Working from home was always rare for most people, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses have expanded their use of remote employees to keep operations running during difficult times. It has mostly been a success, with companies reporting increased productivity and happier employees who aren’t commuting as much.
For many individuals, one of the benefits of remote work is the ability to work from home, wherever that may be. Even as working from home (WFH) becomes increasingly common, a new kind of remote work is gaining traction: working from anywhere (WFA), in which people may live and work anywhere they choose, often inside a country, but in certain cases anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection. The vast majority of remote jobs, on the other hand, need a person to be stationed in a certain place, which most people are ignorant of.
The ability to work from home without having to go to a physical office is often what allows those with caretaking responsibilities to participate in the workforce at all. Furthermore, most companies have set “core hours” during which employees are required to be present. This gets challenging if there are too many time zones to cross. If a company wants its employees to connect digitally in real-time, they may need to live in certain time zones to ensure that work hours overlap and synchronous communication is feasible. Also, when employees transition to remote work status, particularly when remote workers are located out of state or internationally, legal complications might arise. And if workers work in other cities, states, or nations, the regulations in those regions must usually be observed too.
To avoid such misunderstandings, firms should carefully specify the ground conditions when offering remote jobs, and employees should question how “remote” they could be if they’re thinking about transferring.