Living as a Digital Nomad – Meet our member Fredrik Hagen

Living as a Digital Nomad – Meet our member Fredrik Hagen

Funding his own IT consulting firm enabled Fredrik to leave Norway and discover other parts of the world. He’s been a digital nomad for 3 years now and today he shares his story with us. Want to find out more about the digital nomad lifestyle? Keep reading!

Where are you from?

Oslo, Norway

What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?

Norway is one of the most open, liberal, democratic, transparent countries in the world. It is a very good place to live. It has beautiful nature and a high standard of living.

What do you do?

I run an IT consulting firm and various start-ups. We combine different areas. We own parts of different start-ups within the health research, education – EdTech – and law sectors. These are our main focuses right now. But at the core, we are a group of people and we do IT consulting.

All I need to do my job is Internet connection, which allows me to work from anywhere in the world.

What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?

Now I am working mostly on the health start-up. We provide a cloud solution that makes it easier to conduct research for medical purposes. Recently, I have got a big customer in Norway so this tool is going to be used for all the COVID-19 studies in Norway. So that’s very exciting!

Why did you choose to work from Prague?

Because I got tired of the Covid restrictions. Before, I was in Norway and they shut everything down quickly and kept it shut-down. In the beginning, I was in isolation. People in bars and restaurants were separated with Plexiglas. I just got enough of this limited existence.

I was in Bangkok when it all started back in January. I read about the virus and I realised that it is deadly but people die of different things all the time. It has just become so massive. In Norway, there was a big focus on it every day in the news and I knew the Czech Republic was more open in this way. Also, I had been here with a group of friends in July and it was so nice to be somewhere else, where everything felt normal. So I decided to come back for a month and now I am actually considering the possibility of staying longer.

Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?

Just to be a part of a community and see other people every day. I travel alone when I do digital-nomading so it is nice to be in a place with like-minded people.

Why did you choose Locus in particular?

I just did a Google Maps search and Locus was the only coworking space in the Vinohrady area. I came for a one-day trial and I really liked the place. It seemed to me that it had a lot of soul and history. It is kind of different from those mass-produced offices. Cosy is the right word!

What best describes the kind of location-independent work you do?

I am an entrepreneur and have been following a nomadic lifestyle for the past 3 years, which means that I travel while I work. I spent 1 year in Barcelona (Spain), 3 months in Medellin (Colombia), and also travelled to Bangkok (Thailand) and lived around Norway.

Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?

I’ve been working from coworking spaces since I became a digital nomad, except for when I’m in Oslo, as we have several offices there. Before that I used to work as a consultant, so I guess I’ve never had to face any challenges and never experienced what it’s like to work from home – that’s just not for me.

What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)? 

The people there, they’re nice people. There’s a good sense of community and it was a great opportunity to socialize.

What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague, from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?

The cost of living is insanely low, especially compared to Norway. Thanks to that, I can drink a lot of beer, and I’m always sending pictures of all the beers I have to my friends back in Norway. On top of that, the climate at this time of year (September) is really nice – or maybe I’m just being lucky! And finally, it’s a beautiful place, so it’s always nice to walk around after work and see all these amazing buildings.

Any other interesting projects you’re working on that you haven’t mentioned already?

I’ll tell you a bit more about the EdTech startup I’m working on at the moment, which is quite interesting. It focuses on reading exercises for kids, turning reading into a game. We developed an app – Lesemester, which means “Reading Master” –  where kids can read books, gain points, level up and challenge friends. The aim is to increase the amount of reading.

Other than that, we always encourage everyone to think about new things. Whenever someone comes up with an idea that we think is worth trying out, then we put effort to take it off the ground.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’m a very boring person. Just kidding! I jumped off a building in Las Vegas and once I was on the verge of becoming a superstar. When I was younger I made electronic music and two songs were remixed by a DJ from Lillehammer – that’s the town I’m originally from and where the 1994 Winter Olympics took place. So they were released in Sweden as part of a compilation CD but, unfortunately, the company went bankrupt a few weeks after the songs were released and I never made any money from it, just got a copy of the CD.

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