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Work From Anywhere – Is Remote Working a Dream or Reality?

Blog October 11, 2019
Work From Anywhere
Dominic Kent

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Work From Anywhere – Is Remote Working a Dream or Reality?

Work From Anywhere

By 2019, the world has woken up to the reality that remote working is possible and the ability to work from anywhere is a reality.

According to a study by Stanford University, people who worked both remotely and in a traditional setting concluded that productivity among home-based workers was equal to a full day’s work each week.

In this post, I get to write about something I am genuinely passionate about.

I am yet to find a bigger “Work From Anywhere Advocate” so I hope I’ve done this topic justice.

We’ll start at the natural first extension of working from anywhere – home.

If you’re already a step ahead, use the contents to jump to the best section for you.

  1. Working from home
  2. Freelancers setting the example
  3. How to work from home
  4. Work from anywhere in the world
  5. Work from anywhere at any time
  6. What’s in it for employers?
  7. Work from anywhere jobs
  8. What’s holding you (or your business) back?

Working from home

Often seen as the first stage of remote working, I’ve known people work from home since…

As I was typing this, I was about to use my own example of a former colleague in 2009.

I then realized that it wasn’t old enough to include and Milda didn’t actually work from home. She worked from a hired office below a dentist near her home.

For a better example, I dipped into the freelance community.

Freelancers have been remote working forever

I’ve been a freelancer.

I’ve hired freelancers.

I’m a massive freelance advocate for a lot of reasons. The one most relevant to this post is they are able to work from anywhere and integrate with full-time staff.

Sure, some work alone and submit copy or designs on a Friday and might even have to post them.

But, the majority have fully kitted out offices – not especially fancy or technical – that serve their purpose.

If an individual freelancer can enable remote working whilst running their own business and embedding themselves into a business, there’s no reason why small businesses or large conglomerates can’t enable remote working.

How to work from home

Rather than listing exactly what you need to start working from home (or anywhere), I reached out to some freelance and content marketing friends that have been working from home for quite some time.

Here’s Spela Mlekuz’s desk at Databox in Slovenia.

Databox is headquartered in Boston, don’t forget.

Spela Mlekuz's desk at Databox in Slovenia - work from anywhere

Mary Whitehouse, MD at WordService, runs her company from her home office in Stourbridge in the UK.

Mary Whitehouse, MD at WordService, runs her company from her home office in Stourbridge in the UK - work from anywhere

Rose Crompton is a freelance copywriter based in Brisbane, Australia, and regularly contributes to the UK freelance content community.

Rose Crompton is a freelance copywriter based in Brisbane, Australia, and regularly contributes to the UK freelance content community. - work from anywhere

James McKinven works for System1 Research 9-5 but does his own thing after hours.

Here’s his home working setup where he runs Striqo, a London-based video marketing and podcasting company.

James runs Striqo, a London-based video marketing and podcasting company from his home working setup- work from anywhere

James also runs the Marketing Mashup podcast.

When I asked him for a photo of his podcast setup for this post, I learned that even his podcast creation is done on the move. James goes to the guest for his podcast, sets up, and creates a podcast.

If that’s not remote working, I don’t know what is.

Here’s James chatting with Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot.

The podcast was filmed in a hotel.

My personal remote working experience

I have worked from anywhere for a long time.

I often push the boundaries of remote working by trying to work off 4G on the beach and other outlandish things. You soon learn what works and what doesn’t.

Today, as I edit this post, I am working from here…

From checking Twitter, responding to Slack messages and email, or even uploading to WordPress, the smartphone in my pocket enables me to remote work as I wish.

From checking Twitter, responding to Slack messages and email, or even uploading to WordPress, the smartphone in my pocket enables me to remote work as I wish.

Or as I walk my dogs in this case.

I said I wouldn’t list all the items you need to start working from anywhere.

But if that was what you were after, I wrote this on my LinkedIn in 2017 and my setup is still the same.

The items highlighted included:

  • Great internet
  • Your own space
  • Collaborative tools
  • Cloud storage
  • Breaks
  • Reliable equipment
  • A dog
  • Cookery skills
  • Windows
  • The right company

Read the post for more info on the dog.

Work from anywhere in the world

Eric Yuan, CEO of video conferencing provider, Zoom, tells the story of no longer flying anywhere for business.

His vision and company have enabled users to genuinely have a meeting from anywhere in the world – without the commute.

“Over the past several years, I made a commitment to only travel twice a year for business.”

Eric has also been quoted as saying “If someone wants to meet in person, I say ‘Let’s Zoom first’. If that’s not good enough then we’ll meet.”

You can listen to the full story and how Eric and Zoom are enabling better remote working and team collaboration in the podcast below.

TalkingHeadz Podcast with Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom

Zoom is pushing the remote working agenda so much that they even teamed up with Logitech to launch #WorkFromAnywhere week.

#WorkFromAnywhere Week

With collaboration tools like Zoom, working from anywhere becomes a reality.

Team collaboration has quickly become the method of communication for businesses large and small. It comes in all shapes and sizes and there are hundreds of different platforms to choose from.

You could say there is too much choice.

In fact, 91% of businesses use at least 2 messaging apps.

91% of businesses use at least 2 messaging apps

But Mio has been solving that problem for a while now.

Modern employees demand flexibility, choice in the tools they use, and don’t want to be told to use this new tool when their favorite one works just fine.

To truly enable remote working, at it’s most productive, ensure your messaging apps are interoperable.

Request demo

Work from anywhere at any time

Who said commuting was unproductive?

Not Will Filmer, Chief Operating Officer at Helient, that’s for sure.

Joining Zoom from the car

There’s not much to add here, really. How cool is that?

And did you spot the hashtag? 👏

Aside from commuting, the work from anywhere at any time element is a little trickier to achieve.

Generally speaking, I start work early. It’s when I’m most productive.

Which isn’t ideal as the majority of my colleagues are in a timezone that starts 6 hours later anyway.

However, with working from anywhere comes flexible working.

So I float my hours to suit both my work life and my life life whilst accommodating as many of my colleagues as possible.

Flexible working must be two-way.

Give a little, take a little.

My example:

Give a little: I work later on Mondays to do all the usual Monday catch-ups.

Take a little: I finish early on Fridays. Fridays are unproductive for me anyway so it’s a win-win.

What’s in it for employers?

Companies and managers that have never worked remotely will find the notion of working from anywhere scary.

Rightly so.

Change is scary.

But change is also good.

Remote workers save a business around $7,000 a year, according to remote worker stats figures from TECLA.

How?

Good question.

Employers can save money by enabling remote working

Not every business can tick off all these boxes but by enabling your employees to work from anywhere, you save money in most of these areas…

  • Desk space
  • Desk phone
  • Meeting room space
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Power
  • All those coffee capsules for the coffee machine
  • Low-cost flexibility for startups
  • Less sick days
  • Genuinely loads more

Employers will benefit from more productive teams

Removing the commute, the distraction, and the just having general freedom to work will lead to enhanced productivity.

Remote workers typically suffer less stress, are happier to work longer hours, and have a higher life satisfaction and sense of worth.

Employers can choose from a wider talent pool

By removing the geographical restriction, your recruitment net is cast over a wider audience.

As well as expanding your search, job seekers will come to you.

AfterCollege ran a survey that found 68% of millennials would be more inclined to favor a prospective company if remote work was an option.

Your existing talent is less likely to leave if they can work from anywhere

Remember that Stanford study from the top of the page?

It also revealed that people who worked remotely are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

A massive 50% decrease in staff attrition is reported when users can work from home.  

Work from anywhere jobs

Before I started putting this post together, I saw this message in a Slack workspace…

Work from anywhere jobs

Coincidence? Sure.

But also a sign that full-time remote work is the norm.

Where to find remote work

If your company is still saying no to remote working or you are already actively looking for a job that enables you to work from anywhere, here’s a list of great sites that specialize in remote working opportunities…

Job boards shouldn’t be your only resource for finding your dream work from anywhere job.

Some of the biggest brands are fully or partially remote.

They don’t shout about it because, to them, it’s the norm.

15 companies that let you work remotely

  1. Automattic (the company behind WordPress) – and check out their remote working story here
  2. Hotjar
  3. Poly
  4. Microsoft
  5. Dell
  6. Glassdoor
  7. Amazon
  8. Apple
  9. Humana
  10. Aetna
  11. Allegis Transcription
  12. Kaplan
  13. Github
  14. American Express
  15. Sitel

What’s holding you (or your business) back?

Mary, from the remote working photos above, also sent me this photo when I appealed for remote working setups…

Extreme image of remote working or reality?

It was accompanied by this comment…

I only have one question in response…

Why not?

At the top of this post, I said…

I am yet to find a bigger “Work From Anywhere Advocate” so I hope I’ve done this topic justice.

I sincerely hope I have.

If you don’t think so or want to talk about remote working for yourself, your business, or anything along those lines, or perhaps you are the biggest remote working advocate, find me on Twitter.

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