HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

Work From Anywhere

In a world where people are always on the go, it is not surprising to see that more and more companies are adopting a work from anywhere (WFA) policy. WFA is a workplace policy that allows employees to work wherever they want – providing they can perform their jobs. Initially, tech companies that wanted to be more competitive in recruiting and retaining employees adopted WFA policies. But now, even traditionally office-centric businesses like law firms have begun opening up their doors with this new way of working. This article will take you through some of the benefits an employer has when implementing work from anywhere policies into its company culture.

What Is Work From Anywhere (WFA)?

The working from anywhere program often referred to as the WFA, is a workplace choice that enables employees to work from wherever they choose. In most situations, all that is necessary to be productive from nearly anyplace on the planet is a decent laptop and internet connection.

Remote Work Versus Work From Anywhere

While remote workers are often required to reside in the same state or geographical region as their employers' headquarters, they may be required to come into the office now and again, even if it's only for meetings! Companies who practice WFA, on the other hand, do not have any restrictions like this since they are permitted to work anywhere there is access to the internet.

Should Your Organization Allow Work From Anywhere?

While many companies today offer remote work policies to help their employees be more productive and efficient, it may not necessarily be the right choice for you. If you're thinking about whether a WFA situation would benefit your workforce, consider the many variables such as deliverables, the typical schedule of your team, location of support staff and issues that may arise. Company size is also an important factor to consider because small company cultures may not be the best fit for remote work, while larger companies may be more capable of pulling off the logistics involved. Conversely, WFA may not be viable for larger businesses with mostly physical work since the majority of their labor isn't technological, but smaller firms could easily relocate if their tasks can be completed online.

Benefits of Work From Anywhere

There are many benefits when it comes to implementing a work from anywhere policy in your workplace. It will provide employees with more flexibility and save companies money, while also helping them stay productive throughout every day. Talent attraction problems can instantly become moot by opening up the talent pool to the entire world, which instantly diversifies your workplace as well. We’ll explore each of these benefits in more detail below.

Higher Productivity and Saved Time

When you have a WFA workforce, it can increase productivity. Since your employees are not wasting time commuting, chatting at the coffee table or being distracted by others, the time can instead be invested in a compounding effort to increase overall productivity.

Reduced Absences and Employee Turnover

Employees who work remotely are often more productive, have fewer absences and less turnover than employees in traditional office settings.

Lower Facility Costs

A WFA arrangement can save you money by reducing costs on electricity usage for air conditioning or heating during the winter months when your employees might not want to come into the office due to weather conditions like snowfall or ice storms!

Employee Retention

If WFA works well within an organization's culture they may find their employee retention rates rise as talented workers will be drawn to opportunities where they can feel empowered rather than restricted in pursuing their personal goals.

Instantly Diversified Workforce

Hiring from anywhere in the world will allow you to instantly diversify your talent pool. With an ever-expanding contingent, it becomes easier for companies trying to create cultures of diversity and inclusion by hiring people who represent different backgrounds instead of being confined within smaller geographical regions where there may only be one or two potential candidates available at any given time.

Culturally Aligned Talent

WFA can help businesses attract top notch, culturally aligned talent without being limited to the smaller talent pool you are generally limited to in your state or region. When the world is your oyster, it’s hard not to find a pearl.

Disadvantages of Work From Anywhere

There are certainly disadvantages to allowing a WFA policy, and these will have to be considered in light of all the benefits that come with working remotely. Each company needs to decide what is right for their organization. There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution on either the macro or micro level when it comes down to these major problems occurring primarily with productivity management.

General Employee Management

The first disadvantage to WFA is that it can be difficult to manage remote workers on a macro level. Since they won't necessarily be in close proximity, you may find yourself struggling to keep everyone accountable and on track with getting their work done. Ensuring that work is started at the expected time and ends at a respectable time is not entirely possible without the traditional physical clock in, clock out system in play. On the flip side, telecommuters have been found to show higher levels of job satisfaction than traditional employees because they have more autonomy over how they complete their daily tasks.

Optimal Productivity Management

The second disadvantage is controlling the productivity expected by the organization on the micro level. When employees are working from home they may feel less pressure to complete their tasks or meet deadlines. This can easily become a problem if there is no structure around how work gets done. The first disadvantage is that managing remote workers becomes an issue when you don't have the ability to see them in person on a regular basis. This could potentially lead to wasted time and resources as well as missed opportunities for your organization.

Best Practices for Implementing a Work From Anywhere Model

A few important factors inclusive of a WFA environment include setting clear expectations with co-workers about when they'll have access time during working hours (so nobody feels left out), constant communication between managers/supervisors AND employees. This can help avoid conflicts arising due to lack of understanding regarding personal responsibilities under remote arrangements versus traditional office attendance.

Set Clear Expectations

First, it's important to be very clear about what you expect from employees who are working remotely. This starts with clearly outlining the parameters of your WFA policy (including hours and how much autonomy they will have) as well as including this information in an official company handbook or document that all workers must sign before starting their jobs.

Keep Constant Communication

Secondly, make sure you communicate regularly. It can be easy for telecommuters to feel like they're not being engaged by management if there isn't regular contact happening through video conferencing or other means. Most importantly, keep employees updated on any changes that happen at the office — especially those that may affect them directly.

Trust Your Employees

Working from home requires trust, and you want your employees to know how much faith you are placing in them. It's important that they feel like a leader who can be trusted with responsibilities, and it’s important to reinforce the idea that this is a privilege that you’re happy to give them. If expectations are properly in place, then trust should come easy on both sides.
Steven Farber

Steven Farber

I spent much of my working life in a whirlwind of uncertainty wondering when I would find a career that would make me happy. After spending 23 years trying to find that 'dream career' I came to a sobering conclusion. I realized that I wasn't looking for a career, but for a purpose and that I would never be happy until I figured out what that purpose was. After a long hard road of trial and error, I concluded that my purpose, the very activity that brought me happiness was when I could bring that happiness to others first. Removing the vast amounts of uncertainty this life can bring for others and replacing it with true peace of mind, gave me my much sought-after peace of mind.
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