WFA Considerations

WFA Considerations

The notion of Working from Anywhere has been explored in some detail by the authors –

Whateley and Bofinger (2022) 

Whateley and Bofinger (2022) 

Whateley (2022)

With WFA, staff and students get geographic and/or time zone flexibility, eliminate lengthy commutes and reportedly a better work/life balance.

The rise in the number of collaborative meeting spaces in cafes with power outlets and semi-private booths is testament to the increasing attractiveness of this option. Additionally, shared office and co-working spaces are once again regaining popularity.

There are a number of key considerations, though, in the decision to work from anywhere.

WI-FI access, strength and sustainability

Fundamental to the decision to WFA is access to quality Wi-Fi. The ubiquitous internet is a key element to success given the growth and development of online meetings and conferencing. If this access can be secured – most of the other issues pale into insignificance. With the rollout of 5G broadband on personal devices and multi-gigabit Wi-Fi access points now in most locations, finding suitable remote data speed is more attainable than ever before.

Time Zones

Working with and understanding time zones is an important consideration. With careful management differences in time can be overcome when online meetings are required.
WFA allows for “Time Zone Stacking” which creates strategic flexibility by sequencing work hours across Australian and even the world.

Lack of social interaction

The missing ingredient with WFA is the limited access to people within the organisation. Social interaction is minimised (outside of immediate companions) but this too can be managed through regular calls and interfaces.

A case in point

A fiend/colleague is currently holding down the position of Dean of a Melbourne based music school that delivers its products on line. He (and his family) have set off on an Australia wide caravan adventure – he is working from anywhere. He uses telephone, messaging, email and Zoom conferencing as his communication platform. In order to access the best WIFI for conferencing he calls into the local library (wherever he is) and without cost achieves a strong signal for the purpose – to date (some 6 months into the trip) all is working well. He is indeed a digital nomad.

Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Academic) at Group Colleges Australia

Professor Ian Bofinger is the Executive Dean and CEO of the Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Sydney