In defence of working from anywhere
There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without a LinkedIn vote asking users whether they prefer working from the office, or remotely. Post-pandemic you’re likely to see a hybrid option, or the latter take the crown. However, it’s not as often we see an option for working from anywhere (WFA).
However, companies will find that creating opportunities for employees to work aboard will create a positive change for all parties. And, with Airbnb reporting that long term visits are doubling each year due to changes in working habits, this model appears to be here to stay.
Although, we are seeing an increasing number of global businesses, such as Spotify, Amazon and Shopify introducing WFA policies, it currently lacks the backing that alternative options like work from home (WFH) have. Let’s face it, it has been tough enough to convince many employers to adapt to these methods as is. However, there is a lot to be said for taking the opportunity to work from anywhere in world.
Here are just some of the benefits:
Widen The Talent Pool
For a while now, employers have been praising the WFH model in helping them to expand their talent pool far beyond what they had imagined. It is only following the pandemic that this idea has scaled. People expect more flexibility than ever from their employers, plus it makes sense for a company to open the door to talent from across the UK rather than focusing on just one major town or city. Casting the net wide will attract a larger number of candidates with a competitive range of skills, knowledge, and experience.
Now, just imagine how that already generous pool expands even further when you offer opportunities on a global scale. Employing world-class candidates amounts to world-class output. Not only will the skills and experience you can offer clients and customers broaden, but you will be introducing people into the company who live and experience life differently, which can impact how your business makes decisions for the better. Employees living in different countries can share customs that can only enrich your company culture and make for a diverse environment.
In addition, if you ever consider moving into a new territory you could harness the international connections you have to research your target market or launch your product or service. Proof that a WFA policy could transform the face of a company.
High Staff Retention
Not only are you likely to welcome a higher calibre of candidates into your business when offering a WFA option, you are also more likely to hold onto that talent for a longer period.
Employees are motivated to remain in their occupation for much longer when offered the chance to work from wherever they like for multiple reasons. Gone are the days of long commutes on stuffy trains and painful hours spent in the presence of colleagues they might not get along with. Enter, days of working from local cafés, the beach, or laid-back restaurants. Not to mention the chance to spend more quality time with friends and family while exploring the world. As an employer, gifting people back their time and money is one of the best ways you can demonstrate your trust and respect in them. The equation is simple, employees are more likely to remain loyal to the employers who take a human approach; granting them a high-level of freedom.
With freedom comes happiness, and happiness breeds productivity. A notion backed by a recent study from the University of Warwick, which found that happiness led to a 12% increase in productivity. When working from anywhere employees can plan their days in a way that works for them. Avoiding the commute grants them a little extra time in bed, a chance to read in the morning or even catch the surf depending on where they are in the world. Flexibility is a key pillar of WFA which means people can produce work at a time that suits them. The working world is made up of a mix of early birds and night owls and giving your people the chance to work when they perform at their best will elevate their output immensely.
Finally, people can move to a location of their choice and thrive in their chosen environment. Not only can introverts and extroverts choose a setting that serves them best, but those who feel motivated by pleasant weather and sunshine can move to a place where its warm most of the time and vice versa. Having this flexibility encourages well-being and a real sense of confidence.
Reduce Your Outgoings
Companies who implement WFA policies may choose to adopt company get togethers a few times a year if they deem it necessary. Some may even offer to pay co-working expenses for employees who like to work in an office environment now and then. But it is unlikely that an office will be required if your employees have bases across the globe, which means significant savings on rent and utility bills.
With these expenditures at an all-time high and rapidly increasing, this is a fantastic opportunity for companies to cut these expenses and use them for better equipment, savings, or resource. Add on savings on things like cleaning, food and even taxation, there are even bigger savings to be made and reinvested.
Another plus point is the money your employees can save as the cost-of-living crisis continues. Lessening outgoings on expensive lunches, petrol and train fares is likely to be of massive relief to staff, which in turns makes for happier and more productive employees.
Longer Business Hours
A benefit often overlooked when considering the move to WFA is the impact the model can have on servicing new and existing clients. Having teams based across all continents means you can look to extend your business hours and potentially open up service lines and products that you might have struggled to without a broader presence. With employees working over different continents those late-night calls with prospects overseas are now much more viable, as is research for taking projects internationally.
While working from anywhere is still a fresh concept, the advantages of testing the model out could be the boost your company needs. The concept does require robust preparation in terms of investing in the right technology, ensuring your company culture can thrive remotely, and solid cybersecurity functions, but these are things businesses should be readily prepared for having learnt lessons from the past few years. However, here is a real opportunity to give employees their lives back and as result they will remain loyal and hardworking; taking your business to levels it has never been before.