Working from anywhere is here to stay: a resource guide

As a digital nomad, I worked from many locations (like Oaxaca, Budapest, and Chiang Mai) from 2013 through 2018. I was a freelancer, with my own business.

In 2020-21, the COVID pandemic caused a grand experiment with remote work. Many employers had their eyes opened to the possibilities. And many employees loved it.

However, some companies are stuck in the past and not even considering it.

I see so many advantages to it though, both for workers and for employers. And also for freelancers. So I’ve been collecting information & news stories about remote work. (See more advantages in my 2013 post on this blog).

Here’s a list. I hope it will help you make the case with your employer for allowing remote work. Or find another job that does.

Making the case for remote work

The Case for Letting People Work From Home Forever – Wired
“Do you want happier, productive, more engaged, and more fulfilled employees and coworkers? Well, you should campaign to let them work remotely. Here’s why.”

Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It. – New York Times
“For some, the office even stifles creativity. As the pandemic eases in the U.S., a few companies seek to reimagine what work might look like.”

An example of successful innovation by distributed teams: academia – Matt Clancy
“Why remote collaboration is becoming so common in academia, and what we can learn from it.”

Why Managers Fear a Remote-Work Future – The Atlantic
“It removes the ability to seem productive (by sitting at your desk looking stressed or always being on the phone), and also, crucially, may reveal how many bosses and managers simply don’t contribute to the bottom line.”

The Remote Work Report by GitLab: The Future of Work is Remote – GitLab
“52% of remote workers noted that they would consider leaving their co-located company for a remote role — particularly significant given the global job market volatility. If remote work was suddenly no longer an option, 1 in 3 respondents would quit their job.“

Employers win, too
“Increased productivity (42%) , increased efficiency (38%) , a reduction in bureaucracy and politics (24%) , and improved documentation and process (20%) were cited as top benefits to employers by enabling a remote environment.“

People resist going back to the office

Work from home or a $30K raise? Employees said it wasn’t even close. – The Business Journals

Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home – Bloomberg Wealth
More than a third of the respondents in a survey said they save at least $5,000 per year by working remotely

Survey: Amid Higher Productivity, 43 Percent of US Workers Question Need to Return to Workplace – Conference Board

Return to Office Hits a Snag: Young Resisters – New York Times

‘A Mass Exodus’: Inflexible Remote-Work Policies Could Bring Major Staff Turnover – Chronicle of Higher Ed

What companies are doing

Remote Work Is the New Signing Bonus – Wall Street Journal
“Workers are trading jobs, enticed by the guarantee of flexible schedules and continued work from home.”

Big tech companies are at war with employees over remote work – ArsTechnica
“CEOs want workers back at their desks. Employees and the virus have other plans.”

30 Companies Switching to Long-Term Remote Work – Flexjobs
Some examples:

  • Dropbox will let all employees work from home permanently. Existing office space will become Dropbox Studios, where people can choose to go in to work.
  • Employees at Twitter will be able to work from home indefinitely, going into the office if and when they choose.

Advice for employers

How to Achieve Sustainable Remote Work – The New Yorker
“Companies must move away from surveillance and visible busyness, and toward defined outcomes and trust.”

Distributed Work’s Five Levels of Autonomy – Matt Mullenweg

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work – McKinsey & Co

What we learned after one month of operating a hybrid office – Quartz

Advice | Build Your Remote-Work Policy on a Foundation of Trust – Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Ultimate Remote Work Policy (In 3 Words) – Corporate Rebels

“Work from home” vs “work from anywhere”

What if Remote Work Didn’t Mean Working from Home? – The New Yorker

Our Work-from-Anywhere Future – Harvard Business Review

Your Company Needs a Digital Nomad Policy – Harvard Business Review

Digital Nomads & Portable Tech: A Brief History – by Lauren Razavi

Digital Nomad History – Nomadic Notes
Huge list. Many of these blogs and books inspired my nomadic life.

Why it’s the future

The Incredible Disappearing Return-to-Office Plans – Bloomberg
“The next hot perk should be a pay raise to account for the extra costs associated with working from home. But that would require employers to accept that they’ve lost the battle for the physical office.”

The Pandemic Reset the Balance Between Workers and Employers. How Bosses Respond Will Shape the Future of Work – Time
“Now, in order to attract and retain the workers they need, leaders are having to reassess their organizations’ practices. The starting point for many is to offer more flexibility to employees in terms of when and where work is done.“

Search for remote jobs

Many job boards, like Glassdoor, offer a way to filter by “remote.”

To ask questions and read the latest news about remote work, see Remote Workers on LinkedIn.

Podcasts

The Remote Working Show
Conversations with leaders from top remote companies.

Building Remotely
Interviews with founders and thought leaders about best ways to build a remote company.

Good luck!

I hope you found this list useful. If you want to work remotely, I encourage you to give it a try! It makes for better work/life balance, and you can still collaborate, innovate, and socialize with your co-workers, even if you’re not with them in person.

(p.s. If you, like many of my readers, are a librarian — you might be interested my 2013 post, “Why librarians are well-suited for location-flexible work.“)

The image at the top of this post is a photo I took in 2015 at Punspace, a coworking space I enjoyed in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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