Most people agree that the future of work is uncertain. There are tech advancements, globalization, and the ever-changing economic landscape. It’s hard to know what the workplace will look like in 10 or 20 years. But there is one thing we can be sure of: the future of work will differ from the past.
One major development for employers and employees is the work-from-anywhere setup. It’s when people can work from any place, whether at home, at a coffee shop, or even on vacation.
While work-from-anywhere setups have a lot of benefits, there are also potential drawbacks. Keep reading to see how employers can ensure the future of work is fair for everyone.
Why Should Employers Make Sure The Future Of Work Is Fair For Everyone?
Work arrangements are increasingly evolving. There are traditional office, work-from-anywhere, and hybrid setups. The last one means people can work anywhere sometimes and come into the office on other days.
Willy Lim, Vice President for Talent Acquisition at Sitel Group, shares his thoughts:
“The future of work is all about flexibility and being able to perform your task
anywhere, that is supported by solid infrastructure.”
With these arrangements, employers must ensure that the future of work is fair for everyone. That means creating a work environment where employees have the same opportunities, regardless of where they work.
Some potential areas of concern for work-from-anywhere setups include:
- Employee burnout. When employees are free to work from anywhere, they may feel like they’re always working. That can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.
- Isolation. Working from home can be lonely. Employees may miss out on vital office bonding and networking opportunities.
- Inequity. That happens if some employees get the work-from-anywhere option and others don’t. That can lead to tension and conflict within the workplace.
Employers need to be conscious of these potential pitfalls and take steps to mitigate them.
8 Ways Employers Can Ensure the Future of Work is Fair to Everyone?
Here’s what employers can do to ensure the future of work is fair for everyone.
1. Communicate openly with employees about work arrangements.
Employers must be clear about their work setup policies. They should clear the arrangements available — traditional, work-from-anywhere, and hybrid. In addition, employers must explain the advantages and disadvantages to their employees. Be transparent to them. That way, employees can make an informed decision about what’s best for them.
Eric Maritano, general manager at Faurecia, says:
“Just as transparency with customers yields great benefits, so too does total
honesty with your employees. They’ll see you as trustworthy and reliable, which
has a huge impact on company culture.”
2. Don’t force employees into a work-from-anywhere arrangement.
Work-from-anywhere arrangements have many benefits, but they’re not for everyone.
Career coach Matt Warzel shares:
“Remember, work-from-anywhere is a gift. You can discover new hobbies, and
lead a more well-rounded life. But maintaining that engagement with others is
undoubtedly harder now.”
Some people work better in a traditional office setting. Others may need to be in the office to take advantage of networking opportunities.
Several factors contribute to this. We tackle this topic in our article, “Why Some Remote Workers Can’t Work Effectively?”
Employers should let employees choose their arrangements based on their needs and preferences. Forcing people into a setup that doesn’t work for them is a recipe for disaster.
3. Offer different work arrangements equally to all employees.
What happens if only some employees get the work-from-anywhere option? There may be a perception of bias. To avoid this, employers should offer work setups equally to all.
4. Provide support for employees who work from anywhere.
Remote workers may need extra support to stay productive and connected. Employers should provide resources like a work-from-home guide. They can also give access to online collaboration tools and virtual social events.
Mike Mehterian, expert IT leader, states:
“If you are a Manager or in a leadership position, a ‘Work From Anywhere’ policy is
going to present new challenges when it comes to leading teams. The big
challenges are communications and productivity. They’re difficult but not
impossible to overcome. If the Manager sets proper expectations regarding work
and communications up front, the problem can be solved.”
5. Encourage employees to take breaks and use their vacation days.
Working from anywhere may make you feel like you’re always working. That will surely lead to burnout. Employers should encourage employees to take breaks and use their vacation days.
Ensuring the future of work is fair for everyone requires being conscious of potential pitfalls. Employers must evaluate the work setups and identify drawbacks. Then, they can mitigate them. These steps let employers create a fair work environment for all.
6. Offer opportunities for networking and socializing, even for remote workers.
Working from home can be lonely. Employees may miss out on office bonding and networking chances. To prevent this, employers should offer opportunities. That includes special events for networking and socializing, even for remote workers.
7. Implement fair work policies, regardless of where employees work.
Employers should remember that not all employees work from the same location. That’s why policies should be flexible. They should take into account the different needs of remote workers. That’s why feedback exchange is crucial for any company.
Corporate communications consultant Julie Hanahan shares:
“While it may appeal to decision-makers to just announce their decisions and
expect everyone to fall in line, that’s not how human nature works. And that’s not
how our society works. Taking the time to respect your audience enough to make
the case will help them understand why the change is necessary and accept their
part in the shift.”
Employers must also provide access to the same resources. For example, they must give laptops to employees who don’t have them.
8. Keep an open mind about the future of work.
The way we work is constantly changing. Employers should keep an open mind about the future of work. At the same time, they must consider how it may impact their employees. They should adapt their policies and practices willingly and accordingly.
1. What are the advantages of working from anywhere?
Working from anywhere can give you a better work-life balance. It also gives you more time to spend with your loved ones. Read more about these benefits in our article, “10 Benefits of Working from Anywhere.”
2. What are the benefits of continuing with a traditional office setup?
Working in a traditional office setup allows you to separate work from other aspects of your life. You also won’t have to worry about resources, equipment, and technology. We explain more about this in our piece, “10 Benefits of Returning to Office.”