Wtf is WFA?
We’re all pretty familiar with the concept of WFH, but recently we’ve been hearing people talking about WFA. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what the A stands for, it’s ‘anywhere’ – work from anywhere.
We know it’s been said before, but it bears repeating – the pandemic has changed the game of what workers want from their workplace. They’re done being underpaid and overworked, and want benefits that’ll help them with work-life balance. Many organisations have implemented some form of flexibility, hybrid working, wellbeing days or working from home (if their industry allows for it), which is all good and well, but there are some workers, particularly the top of the line talent, who are looking for more.
True flexibility is working from anywhere. The ability to jump on a plane or hit the road with their laptop and a sense of adventure is incredibly enticing. Change is also great for creativity, productivity and rejuvenation. In this world of shorter and shorter attention spans, working in the same location day after day can lead to stagnation and procrastination. Working from somewhere new and exciting can reignite a worker’s passion for work and bring new perspectives and ideas to benefit your company. Plus happier workers are more productive and more engaged – that’s a win if you ask us.
Encouraging your team to work from anywhere also shows trust and respect for them while also empowering them. They know you believe they can get the job done whether they’re in the same office, city or country. Obviously if they still have meetings to attend or client deadlines to meet, have a discussion before saying yes about how they’ll achieve these, and consider putting parameters around how many timezones away they can be.
One of our clients, alt/shift/, recently introduced a work from anywhere policy for up to one month a year. Their Creative Director has already taken it up and headed straight on over to Bali and this gorgeous swimming pool.
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Here at Creative Natives, we have an unlimited annual leave policy and if any of our team want to do a hybrid work and holiday trip somewhere else in the world, we’re on board with that. Senior Consultant Steph recently went up to the Gold Coast and worked there for a week and came back all the better after all of that sunshine and warm weather.
Steph’s work set up in the Gold Coast
So if you want to have a leg up over your competitors when it comes to attracting the top talent and keeping your team around for the long term, we would recommend implementing a work from anywhere policy. It’s the new work from home. Get on board.
If you’re trying to convince your workplace to let you work from anywhere
Don’t go in all guns blazing and ask for a month straight off the bat if you know they’re going to be hesitant or say no. You’ll be shut down before you can say, “what do you think?”.
Start small and create a plan. Be diplomatic and ask for a couple of days or a week max and outline exactly what you’ll be working on and achieving while you’re working elsewhere. Pick somewhere that’s either the same or a similar timezone so you’ll still be able to attend any meetings. It’s all about proving to your manager that your output and quality of work won’t diminish just because you’re in a fab new location near a tropical beach or by a Bali-esque swimming pool. Build up slowly to longer and longer amounts of time work from anywhere, but don’t abuse it, otherwise you may end up with…
(and you won’t be in Egypt like Brendan Fraser either)