The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for flexible, remote work models as many companies scrambled in early 2020 to adapt to a work-from-home environment. Now, businesses are deciding whether to return to the office, make remote work permanent, or adopt a hybrid approach. However, experts say the new employment normal needs to be work-from-anywhere, or it is more likely to fail.
What Is Work-from-Anywhere?
A work-from-anywhere model means employees can do their job from anywhere with an internet connection. This gives employees the freedom to work in whatever environment works best for them. It provides more options than the work-from-home model many companies have adopted since the beginning of the pandemic, but it does require increased dedication to protecting corporate and customer data.
According to remote work expert and Harvard Business School professor Prithwiraj Choudhury, “The question is not whether work from anywhere is possible but what is needed to make it possible.”
How to Implement Work-from-Anywhere
Developing a work-from-anywhere environment requires a robust and secure infrastructure to ensure your employees are able to access the information they need from wherever they are without exposing your network to threats.
“When you move a workforce to a remote-based workforce without the proper security and proper planning or endpoint management, it can cause serious security breaches,” said Rob Campbell, Sr. Solution Architect. “It can cause poor user experience, which leads to unhappy employees.”
Implementing this secure network doesn’t need to be difficult. Managed services providers, like ATSG, can provide and enable a secure remote work model, equipping organizations to effectively collaborate seamlessly with access to applications, cloud services, and systems.
Organizations also need to be prepared to adapt new practices, such as asynchronous communication — which may seem frustrating but can encourage employees to share early-stage ideas, plans, and documents and to welcome early feedback — remote collaboration and virtual socialization.
ATSG’s Desktop as a Service addresses these challenges by providing employees secure 24/7 access to their desktops and, in turn, the applications needed to manage these aforementioned new practices. Additionally, Application Management Services can provide clients with an array of standard and customizable solutions tailored to their specific applications and requirements.
Benefits of Work-from-Anywhere
The work-from-anywhere model has proven to be beneficial for society, organizations, and the individual employee. For workers, the freedom to live anywhere in the world is an important plus that has allowed employees to achieve a better quality of life. The flexibility of this work model means the option to be closer with family and greater recreational opportunities.
For organizations, benefits of employees being able to work from anywhere include increased employee engagement, happier workers, higher production, and reduced attrition, in addition to the operational cost savings achieved by using less physical space. The work-from-anywhere model also hugely expands an organization’s potential talent pool because they are able to hire employees with the right skills, no matter where they are.
Additionally, work-from-anywhere has benefits for society as a whole. Organizations that implement the work-from-anywhere model have the potential to reverse the brain drain that often plagues emerging markets, small towns, and rural locations. The freedom to live anywhere has led many people to move back to their hometowns, where they can now contribute to the local economy. It has also allowed talented newcomers of varied ethnicities to move to new locations, which arguably makes the city more multicultural.
Lessons to Learn From Work-from-Anywhere
Work-from-anywhere has taught companies to change the traditional ways of working. For example, a successful remote work model means focusing on a person’s output rather than tracking their hours. Employees should be rewarded for their results instead of the time they’ve spent at their desks.
It is also important to get employees to share early and without fear in order to have a successful remote work environment. Transparency must be a core value, especially in terms of feedback in the creative process. This will allow organizations to adapt their work-from-anywhere models to meet the needs of their employees and increase their happiness and productivity. A remote company should have a culture that is detailed, written down, and shared.
If you’re ready to implement the work-from-anywhere model in your organization, let a managed services provider like ATSG help you make that transition. ATSG provides technology solutions as a service to customers in a variety of industries, leveraging its service portfolio of rediTech, rediManage, and rediSecure, which includes deep expertise in technology consulting, networking, security, unified communications, collaboration, enterprise cloud, data center, mobility, and productivity solutions.
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