Although Covid presented many challenges, it also provided many with opportunities. The idea of remote working took off as everything in the world became digital. The millennials and Gen Z became huge fans of the concept. As being connected and retaining their freedom are paramount in millennial and Genz society.

Simply put, millennials prefer to work from home, a coffee shop, a coworking space, a library, or somewhere else that isn’t cubicle shaped. Additionally, they don’t want to extend their workday by wasting time on the commute. Moreover, WFH provided them with the chance to travel and discover the world.

As corporates are starting to reconsider the well-praised work-from-home approach and are summoning employees back to the office, the GenZ and Millennial talent are openly voicing their displeasure with this mandate. Although they are not unfamiliar with it, employees are beginning to feel a little cut off from the idea of working in an office after two years of working from home.

They started taking advantage of remote work—no commute, working from anywhere, work-life balance, and more time for hobbies. As a result, the decision to return to the workplace has been met with a muted response from the workforce, which has expressed a range of emotions. There is a pervasive impression that many employees desire a flexible work environment free of rigid rules.


A Digital Nomad’s Workstation in Goa

In 2020-21 Goa witnessed an influx of many digital nomads because of the great weather and many options to get entertained. Specifically, North Goa became the hub of remote workers. It was on top of their list because of its party culture and ample scenic views.

Even the Goans were surprised when many Indians started to rent out their houses. But as the season began in Goa in 2022, North Goa witnessed low turnover in restaurants and events. Everyone wondered why the season is dull and unprofitable.

A reality check churned out some facts that the skyrocketing rents and the fear of losing jobs have turned away many Indian travelers.

Office Calling:

An interaction with a few Digital Nomads stated some facts about how the call back to the office forced them to leave the rental spaces in Goa and go back to the original abodes. While some feared losing their job as they had EMIs, Loans to take care of, others were not able to afford the huge rents. A few said: “They cannot afford to pay rent in the city of their workspace and also here in Goa. Rents last season were lesser than what they are now. Hence leaving Goa isn’t a bad idea as they already experienced it once”.

Ajay, a Data Scientist at a renowned MNC, says: “I have a home loan and have just got married, I cannot risk my job at the moment and the office has made it mandatory to come to the office from March onwards. I have lived and experienced Goa for 2 years hence leaving it now doesn’t hurt. My priority is my job and family.”

Ajay was living in a 1BHK in Morjim paying INR 15000 as rent and had a lock-in period of a minimum of 6 months.

The Rebels:

Yet not to forget the rebels.  These are the ones who chose to leave the job and not give up on the peace and tranquillity that Goa offered them. They felt their needs for freedom, professional development, and value proposition were not satisfied hence looking for more avenues is a better option. They no more desire to live under the constant pressure of deliverables and review reports. While their half-life goes in commuting on public transport in cities, in Goa a scooter is their lifeline on which they rediscover Goa now and then. They also voiced an opinion that life is easier in Goa than in metros, where to eat one grain they have to grind twice.

Income Alternatives:

The ones who chose to stay back are flooded with ideas to make a living in Goa. They are considering a variety of options from opening a café and learning stock market trading, to just becoming a hippie with music as their source of income. And not to deny that there are ample who are choosing to become freelancers in their field of expertise. And this doesn’t end here, there are a few fortunate ones who got offers to extend their WFH as they desire.

The Rentals:

Depending upon their disposable income, a great bunch of them have chosen to stay in the belt between Morjim and Arambol, where the rents are in descending order. With Morjim being on the higher side and Arambol on the lower.

A House in Goa
Photo by Nivedita Senupta on Unsplash

The Accommodation Hunt:

A close interaction with them, made us come up with the conclusion:

  • Some went from home to home and found their rented space.
  • Some were here in previous seasons and shared a great rapport with previous landlords. They rented out the same space.
  • Some struggled and are paying more than they contemplated as it’s their first season here.
  • Some got great deals with their connections in Goa.


A Goan House
Photo by Alex Tinca

The Lords of the land:

While socializing with them, we concluded, the relationship with landlords varied from being great to unpleasant. While some are managing till the season is on and contemplating shifting to another abode in the offseason, others are in great space and wish to continue in the same house.

A Digital Nomad’s day in Goa:

A typical routine of these remote workers starts with breakfast at their favorite places. At about 9:30-10 AM their corporate scene starts with the logins and meetings. And for the ones who are unemployed or on notice period, their hunt for WFH opportunities/brainstorming for new businesses begins at about the same time.

The wrap-up of work starts post-5 PM as the Sunset rubs its magic on all of them and then begins the hustle. The hustle of finding a space for entertainment.

Few phone calls and WhatsApp messages zero down on a spot to meet and explore the events scene that evening. They call it a day post 11 PM depending upon everyone’s mood in the group.

These young blood enjoy going on treks, attending live gigs, grooving to the music of their beloved DJ, long drives, or just walking down their homes in the green fields.

Phew! No dearth of options. Why won’t they fall in love with Goa?

Nomadgao- A Coworking space for Digital Nomads in Goa

From the horse’s mouth:

Greeshma, a senior software professional at a leading IT company, says  “I had never soaked into the vastness of the sea, never experienced nature so closely, and never did I got to witness the sunsets as I was boxed in my cubicle at that time, tensed with what time will I reach home.” Why should I leave all this and get into the box where I sulked and felt bounded?

Greeshma lives in a 2BHK  in Mandrem and pays INR 25000 as rent. She has a rent agreement of a minimum of 11 months.

Anjan, the financial expert, says being in office never helped him explore himself so much. “I attend spiritual classes here and work with my mind and body. Have rediscovered my hobbies and also get to practice them. If I go back to office culture, I will again drown in the everyday hustle and will have no time for myself. Even if I have to leave my job and survive on a lesser amount in Goa, I would prefer that. I am done with corporate life.”

Anjan lives in Arambol in a 1RK and pays INR 8000 as rent. He and his landlord have an understanding, he has promised his landlord to live for a minimum of 4 months each season.

Rental Scales:

Unfortunately, the rents in Goa vary from season to season. A 2BHK may cost you between 20-25K in Season in Morjim, you may get it in 12K in Offseason. Similarly, 1RK which may cost you between 12-15K in Arambol, can be rented in 7-8K in Offseason. So, the digital nomads of Goa, have to sometime negotiate a lot when it comes to rental variations. They have to be smart to choose the right place worth paying.

The Co-Works in North Goa:

In the past 2 years, the WFH culture gave birth to many Co-Work Spaces in North Goa. New entrants such as Blue Camel in Arambol to Old players such as Clay in Anjuna have curated a space that suits a Digital Nomad’s lifestyle. The other famous ones are, Barefoot in Parra and Nomadgao in Anjuna where accommodation is also an option.

Clay- A Cowork Space in Anjuna Goa

And not to forget following the trend, many restaurants have also started projecting themselves as Co-work friendly spaces. Glam & Grill, Dunes Restaurant in Mandrem, and Jungle Dance in Arambol are some of the frequently visited spaces by these remotely working nomads.

And this concludes that a mix of flexible work timing, spirituality, parties, and nature trails has rubbed on young professionals. Maybe the corporates need to redesign their modus operandi.

Note: “To protect the privacy of certain individuals, names and certain identifying details have been changed.”

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Last modified: July 21, 2023

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