Yesterday I met a colleague at IBM Brazil that moved to a world wide position. He is now living in Manhattan, New York.
His everyday routine, as most Information Workers nowadays, is to talk to people, make phone conference calls, e-mails, design and communicate strategies, make some data consolidation and reports, instant messaging, etc.
Since most of this things have become information, and since we have information technology today, he can do his job from any point on earth as long as he has an Internet connection to let the information flow.
He choose NY because he enjoys life jazz and wanted to experiment the Big Apple, not because his job is physically located there. He could choose Montana, Alaska, Manaus, Fernando de Noronha etc to live.
Of course personal contact is sometimes needed. In these occasions, people schedule meetings and get a flight to meet someplace. This is probably cheaper than maintaining an office space for all these information workers, and probably more friendly to the environment than make them drive everyday to a physical location.
I can think about dozens of jobs that could be this way. Lawyers, journalists, writers, architects, web 2.0-related jobs, even also physicians in many situations when they don’t need to examine their patients.
The matter of all these jobs is information and the platform to make it flow is ready — the Internet. Now we just need a sort of cultural shift.