How to Work from Anywhere [Tips & Tricks]
Over the past year and a half during the pandemic, millions of business professionals finetuned their work-from-home skills. While a small percentage of them were already working from home—at least some of the time—the majority had not done so. Most went from permanent workspaces to work from home overnight.
Worker Productivity During COVID-19 Spikes Upward
Many feared worker productivity and collaboration would plummet. But the exact opposite occurred. Various studies conducted during the pandemic reveal varying degrees of productivity gains. A Goldman Sachs study found that productivity shot up 3% per hour. McKinsey concluded that annual productivity growth will increase one percentage point through 2024—the equivalent of a $17,000 per capita increase. A Harvard study found that the hours spent working grew 8.2% to an average of 48.5 hours per week.
Work from Anywhere as Pandemic Recedes
One thing is certain as the pandemic begins to wane and businesses and professionals embrace what many predict will be a predominantly hybrid work environment. As part of this workplace transformation, business professionals not only are embracing work from home in growing numbers, but they also are turning to work from anywhere. A report from Upwork found that while one-quarter of business professionals expect to work from a coworking space, over 25% say they plan to work from a coffee shop, restaurant, or café.
Tips and Tricks for Working from Anywhere
Work from anywhere can mean different things, and ensuring the work is productive and effective is critically important. Following are some tips and tricks that professional can employ when working from anywhere.
1. Understand why you want to work anywhere
An important starting point is to understand why you want to work from anywhere. Some of the potential reasons include:
• Better life-balance
• Less stress
• Lower costs/save money
• Improved productivity
• Need to provide childcare/eldercare
Solopreneurs need to assess their reasons to ensure they have a clear business case. For employees, they often need to build a business case for their employer.
2. Review your technology
The technology for working from a permanent workspace versus work from anywhere is distinctly different. This was patently obvious at the beginning of the pandemic in different ways—from virtual video conferencing technologies failing to scale to meet the number of virtual meetings being held to supplies for high-tech microphones running out as workers rushed to purchase them for their home offices.
The cloud makes it possible for solopreneurs and small businesses to shrink the competitive differences between themselves and much larger businesses. The cloud also makes it possible to work from anywhere. Some of the cloud tools that make it possible to work from anywhere include those used for collaboration, project management, communications, and video conferencing. Of course, having a great laptop, tablet, and mobile phone is also a must.
3. Understand your employer’s work from anywhere policies
Employers will develop varying policies for their new hybrid work environments. Even for businesses that plan to mandate a return to in-person work, many have extended remote work policies due to a virus resurgence (largely driven by the Delta variant). Workers will want to understand what their employers expect when it comes to work from anywhere. For example, while many employers are offering their workers significant flexibility when it comes to working from anywhere, others are not.
4. Determine if your job can be performed anywhere
Some jobs cannot be performed from anywhere. But a number of others can be done from anywhere. Some of the possibilities include:
• Software development
• Nursing and healthcare
• Accounting and bookkeeping
• Information technology
• Graphic design
• Writing and editing
5. Find a company fit for remote work from anywhere
Professionals who want to work from anywhere need to identify companies that offer remote and flexible work arrangements. Some such as Buffer, Shopify, Coinbase, and Zapier allowed their workforces to do so before the pandemic. Others have decided to allow work from anywhere following the pandemic (e.g., Twitter, Adobe, Amazon, et al.).
There are some great online job boards that list openings at companies that offer remote work from anywhere, including:
• Daily Remote
6. Decide where to work from anywhere
Workers with the true option to work from anywhere will have the ability to travel while they work. In these instances, professionals need to understand the availability of digital infrastructure and tools where they plan to travel—and work. This is where coworking space, day offices, and rented meeting rooms could be key. Davinci Meeting Rooms, for example, has over 5,000 locations worldwide and carefully vets all of the workspaces and meeting rooms to ensure they have the right levels of internet bandwidth, presentation tools, and other accoutrements that professionals require.
7. Establish a work routine regardless of location
Working from anywhere can be a challenge for some professionals. Getting a regular work routine in place is important. This includes everything from how to start the day before beginning work, to setting fixed hours for working, to creating a designated workspace. In the case of the latter, not every location may be amenable and professionals can look to virtual office space like Davinci Meeting Rooms for individual workspace as well as conference rooms. Sometimes, workers may elect to work from home one or two days a week and the remainder of the workweek from a virtual office space.
8. Get a virtual office address
Even for solopreneurs, a professional office address is important. Having an office address that creates a great first impression can go a long way. But what about your mail when you’re traveling and working in a location across the country—or around the globe? Mail receipt and forwarding is a must. And what should you do when you need coworking space to focus on a client project or a conference room for an important meeting? Access to professional workspace and meeting space is a requisite. Virtual office addresses like Davinci Virtual Offices are an excellent answer.
Working from anywhere doesn’t simply happen. It requires planning, the right technologies, and the right service provider. For solopreneurs, you must understand your clients and business and manage expectations and schedules accordingly. For professionals who work for a company, they must identify companies that are open to work from anywhere and negotiate policies and agreements that enable them to succeed. It is important for workers to delineate clear deliverables and goals as their primary objectives rather than focusing on hours worked. Admittedly, this shift is more difficult for some companies and managers than others, and workers need to determine where their employers and managers are at on this front.