With companies announcing new Work From Anywhere (WFA) policies that accommodate the new age of flexible and remote work, employees’ expectations to work remotely--at least some of the time--are becoming more of a reality. Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work research even showed that 80% of people now expect to work from home at least three times per week.
Companies like Spotify are now leaving it up to the employee to decide where they want to spend their workday. They’re also providing some flexibility with their employees in regards to what country and city they work from, allowing people to live where they want and maintain career progression.
This change in policy has recently been adopted by multiple progressive companies and the WFA movement looks like it’s here to stay. So, how are companies successfully transitioning into a hybrid environment that works for their organization?
Establishing remote work policies is best practice for any company allowing work from home, work from anywhere or flexible schedules. A universal policy helps to avoid any confusion with employees and work schedules and gives clear guidelines to employees so they know when and where to report to work in a hybrid environment.
Ford recently announced that over 30,000 employees worldwide will be given the option to work remotely for good. Employees will have access to flexible hours, which will only require employees to show up to work for group projects and meetings. The goal is to personalize work schedules to best fit the employee to maximize efficiency.
Salesforce also recently announced that the “9-5 workday is dead.” They are now giving employees some options to work from home following a modified schedule. Employees will have the choice between three options, based on preference:
In an article Salesforce released about the new policy, Chief People Officer Brent Hyder says, “It no longer makes sense to expect employees to work an eight-hour shift.” He adds, “This isn’t just the future of work, this is the next evolution of our culture.”
Shopify has also posted a new WFA initiative on their website that encourages potential employees to apply and work from anywhere. They pride themselves on a “Digital by Design” approach which helps employees connect and communicate with each other while eliminating the commute. They announced that over 5,000 of their employees can now work from home indefinitely.
Music platform Spotify recently announced and introduced “My Work Mode,” which ensures that employees have the ability to work from home, in the office or a combination of the two. They now also have some flexibility with work locations in regards to the city and country employees are working from, giving employees the choice to work somewhere that isn’t near a Spotify office.
Companies that are adopting WFA policies rely on a variety of online communication tools and new ways of collaborating to foster a healthy and efficient hybrid work environment.
Here’s how companies are able to support work from anywhere policies:
Video conferencing technology tools have enabled companies to make the switch to remote work. Now household names like Zoom and Google Meet have provided the infrastructure to reliably run group meetings with people from a variety of locations.
Asynchronous communication tools have also been a great way for employees to connect. Applications like Slack and GroupMe are ways that hybrid workers can stay in constant communication with each other, no matter the time zone or preferred working hours. Many teams will use a daily, asynchronous check in or have core collaborative hours on certain days of the week or times of day when synchronous work can happen.
Companies are also reinventing workspaces to accommodate the hybrid worker. A lot of companies are turning offices into conferencing rooms and eating spaces into individual booths. They are also repurposing desks and rooms into functional and flexible meeting and workspaces. It is important to utilize any space that is being unused as more people are working from home.
Looking for your next remote work gig? Here are companies who have committed to work from anywhere policies long-term.
Virtual locations are available for individuals who meet certain qualifications and live in areas close to specific locations. Although the number of WFA jobs only make up a certain percentage, Amazon still provides a unique set of virtual positions for employees who fit the mold. They also extended their work from home policy during the pandemic to provide additional flexibility for their employees.
American express offers an extensive list of virtual work opportunities which includes jobs in management and servicing. Their virtual careers page includes all of the remote roles at American Express.
Zillow announced an “indefinite work from home policy” in July where about 90% of their employees are given the option to work from home with varying expectations for showing up to the office. Zillow previously favored an in-person collaborative culture, but during the pandemic forced them to re-evaluate decades-old policies and processes that didn’t cater to a younger workforce.
Chief People Officer Dan Spaulding said, “For some workers, they may never go back to an office.” However, Zillow will make offices available to those who want the option to go in a couple of days a month.
Siemens recently announced a mobile work policy for 140,000 of its employees. Mobile working two to three days a week is now set as the worldwide company standard. Employees can also now work independently of fixed locations.
Twitter was one of the first U.S companies to announce remote-work policies for employees. CEO Jack Dorsey is giving employees the option to work remotely forever, even after the pandemic is over. Plans to switch from an office-based work model were made apparent in early March of 2020 as employees were testing out virtual meeting spaces and techniques.
With the change to remote and hybrid work policies, companies or even roles previously unavailable in certain parts of the world are now open to candidates everywhere. Remote work opens doors for people to try new jobs, progress in their career and achieve a better work-life balance.