-paying jobs.

Study finds that remote workers save 72 minutes a day, but is that a good thing?

  • A study looked at remote working habits and found that commuters on average save 72 minutes per day by working from home

  • However, the study found that 60% of that newfound time is going to their job, with only 40% being used for things like leisure or family responsibilities

  • This differed significantly based on where the remote workers lived, the increase in leisure time was highest in Germany & Austria, while Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan saw the highest increase in work time.

🌎 Global gentrification - are digital nomads ruining everything?

  • This is part 2, of a 4-part series of letters between Lauren Razavi, the founder of Plumia, and Marko Ayling, a journalist and publisher of The Missive.

  • Marko proposes that the shift toward remote work has landed some cities with the opportunity of exploiting a natural resource, much like oil, and that it all depends on how that resource is used.

    • Dubai & Venezuela are both oil-rich countries yet have created very different results

  • The question remains, how do digital nomads use their money and skills to help improve the communities in which they reside



April 25-26: Running Remote [📍 Lisbon, Portugal] - Largest remote work conference in the world for enterprises and SMEs

May 24-28: Vivel [📍 Multiple Locations, Turkey] - networking meets music at this one-of-a-kind conference for location-independent professionals

June 16-19: Camp Indie [📍 Kent, Connecticut] - adult summer camp & conference for digital nomads & those living an unconventional life

June 25-July 2: Bansko Nomad Fest [📍 Bansko, Bulgaria] - for digital nomads, freelancers, and founders in the mountains of Bulgaria


⭐️ Senior Back End Developer @ ProjectDiscovery

⭐️ Mastermind Community Director @ Growth Tools

⭐️ Senior UX Designer @ Aha!

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