Work From Anywhere: Redefining Urban Life


The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the work landscape through the widespread introduction and implementation of the work from anywhere setup. For a long time, the traditional office has played a significant role in the lives of many workers. However, we now see a different future for the urban working community.

How exactly does the opportunity to work from anywhere redefine the urban lifestyle? Not only is it cost-effective and flexible for both business owners and employees, but it also brings forth new industrial and economic opportunities around the world. It redefines not only the way we work, but ultimately the way we live.

With the work from anywhere setup becoming more prevalent, you’re about to witness a wave of change set to influence your very own life. Read on and find out more about the future of work and the urban community.

The Shift to Work from Anywhere

The work from anywhere setup doesn’t have a complicated formula behind it. It simply means employees can work from wherever they wish. Companies with this setup no longer impose the use of a traditional office, which opens up many opportunities for both employers and employees.

Employers can cut down on the costs and expenses from face-to-face work. Meanwhile, employees save time and money that typically comes with commuting. Likewise, removing the limits of a physical office allows gives space for innovative ideas that will improve work quality and productivity.

Of course, working from anywhere also means employees need to exercise a greater sense of responsibility. Remember that choosing an ideal location where they can both honor their comfort and ensure optimum productivity is part of that responsibility.

Considering this, we’ve written an extensive article recommending some locations where employees can work remotely entitled “Interesting Locations For Work From Anywhere Setup”Opens in a new tab..

Similarly, employers will need to take on the responsibility of providing appropriate training despite the lack of a physical office. The well-being of employees should also remain a priority.

According to Darren MurphOpens in a new tab., the Head of Remote at GitLab, remote work is “a tireless, evolving trek that demands a leader, or else your firm risks falling back into conventional habits or creating a fractured culture where no one is clear on what is expected.”

Redefining Urban Life through Work from Anywhere

With the work landscape forever changed, so is urban life. 

Marco Dall’OrsoOpens in a new tab., Director of Marina Development Corporation, highlights the driving factors of urban living as “population growth, desire for [a] better life, more opportunities, and engaging communities.”

If you look at these things closely, they are, in one way or another, influenced by urban work. People from rural areas migrate to urban areas in their desire for more opportunities and better lives. This results in population growth and engaging in diverse communities.

Work is a large defining factor of how urban life looks. What does it look like with the growing prevalence of the work from anywhere setup?

Growing Reliance on Technology

Had the COVID-19 pandemic happened a few decades ago, companies would have had a harder time continuing their operations due to a lack of sufficient technology. The capacity to transition to a work from anywhere setup in today’s health crisis is largely owed to the continuing advancement of business technologiesOpens in a new tab..

While the betterment of work is positively correlated with technological advancement, this growing reliance also has its fair share of disadvantages.

One concern to watch out for is the prevalence of data theft in the online world. While it is convenient for companies to have an online space where they can store and organize relevant information, they also put that information at a greater risk of being stolen.

Tightening cybersecurity measures becomes more urgent in the realm of remote work. Business owners are encouraged to invest more in cybersecurity to avoid employee, corporate, and client data theft. We also wrote an article called “5 Work From Home Cybersecurity Tips”Opens in a new tab. to provide some insight into the matter.

Another concern to watch out for is the so-called virtual fatigueOpens in a new tab.. Constant meetings spent in front of the laptop almost daily can cause serious burnout. We encourage everyone to take restful breaks to avoid this.

Reduced Costs of Resources for Companies

Maintaining physical office facilities can be expensive. With no need for these, business owners can significantly reduce company costs.

Some costs which will be cut off include, but are not limited to:

  • Rental and utilities
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Cafeteria services
  • Property taxes
  • Physical location security

According to Global Workplace AnalyticsOpens in a new tab., big technology firms such as IBM and Sun Microsystems were able to save at least half a hundred million US dollars a year in real estate costs after making significant transitions to a remote setup. 

However, it is also important to take note that while real estate costs can reduce significantly, work from anywhere also has its fair share of additional costs. Companies will need to shed some cash to invest in more advanced technological software that their employees can use across different geographical locations.

At least for now, though, it does not seem like the additional costs will outweigh the deducted costs, which makes it truly beneficial to many business owners on.

Greater Demand for Office Amenities

With the removal of centrally located work offices, there comes the need for more distributed, personalized office spaces. As more people choose to work from home, the general structure of house plans also changes to accommodate this need.

Hotel rooms and other accommodations are also investing in more workspace amenities. After all, workcation is becoming a trend nowadays. Vacation sites are seeing the need to provide their guests with dedicated workspaces.

Another clear sign of the rising demand for office amenities is the increasing number of coworking spaces everywhere. These places do not bear the same pressures in an actual work office, but they provide the stimulation that workers need to be productive. Read our article on the “Benefits of Coworking Spaces for Remote Workers”Opens in a new tab. to learn more about the growing need for these spaces.

Changing Economic Landscape

Brad HargreavesOpens in a new tab., the founder and chairman of global residential managing company Common, states that in the advent of remote work, the nature of economic development shifts to focus less on the employer and more on the worker.” 

With the traditional office setup, the economic progress of a city depends on the number and capacity of employers in the area.

This is because it’s the employees who are adjusting, uprooting their lives and their families to a city with more employers and work opportunities. They will buy their homes there, send their kids to school there, and spend most of their money there. The income they earn in that city circulates only within that local economy.

This situation changes with employees working from anywhere. If one employer sends income to people in various locations, they are basically increasing the income of those locations. The money from the cities considered as economic hubs trickles down to smaller towns.

Hence, economic opportunities for smaller towns also open up. The work from anywhere setup allows us to see a future with an active and thriving economic landscape across different geographical locations.

More Networking Opportunities

There is, of course, a different kind of power in connecting with people face-to-face. You get to establish more authenticity in the interaction. The connection is also more focused, unlike in a virtual setting, where distractions can quickly divert your attention.

With a work from anywhere setup, employees may wonder why network building important should even matter. Is it not enough to get your job done and be paid for it?

Here is what James MillerOpens in a new tab., founder and owner of Network After Work, has to say on the matter:

“Networking is the gateway to career development. Building meaningful connections within networking makes way for advancements in different professional settings… Networking provides opportunities that cannot be found on job sites or in want ads. Connecting with other professionals gets you into their network, giving you an entire list of contacts to seek guidance from.”

In the new normal setup of working from anywhere, networking can be more challenging. Isolation is a common issue for many remote workers. But if you are intentional in how you work and connect with others, remote work actually opens up doors to many networking opportunities. After all, you are no longer restricted by geographical location.

Take the time to chat online with other professionals. Join online professional communities. There’s a lot to discover out there!

Rediscovery of Rural Communities

As the economic landscape faces a radical change, rural communities gain a chance at rediscoveryOpens in a new tab.. This can happen in at least two ways: rural talents staying in their local community and urban talents relocating to rural towns.

Rural Talents Staying

With the opportunity to work from anywhere, workers who live in rural areas will no longer be obliged nor feel the need to move to bigger cities. Instead, work opportunities will come to them no matter where they are.

As a result, they become a greater economic asset to their local community. Likewise, the population growth in bigger urban communities will be easier to control, with worries of over-migration decreasing.

Urban Talents Relocating

On the other hand, workers living in urban communities will have more freedom to work wherever they want. Those who came from rural hometowns have the option to move back. Similarly, with workcationOpens in a new tab. being the trend, more and more people are seeking to retreat to rural areas where they can have better work and life integration.

Diversity of Workers

Remote working, according to Forbes Council Member Jason RichmondOpens in a new tab., presents the wonderful opportunity to “open the workplace to a number of groups who have been marginalized.”

Implementing a work from anywhere setup brings more focus to performance delivery and away from factors like gender and race, among others. Communicating in online spaces can act as a protective barrier against discrimination. Likewise, the pool of candidates that a company can hire also grows with a work from anywhere setup.

The ability to work from anywhere is also beneficial for people with disabilitiesOpens in a new tab.. It decreases barriers such as transportation, lack of disability-friendly facilities, and sensory overstimulation. They can work from the comfort of their own home, where they have loved ones who can assist them whenever they need it.

Furthermore, it also makes work more accessible for women who remain as the primary caregiver in the family. The work from anywhere setup allows them to be present and care for their family and work simultaneously.

Work-Life Integration 

There is an ongoing debate among workers around the world revolving around a single question: does working from anywhere improve or worsen work-life integration?

Everyone has their opinion, but we can gather one truth from this debate. When it comes to working from anywhere, employees are more empowered with their work schedule and environment.

However, failure to achieve a healthy work-life integration often results from the lack of discipline in schedules and surroundings. The absence of authoritative monitoring, which you will find in a face-to-face setting, can easily lead to overworking or under working.

Meanwhile, there are also remote workers who take advantage of the setup to live their lives to the fullest. For instance, only a work from anywhere setup allows you to travel around the world even as you manage a full-time job.

If you live in an urban area, you have multiple work locations from which you can choose. At the end of the day, it’s within your power to make the remote setup work for you. To get help on this, you can read the article we wrote with the title “Achieving Work-Life Balance: The Importance of Time Management”Opens in a new tab.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The onset of remote workOpens in a new tab. really began after COVID-19 shocked the world and forced the urban working community, among others, to lock themselves at home.

Despite the lack of capacity to access physical offices because of a serious health threat, the economy must keep moving. In the words of Saikat ChatterjeeOpens in a new tab., Senior Director of People Advisory at Gartner, companies were suddenly “forced in the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.” 

Not all companies are successful at making this transition, and not all job descriptions fit a work from anywhere setup. Unfortunately, the pandemic still cost many people their jobs. Particularly, those whose occupations are heavily location-based, such as hotel and restaurant workers and drivers, were affected significantly. We’ve written a related article to this entitled ”How Do You Determine If A Job Can Be Done Remotely?”Opens in a new tab. 

However, we cannot deny that many companies have discovered and continue to discover their capacity to let their employees work from anywhere. In fact, this has opened up so many new possibilities and innovations that they are considering implementing this setup for the long haul.

The global pandemic is far from over, but once it is, the work landscape and urban lifestyle won’t ever be the same.

The Future of Work and Urban Life

Now that you have a clearer picture of how work from anywhere is radically changing urban life, what does this say about your future lifestyle?

The ideal situation is to have job opportunities across different geographical locations and cultural groups. Likewise, the hope is to encourage a healthy work-life integration for everyone. Moreover, there will surely be more innovative systems and technology introduced – perhaps in even more job categories – in the future.

Unfortunately, the ideal future is not the only likely future. Despite the many opportunities that the work from anywhere setup presents, it also poses a significant threat, especially to low-wage earners. The socioeconomic situationOpens in a new tab. is a big factor that dictates a worker’s capacity to fully perform in a remote setting.

Related Questions

1. What are the pros and cons of working from anywhere?

The pros of working from anywhere include greater freedom and flexibility. It is also less expensive both for employers and employees. Meanwhile, the cons include feelings of isolation, virtual fatigue, and challenges related to management and cybersecurity.

2. How does working from anywhere affect the economy?

The transition to working from anywhere helps distribute job opportunities better across different geographical locations. As a result, economic income will also be better distributed, allowing for smaller communities to grow exponentially. However, it also implies that the economy will become more heavily reliant on technology.

3. How will you know if you should transition to remote working?

You should consider transitioning to remote workOpens in a new tab. if your job is something you can productively do online. Review also the capabilities of your company to support the setup. It should have the proper technology and management programs in place.

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