How To Work From Anywhere In 2022

4 mins read

Melissa Teo, DigitalCFO Asia | 17 February 2022

Zac Lin

Head of Business Development, Lark

A step forward from remote work is the up-and-coming trend of working from anywhere. It combines remote work and travelling for business or for personal matters. The opening up of Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) sees expatriates returning to their home country to visit loved ones. Some employees may want to remain in their home country for an extended period while still working at their overseas jobs. Work-from-anywhere is thus the answer this need.

DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Zac Lin, Head of Business Development at Lark. Lark is a workplace collaboration platform developed by ByteDance.

Approaching Employers To Request For Travel And Remote Work Arrangements

The premise of working now rests on being able to complete work efficiently regardless of location – and if an employee is equipped with the right work tools, travel and work at the same time will be an easier reality.

Adopting a digital collaboration suite – such as Lark – which seamlessly integrates the various functions like messenger, video conference, documents and more, into a single platform can reduce the friction and frustration of working in teams remotely, empowering them to engage in collaborative workflows in real time.

At the same time, employees will need to establish clear work processes, plans, roles and responsibilities, and concretely define the reasons behind wanting to travel and work remotely when speaking to the organization. It is imperative to ensure open and transparent communication across the teams and with their superiors as it will build cohesive trust and showcase the capability of the employee to work remotely.

Impact On Productivity And Employee Well-Being When Working-From-Anywhere

Working from anywhere may result in blurred lines between work and leisure, and employees who struggle to strike healthy boundaries between their professional and personal lives might face the same feeling while working abroad. It will be important for employees in such situations to practice time dedication and establish clear communication with their colleagues.

This means when employees are at work, they should try to be as productive as possible and when they are enjoying their personal time, be present. Employees ought to inform teams when they will be busy or unavailable so co-workers know when to avoid following up for a response.

Adjusting to time zone differences with distributed teams across multiple countries or cities can also take a toll on an employee’s working hours. Organizations utilising an all-in-one digital collaboration platform should take advantage of this streamlined communication method so employees can spend more time delivering solid work while managing online work hours instead of navigating through endless channels or apps. 

“With constant communication and understanding amongst teams, working abroad or from anywhere has many benefits, including giving employees the ability to experience different cultures, expand professional networks, improve communication skills or even in some cases, get closer to their families.”

Zac Lin, Head of Business Development at Lark

Setting Boundaries Between Time-Off and Remote Work While Not Disrupting Collaboration

It is imperative for employees to have clear and open communication with their colleagues as it underpins the very remit of remote working. Over-communicating grants visibility of one’s workflows to the wider team, breaking down information silos that hinder transparency and overall workflow efficiency. 

As a start, employees should make sure their work calendars are updated to ensure the their team is aware of when they are online or out of the office. At the same time, employees should also take responsibility for informing their teams ahead when they’ll be busy working on certain deliverables or when they’ll be away from the computer, so as to prevent bottlenecking in the overall workflow.

For example, employees or organizations that have adopted Lark’s collaboration suite have the ability to use the calendar working hours feature, which helps to plan for some semblance of work-life balance. Setting their own mindfulness times using the “do not disturb” status to concentrate and focus on immediate tasks can help prioritize urgent deliverables without distractions. Furthermore, they can set their stipulated working hours each day and a notification alert of their unavailability will be made known to teams/colleagues who try to book a meeting outside of the set time – this is especially important for those working in different time zones and not on the wider team’s normal working hours. 

As Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) have been successfully rolled out around the world, work-from-anywhere will become more prevalent in 2022, especially amongst employees who have been away from their families for extended periods of time. Many are considering moving closer to home, or visiting family for longer periods of time with the ability to continue working remotely.

According to Zac Lin, Head of Business Development at Lark, “An increase in remote positions is expected this year, which levels the playing field for the global talent pool to join workplaces or enter into roles that are not necessarily within their city or the country they reside in.”

The rise of work-from-anywhere will also help tremendously with gender disparity, largely due to the fact that women and working mothers no longer have to choose between their career and family. While it might drive competition for talent, it can also be expected to ultimately make opportunities at work more equitable and inclusive. 

Finally, with the use of innovative technology and digital collaboration tools, lower barriers between people from different cultures and backgrounds are expected. AI Translations – like the one embedded in Lark Messenger – allow for employees to use an automatic translation tool that translates text in their native language to the preferred language of choice when communicating with a team member from a different country or region. 

With remote work becoming default and work teams adopting a hybrid workplace model, the need for workplace collaboration applications is on the rise. In a working day, teams may have co-workers working in the office, working from home and even working remotely from a different country in another timezone. It thus becomes important to manage productivity levels and workflow processes while overcoming challenges of working remotely. Knowing how to work effectively work remotely can also become a valuable skillset in allowing professionals to apply for fully remote positions in the future.