How the 'work anywhere' revolution could impact your attraction & retention strategies

'Work anywhere' is an even more radical take on the well-established flexible working model. Research is already showing that companies need to take it seriously to retain their talent.
Vinisha Rathod
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August 4, 2022

Flexible working was once considered a perk not so long ago, and has been steadily rising in popularity for employees since the pandemic. The reality is, if you’re currently not even considering flexible working as part of your EVP, you will be left behind. 

But, now there’s a new way of working in town: the demand for flexible working from anywhere is on the rise too. This is a truly outcome-based way of working, so founders are challenged with incorporating it into their business in a way that’s conducive to growth. 

In this article, we cover more context as to why this style of working is favourable to candidates and how to drive more top talent by including it in your hiring strategy. 

Speaking from experience… 

My journey speaks to the impact that ‘working from anywhere’ can have. I started with Think & Grow a couple of months ago and my family, whom I had not seen for 5 years, were reuniting in Malaysia for my cousin’s wedding that had taken place during the lockdown. The pandemic has highlighted to so many of us what matters, so I *nervously* asked my co-founders if this arrangement was possible for me to work remotely from a different country and timezone. (See my post about it here). 

What is ‘flexible working from anywhere’? 

There are many names, definitions and guidelines when it comes to flexible working. But, let’s just focus on ‘working from anywhere’: In a nutshell, it’s the ability to choose where and when you work and for how long. For example, an employee decides to work from Portugal for a month, hopping around local cities, whilst still working the standard number of hours. 

The start of a ‘work anywhere’ revolution 

For the first time ever, the demand of how we work is in the hands of the employees, rather than the employer. Whether you want it to or not, the desire for more freedom from candidates is building… 

Global research company Gartner, revealed 65% of workers are reconsidering the place work should have in their lives post-pandemic. Combine that with the finding that 73% of professionals consider where they work to be essential to job satisfaction, it’s clear that how and where we work is evolving yet again into something more radical. 

It's one thing to say you trust your people, but practicing it is what speaks volumes. Our work, which was once so separate, is now intertwined in our lives, especially in the fast-growth tech space. Incorporating that notion into your talent strategy is what’s going to get you ahead of your competitors. 

Could working anywhere become a deciding factor for employees to stay or go? 

I have to share this snippet because it speaks to the demand of blurring the lines between our work and personal lives: My hairdresser shared with me during my last visit that since clients have started working remotely (post-pandemic), they have received an influx of appointments during the week, which has allowed them to close on a Saturday (traditionally the busiest day of the year). This is the same for multiple salons in the area! 

The whole ‘9-5’ concept was designed when there was someone stationed at home. So, with the changes to social constructs (finally), the shift to be present with those most important in our lives and the desire to manage our time more efficiently, it’s only natural that ‘work from anywhere’ is growing in popularity across the globe.  

So much so that it's becoming a deciding factor for talent to stay or jump ship for more freedom. Spotify is proof of this after introducing a 'work from anywhere' policy in 2021, and after a year later experiencing lower staff turnover and increased diverse representation as a result.

The good news is that flexible working presents a wealth of benefits for both the employer and employee: 

Benefits of flexible working for employers: 

  • Access to larger talent pools (globally and nationally)
  • Improved mental wellbeing for your employees (resulting in a more invested workforce)
  • Embracing the gig economy

Benefits of flexible working for employees: 

  • Not dealing with stresses of daily commute (5% in the US said they would take a paycut)
  • Utilising their time to do other activities, such as spending time with family and chores
  • Integrating health and wellbeing needs (becoming a greater priority)

All these benefits link to more creative ideas and solutions, as well as higher productivity levels, thanks to greater headspace and happiness being granted. 

How ‘working anywhere’ can attract and retain top talent and drive growth

The new world needs new solutions. Employers are grappling with how to keep people connected virtually and address the various needs. Here are a few tips for how you can start experimenting with ‘working anywhere’ as part of your EVP: 

  • Ask and listen to what your employees want, make them feel heard when you’re constructing your policies for working flexibly.
  • If you’re hesitant about dedicating too much time in the beginning into working from anywhere, cap it to a certain number of days and see how that goes (and check the implications of tax). 
  • The office is a tool for collaboration, innovation and onboarding (similar to digital tools for working flexibly). If you have offices or communities globally, this is a great differentiator and enabler for building a collaborative culture. 

At Think & Grow, we believe great people grow great companies. Our consulting and advisory services to fast-growth tech businesses help founders to construct a winning EVP to attract and retain top talent for scaling, as well as organisational structure and executive search. 

Get in touch with vinisha@thinkandgrowinc.com to find out how we can work together to scale your tech business.

Vinisha Rathod

Partner
View all posts by 
Vinisha

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