Freeman Cebu Business

Work from anywhere is the norm

INVESTING ON THE GO - Iggy Go - The Freeman

Even as working from home (WFH) becomes relatively commonplace, a new form of remote work is emerging: working from anywhere (WFA), in which employees can live and work where they choose, typically within a specific country, but in some cases, anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection.

Understandably, the mandatory Work From Home situation that many of us around the world find ourselves in is not ideal. Schools are closed, kids are home, internet is wonky since everyone else is home.

Work From Home (WFH) vs Work from Anywhere (WFA)?

It’s not surprising that there is something of a popular revulsion towards the whole WFH notion.

Extroverts are simply not built for “Work From Home” while the introverts see it as something easy.

Many people misunderstand the intent of WFH. It’s not about further imprisoning us in our homes — it’s about empowering us to think and work exactly where we are personally most productive.

Many of people will choose to work from home, and many others will habitually return to the same working environment each day even if it isn’t our home. That’s fine, different strokes for different folks. Flexibility doesn’t mean constantly changing everything up — it means we can change things when we want and need to.

“Work From Home” is not an ideal branding for remote work and is somewhat narrow. “Work From Anywhere” literally means anywhere, including the very office we would normally commute to, a different country or location, co-working space, internet cafe, and the like with internet connection.

The WFA Policy

WFA will be the norm simply because different work requires different environments. Similarly, different people will also have different work environment preferences. Not everyone will have the same levels of productivity in the same environment.

Some work requires face to face collaboration. Some days are all meetings as we try to coordinate a number of projects. Some days we need to shut out the world and just dive down into writing our novels, or developing a new algorithm, or putting together that big presentation for the all-hands meeting next week. Some days we need a mix of both. Some days we need the comfort of home, while other days we need the comfort of colleagues.

Here are a few recommendations for consideration re: WFA/remote policies

• Employers who allow employees to work remotely should grant these employees true autonomy and flexibility, rather than trying to micromanage their remote work.

• Managers of WFA employees should mandate use of a common set of technology tools.

• WFA employers should leverage any geographic clusters of WFA employees that emerge. Having hub type open offices or areas for meet-ups or off-site meetings can help connect employees with different work arrangements together.

• Finally, consider the type of work itself. If a job is very independent or requires less collaboration, then the transition is easier. For jobs with lower levels of independence, more research is needed.

Workers put value to the flexibility provided by a WFH/A policy. It’s a significant difference from the previous normal: while a WFH employee can choose to pick the kids up from school or spend lunch hour walking the dog, a WFA employee can do all of those and also relocate closer to aging parents or to a location with a lower cost of living.

In short, “Work From Anywhere” perfectly encapsulates that freedom and dynamism our schedules deserve.

Is it time to let employees work from anywhere?s

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