Being able to work from anywhere seems like an opportunity that most people would take advantage of. However, as with any other way of working, it comes with several struggles that both the company and the employee must acknowledge and actively work to overcome.
Most companies are now implementing an organizational model that includes hybrid remote working, allowing them to outsource to freelancers that can work from any location they find convenient. This working model allows individuals to work from any location without any problem. As long as they're keeping up with their daily responsibilities, they can pick when and where to work, hence the name, "work from anywhere."
According to a survey conducted by PagoFX, at least one in 16 UK employees wants to work abroad sometime during this year.
Work from anywhere policies vary from one workplace to another. However, it is worth noting that more countries are incorporating extended remote work visas for people to stay longer while working remotely overseas. Many individuals around the world have adopted the work from anywhere model, and many of them can agree that working for a company based in one country while living in a different one.
These opportunities are now more present than ever due to the apparition of the hybrid workplace. This way, people can alternate between being present in the office and working remotely from any place they find convenient. Naturally, most people prefer doing so from home. However, it can be quite challenging to transition to the new organizational model without an appropriate hybrid work strategy.
Work from Anywhere: Challenges and difficulties
What are some of the difficulties that people who work from anywhere have to deal with on a daily basis?
It is complicated to answer this question as each individual’s situation is unique. However, there are generalities that most of these remote workers can agree on, which will be the focus of today’s article.
Although most people focus on the bright side of remote working, the truth is that some companies with distributed teams didn’t find a way of making it work as it should. For instance, StatusPage.io struggled with this working model and failed at their attempt, while Quora describes multiple problems that working remotely implies.
Here we present to you some of the pitfalls of the work from anywhere model that you should know about.
1. Lack of community and work culture
Seeing your classmates or teammates on a daily basis creates a sense of community. Furthermore, this same behavior promotes a healthy and strong work culture, either for better or for worse.
When you erase face-to-face interaction from this formula, not only does the community-building process become more overwhelming, but it also creates barriers that may make the exchange of information even more challenging.
People who are more collaborative by nature struggle to keep up with their peers, making them feel isolated.
More than how the employees feel, it is quite complicated to form cohesive teams, and the lack of work culture is even more concerning. For example, if you outsource to freelancers and hire someone from a different country, there may be a cultural barrier. For instance, some people are used to agreeing to everything their employer says, while others are used to discussing their concerns openly.
2. Communication barriers
Communication barriers are present in our everyday life. It is our duty to recognize them and work together to overcome them; otherwise, it can be quite difficult to exchange information efficiently. However, considering the work from anywhere model, there non-verbal signals that we’re used to capturing as we speak with someone else are not present while we talk with someone during virtual meetings. Imagine having to go through the same process with multiple people simultaneously.
However, this is not the only problem that we have to face as a result of this working model. It is also necessary to take into account other factors, such as time zone differences.
Most people recommend changing to an asynchronous communication model, which allows people to keep up with everything that’s happening on each side without necessarily having to text at the same time all the time.
It’s undeniable that one of the most overwhelming parts of working from anywhere is communication, but there are other areas that are worth taking into account.
3. Management difficulties
You can find multiple stories around the web about managers quitting their jobs because of how difficult it is to keep up with people that are not present at the office while working from anywhere. More than just keeping up with them, they tend to even forget about their existence.
We’re facing new difficulties because our teams were not prepared to manage people working offsite, and it is impossible to manage all of these people using the same strategies used in the past. So remote work needs different practices than the traditional ones.
4. Payment and logistic problems
Paying some outside your country can be a tricky process. Sometimes, you may even have to deal with a different currency, which means you'll have to figure out how to send it, keep up with the fees and conversion rates, and so on. You are also responsible for other stuff, such as tax forms, benefits for people working overseas, and so on.
5. Productivity problems
Sit down for a while, and think. What does the word “productivity” mean for your company? Besides the usual distractions, it is also worth noting that people are more stressed than ever, and it’s a fact.
All of these factors can result in productivity problems that may affect your company in many ways, but the solutions are not complicated. For instance, you can start using tools like Google Drive to help your team be productive, and use other means to measure the remote workforce’s productivity when they work from anywhere.
There are tons of ways to make a hybrid workforce with people working overseas. So you don't have to keep thinking about complicated solutions that may make the whole transition even more challenging.
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