Investment Insight: Short-term Rentals near KLCC
- November 29, 2023
SR Residences (not the actual name) is a luxury residential building located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with just a seven-minute... Read More
Have you heard of the term digital nomad or are you one of them? The term was first used in 1997 in a book entitled “The Digital Nomad” by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners. As you can probably infer from the words, a digital nomad is a person who works remotely from one location to the next.
Much like working from home and without having to go to the office, a digital nomad works from any place that works for them as long as they are connected to the internet and can perform their work accordingly. Yes, this includes places like beaches, libraries, coffee shops and Airbnbs in any region or city in the world.
How interesting is that?!
Who they are and what they do
According to Forbes, the digital nomad lifestyle has been on the rise for years but the trend skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit. The surge of this working style is contributed by people’s acceptance and adaptability towards heavy reliance on technology.
During COVID-19 lockdowns, everyone was thrown a curve ball which led to (or forced to) the maximum use of online platforms in day-to-day communications, shopping, entertainment and needless to say, working (because there are still bills to pay isn’t it).
This has directly proven that many jobs or tasks can be accomplished without the shackle of 9 to 5 and the need to physically be at one’s desk. Hence, many companies around the world continue this practice and encourage working remotely for added productivity.
A study by MBO Partners showed that between 2019 and 2022, the number of American workers who identified as a “digital nomad” increased by 131% – Source: HR Morning
In short, digital nomads are people who embrace the flexibility of independent locations and technology-empowered lifestyle that enables them to work and travel simultaneously.
Digital nomads in Malaysia
In Malaysia, digital nomads can be found in almost every major city. A digital nomad typically stays at a place for a few months or years, depending on their work requirement. Because staying in hotels can be overwhelmingly expensive and unsustainable for daily needs such as cooking, laundry and closet space, and renting a house may involve a tedious process and documentation, they usually opt for short-term rentals or Airbnb that can provide a comfortable living.
Did you know that Kuala Lumpur ranked 15 in the top 20 locations for digital nomads, with the top 5 being Lisbon, Bangkok, Madrid, Seoul and Delhi? (Source: The Times India)
Digital nomads primarily choose Malaysia because they can achieve a work-life balance without a very high cost of living and a reasonable currency exchange rate. For instance, those who typically earn between USD30,000 to USD50,000 a year in their home country will be subjected to high amounts of taxes and living costs. In Malaysia or other countries with more affordable living expenses, digital nomads can live their dreams quite comfortably.
Last year, Malaysia updated its existing professional visit pass by including the DE Rantau Nomad Pass. This pass is issued by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a government agency under the purview of the Ministry of Communications and Digital. It allows a digital nomad to stay in the country for up to 12 months, subject to renewal for an additional year as well as the permission to bring in spouse and children.
DE Rantau falls under one of the Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes that aims to make Malaysia the preferred digital nomad hub in ASEAN.
How MyRehat caters to digital nomads
This year, MyRehat was certified by MDEC as the official hub for digital nomads, which means all of MyRehat’s accommodations are recognised to suit the digital nomad lifestyle.
MyRehat was provided with a grant of RM10,000 and every property is fully-furnished, tastefully decorated and equipped with amenities that will make each guest feel at home. Our accommodations are certainly laid out with a comfortable living approach in mind and digital nomads who opt to book won’t regret their decision.
Besides being located in prime locations, MyRehat homes have restaurants and shops within every building’s vicinity. Most importantly, every unit is installed with its own internet which is the main source of digital nomads’ working arrangement.
As of August 2023, MyRehat has catered to more than 30% foreign guests, some of which also include digital nomads from countries like the United States and Russia.
Interestingly, digital nomads look for a community-based lifestyle for their temporary living. This means that it is not surprising to find a group of them staying in the same property or nearby areas.
Factors to consider before becoming a digital nomad
Carefully select your desired location by researching the cost of living and culture in a particular region. Today, many countries offer remote work or digital nomad visas as a smarter effort to boost the economy.
Fun fact: Besides Malaysia, the Republic of Estonia which is known for its technological advancement was one of the first nations that jumped on this bandwagon.
It is wise to have some savings put aside whenever you are away from home. You may need to rely on several months’ savings while adapting to a new country and lifestyle. Therefore, it is critical to do proper research before moving on to your next temporary home. You wouldn’t want to end up having financial difficulties in a foreign land.
We cannot emphasise this enough because your health is your top priority no matter where you go. Be sure to sign up for a solid insurance plan that will provide adequate coverage wherever you travel. It is better to have this aspect sorted before you commit to a nomadic lifestyle that is known to be filled with uncertainties and unfamiliarity. At least have some peace of mind if you ever (hopefully never) wind up in the ER!
If you are considering the digital nomad’s path and are interested in finding out more about Malaysia’s DE Rantau Programme, it’s best to get an in-depth understanding of the subject by visiting https://mdec.my/derantau.
In addition, you can also join a Facebook Group namely Malaysia’s DE Rantau Digital Nomad Member Community to stay informed on the programme’s updates and get the opportunities to connect with experienced digital nomads here.
Equip yourself with as much knowledge, tips, information and valuable insights before deciding to ensure a smooth transition from your current living situation to the next.
Once you are set on becoming a digital nomad in Malaysia, browse for the accommodation that suits you at www.myrehat.com and get a special discount from us!