Work from anywhere (WFA)—also known as work from abroad or work from wherever— is a flexible work arrangement that allows workers to perform their job duties from any location worldwide for a set number of days each year while still being primarily based in their home country.
It’s a subset of hybrid and remote work that goes beyond work from home arrangements. It can be particularly beneficial for workers who live in a different country from their friends or family, want to travel frequently, or prefer changing their work environment regularly, like digital nomads.
Workers are not restrained to a traditional office workspace; they can work from wherever they choose: a coffee shop in Canada, a coworking space in India, an Airbnb in America, or their home office in Mexico.
What are the benefits of work from anywhere schemes?
WFA offers several benefits to teams and businesses:
- Increased flexibility: WFA schemes cultivate a flexible work culture, which is excellent for building adaptive and dynamic teams and often leads to better coverage across time zones
- Reduced overhead costs: WFA schemes irradiate costs associated with office space and commuting
- Attractive employer brand: Companies that incorporate WFA schemes into their company messaging as a perk benefit from a larger talent pool and improved talent acquisition
- Highly engaged workforce: WFA schemes depend on results-driven outcomes and greater autonomy, which results in greater productivity and engagement
- Improved talent retention: WFA schemes improve work-life balance, leading to greater job satisfaction and loyalty
What are the challenges of implementing a work from anywhere scheme?
Implementing a WFA scheme can present challenges such as managing teams across different time zones, maintaining effective communication, ensuring accountability, and fostering a cohesive company culture. It also requires a strong technological infrastructure to support remote workers.
Without proper guidelines around working abroad, companies can also risk permanent establishment and trigger corporate tax liability. Workers may also unknowingly violate local labor and immigration laws and trigger personal taxes.
Creating a work from anywhere policy is the best way to establish clear guidelines and overcome any ambiguity around WFA schemes.
How can businesses support workers in a work from anywhere arrangement?
Businesses can support WFA workers by:
- Empowering remote employees and contractors to choose the right environment for the type of work they need to get done
- Providing the necessary tools and technology to facilitate remote communication and collaboration, such as video conferencing software like Zoom or Google Meet, communication platforms like Slack, and project management systems like Jira
- Offering flexibility in work hours
- Embracing asynchronous working
- Embracing an output-based culture focused on results and finished projects—not by the time workers sit at their keyboard or in an office
- Providing regular feedback and recognition
- Fostering a culture of trust and accountability
- Training on remote work best practices
- Using equipment management software to ensure cybersecurity
- Prioritizing virtual team-building activities
- Supporting mental health and well-being
- Providing visas and work authorization support
What is the future of work from anywhere schemes?
The increasing prominence of work from anywhere schemes indicates that companies are welcoming their workforce’s evolving work styles and preferences. Airbnb, FlexaCareers, and Deel are a few examples of businesses that have effectively implemented such schemes and enjoyed the many benefits.
Ready to unleash the power of a work from anywhere scheme? Get our free WFA policy template to get started.