What does ‘Work From Anywhere’ mean?
'Work from anywhere' (WFA) refers to a flexible work arrangement between an organisation and its employees that extends workers the freedom to choose where they work, regardless of their physical location.
This concept goes beyond traditional ‘remote work’, which might involve working from home or a specific remote location. ‘Work from anywhere' means that employees are not required to tie themselves to a particular geographic location because they can perform their job duties from anywhere – their home, co-working spaces, coffee shops, different cities, or even different countries.
What are some characteristics of a WFA arrangement?
‘Work from Anywhere’ arrangements give workers the autonomy to choose environments that support their productivity and personal needs. As a result, they’re often viewed as positive contributions to improved work-life balance and well-being.
Here are a few key characteristics a 'work from anywhere' arrangement might include.
‘Location independence’ means employees can work from any location that has a computer and internet connection. This could be their home, a different city, a different country, or any place they find suitable.
WFA provides employees with the flexibility to choose the environment that suits them best for a particular day or period. They can adapt their work location to their personal preferences, time zone considerations, or other factors.
That said, location-independent workers should be mindful of their tax residency. Spending more than 6 months in a certain jurisdiction will likely result in them becoming local tax residents there, requiring them to pay local employment taxes. Both the employee and the employer should be mindful of this kind of change and how it may affect statutory salary deductions and overall employer payroll contributions.
Rather than being tied to a specific schedule or location, WFA tends to prioritise the completion of tasks and achievement of goals. It shifts the emphasis from hours worked to outcomes produced.
On the surface, this may sound like a great setup. But it can also have its drawbacks. It's important for an employee and their employer to work together and construct outputs and expectations to ensure assigned tasks are due within a reasonable time limit, such as within regular 40 hour week, and do not require the employee to work excessive overtime.
Trust and autonomy
Trust is paramount to making a WFA arrangement successful.
Employers must trust their employees to fulfil their responsibilities regardless of their physical location and without a ‘helicopter’ management style like the one famously portrayed in Office Space. Meanwhile, employees must take responsibility for managing their tasks effectively and efficiently, meeting deadlines, and being available during specific hours determined by the organisation.
Documenting a WFA arrangement
‘Work from anywhere' arrangements offer significant benefits in terms of flexibility and expanded talent, but it can also present challenges. Every company needs to strengthen remote bonds, prioritise asynchronous collaboration and communication, and maintain a positive company culture. Furthermore, employees working abroad must also adhere to tax residency regulations to ensure both the employer and workers are obeying the law and don’t find themselves in trouble.
Reach out to Boundless’s team of remote work experts to learn more about arrangements that have worked for other global employers and how they managed to give their workers freedom while remaining compliant employers. Boundless can help you plan and implement policies, tools, and practices to ensure the successful execution of a 'work from anywhere' strategy as you employ great workers from around the globe.