January 21, 2022
Work from home policies are now commonplace for most companies employing knowledge workers. It's becoming harder to find strict 100% office-only teams. Amazon are the latest to give in.
How we work is evolving. Alarm clocks, excuses to work from home, stress-inducing commutes and sitting in a cubicle between 9-5 now seem ridiculous.
In the middle of the work from home excitement we forgot to ask what freedom actually means though. For many, working from home has only replicated office stress in a different location:
That's nobody's idea of freedom. To get to the next level of remote work freedom is to be able to work from anywhere.
Work from anywhere policies mean not only location independence but time independence.
Timezones don't matter for work from anywhere teams. Most communication will be async. You are judged on outcomes rather than hours worked. Trust is granted instead of micromanaging.
Companies that have adopted work from anywhere policies miles ahead of the competition for attracting talent. Smart people are flocking to companies that are promoting freedom in how they work rather than where they work.
Some of the best teams we know with work from anywhere policies are:
Doist lets its people work from anywhere in the world. There are no restrictions on locations. In 2021 their 109 employees are spread across 31 countries. Employees are encouraged to work no more than 40 h weeks during the time of day that fits them best.
Zapier are spread across 17 time zones in 28 countries. Employees work on a schedule that fits their lives best. They communicate asynchronously via Slack and other working tools. Even though Zapier is 100 % distributed it doesn't hold them back from building bonds and having fun.
Github is a remote first company with offices located throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Whether you live near an office or not, GitHub believes you can do your best work wherever you are. At Github you set your own working schedule built on a balance of autonomy and collaborative teamwork.
Remote's entire team are working remotely from their chosen location. They don’t have any offices and believe that people can do their best work anywhere in the world. Remote is built on a culture of trust, and the employees are trusted to manage their own working hours to create a work-life balance.
Discourse is a completely remote company, working from 19 different countries and 12 different time zones. Discourse coordinates their work via their own tool “discourse”. Discourse loves asynchronous communication, keeping interruptions like instant messaging, calls and meetings to a minimum. This enables them to work flexible hours.
Gitbook works from anywhere. Their team members are based around the world including France, UK, US, Greece, Netherlands and Earth.
Hubbstaff is a fully remote company that believes a global talent pool is a competitive advantage. They have no corporate campus, no cubicles and non geographic limits. they work smarter not harder.
Sketch has been a fully distributed company since day one. They never had an office and they don't plan to open one. Being remote-first means they place a lot of value on freedom and trust. Everyone makes decisions and gets things done in a way that makes sense to them.
Muckrack values flexibility to work from where they are most productive. They stay connected no matter the location.
Podia values unlimited flexibility, work wherever and wherever you want. Podia has extreme autonomy. No micromanaging. If you need to go to a doctor's appointment, take your dog for a walk or see the kids school play, it's no problem; as long as you get your work done with some overlap every day.
Remote work introduced us to the idea that we aren't bound by offices to get work done. Work from home policies were the first step in this evolution. The next big trend is the number of companies that allow working from anywhere. This provides a whole other level of freedom for employees.