Destination Dubrovnik: Meet Rowena Hennigan from RoRemote

Total Croatia News

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A busy season for Croatia’s digital nomad story is about to begin. Last year’s highlights included the introduction of the digital nomad permit on January 1, 2021, and destinations such as Zagreb and Dubrovnik attracted global interest with award-winning events such as Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence project.

Both Zagreb and Dubrovnik will continue their push to position themselves in the market in 2022, with Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2022 set to take place in June, and a news conference before that in Dubrovnik, as previously reported on TCN: Work. Place. Culture.

Work.Place.Culture is the conference which brings work from anywhere to absolutely everywhere. Join remote professionals and destinations from around the world as they inspire a global workforce that has greater location flexibility than ever before, and the destinations which are reinventing to support them through policy, infrastructure, and community.


Additionally, as part of the Work.Place.Culture Conference, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is launching its official workation program pilot, in conjunction with Saltwater and Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. The winning team will enjoy a 1-week stay (between 1 and 9 May 2022) at the 5 Star Sun Gardens Dubrovnik and have the chance to partake in a specialty workshop – strategy planning, team building, wellbeing, and leadership are among the options available. The all-star team will also present at the Work. Place. Culture. Conference on 5-7 May 2022. Applications are open until this Friday, April 15! Click HERE to apply.

Total Croatia News continues to present the elite lineup for the Work. Place. Culture., this time with Rowena Hennigan. A family-related epiphany introduced her to the wonderful world of remote work, and today Rowena is recognized as a global thought leader. ”Remote work has enabled me to live flexibly, work from anywhere, travel extensively and find work-life balance. I relish in being an advocate and a leader on the education and skills needed for effective remote work practices.”, says Rowena. Today, Rowena has been able to use her experience working and traveling to identify the key factors that help form the right discipline to live as a digital nomad, and as a published academic author and researcher, she knows exactly how to transfer this knowledge to all those seeking to educate themselves on remote working skills.

You are recognised as a global thought leader in the field of remote work. Tell us firstly about your personal journey and how you achieved your current lifestyle. 

Back in 2015, when myself and my young family were living in Dublin, my daughter developed chronic childhood asthma and life was tough. Luckily, as I returned to work after maternity leave both my employers at the time allowed me to work flexibly and remotely. That was when my partner and I had the epiphany: if we could work remotely in Ireland, why not somewhere with a better climate to support our daughters’ health? We took the decision to move to Zaragoza in Spain and keep our lifestyle as mobile and flexible as possible. We are now a location-independent family, with a base in Zaragoza, but nomading for short periods in other locations, such as France, Italy, Vietnam, Indonesia, parts of Spain, Gran Canaria and Portugal. We combine travel with work and we are mainly “slowmads”, meaning we work and travel at a slow pace in a certain region.


You are an advocate and leader on the education and skills required for effective remote work practices. What would you say are the 3 key skills required to develop this new reality?

First, self-management and self-leadership; from conscientiousness to self-discipline, remote workers act independently and need the self-regulation skills to make that a success. Second, communication & interpersonal skills; the art of effective communication is vital for remote working, alongside the ability to make and maintain strong relationships in a virtual environment. And third, teamwork & virtual collaboration skills; knowing how to work and collaborate efficiently in a virtual team. 

You are also an academic. How much has the future of work entered academia, and what role does academia have to play in its development?

As an industry academic, I have enjoyed seeing the two worlds of industry and academia getting more closely aligned in recent times. As various evidence-based research and insights are widely distributed amongst the corporate community and learnings are shared. However, more cooperation and collaboration is needed between these two worlds.


Your prognosis on where all this is going. How do you see the global work landscape in 5 years?

Looking into my crystal ball, I see 3 key factors:

  1. Individual worker well being, needs and empowerment will be a key focus as knowledge workers demand more life-work-integration, well-being support and options for asynchronous work from organisations.
  2. Work from (almost) anywhere will become more prevalent, as the infrastructure for true Remote Work is further established and supported eg. the growth of EOR (Employer of Record) like and also supporting services such as insurance, from
  3. Hosting effective in-person events and meet-ups will be a new skill and talent area. As more teams work remotely, further emphasis will be put on the in-person time and its quality, leading to an increased emphasis on frequency, location, activities and social interactions.

And so to the Dubrovnik Work. Place. Culture. conference. Why does it appeal to you, what will you be speaking about, and what do you hope to get from your time in Dubrovnik?

Croatia’s efforts and innovation in the Digital Nomad space have been on my radar for a few years now! I am delighted to be able to visit in person and see the ecosystem for myself, taking the opportunity to learn from the wonderful team there.

My keynote will focus on the importance of community and human connection, to support any successful digital nomad and remote worker destination.


You obviously follow global trends in remote work. How do you assess Croatia’s efforts so far, and what does it need to do to move things forward?

Firstly, what has been achieved so far needs to be recognised, as the Croatian digital nomad visa has only been active since January 2021. Few people appreciate the massive bureaucratic and administrative hurdles regions have surpassed to achieve and launch nomad and residency programs in recent times. So I applaud those efforts.

The future is nomadic so Croatia should continue to break down administrative barriers and proactively understand the needs of nomads that visit the Country.  Listen, learn and act on their guidance so that it is a win-win relationship.

You can learn more about and connect with Rowena through her official website, RoRemote, or through LinkedIn.

If you have not yet registered your team to participate in a luxury workation in Dubrovnik, you can do so through this LINK. Applications are until this Friday the 15th!

You can download the full programme of the Work.Place.Culture Conference in Dubrovnik here.

Work. Place. Culture. is a collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads and TCN, with support from the Digital Nomad Association Croatia and Dubrovacka Bastina. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week is a partnership between Zagreb Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, and TCN. 

To learn more about magnificent Dubrovnik, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide, in partnership with Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.  

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section


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