Nearly three in five employees plan to work abroad this year, research finds

Three quarters of workers would only consider a role which offers ‘work from anywhere’ flexibility, while the majority plan to work from anywhere this year

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Almost three in five (57 per cent) workers are planning to extend their holidays to work abroad this year, new research from IWG has found.

The survey of 1009 hybrid workers this month found that the majority (88 per cent) of workers are planning to work from anywhere this year, while two thirds (67 per cent) said that they can perform their job effectively while working abroad.

Three quarters (76 per cent) said they would be more inclined to work for a company that offers frequent ‘flexcations’, and 71 per cent said they would only consider a new role which gave them the flexibility to work from anywhere at least some of the time.

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For three quarters (76 per cent) of workers, improved work life balance was cited as a benefit of working from anywhere. While just over half (52 per cent) said they benefitted from being able to spend more time with friends and family abroad.

Nearly half (47 per cent) said they benefit from saving money by travelling off-peak, and a third (30 per cent) said they would enjoy longer holidays.

Mark Dixon, founder and chief executive of IWG, said for many workers, the daily commute is long gone, and cloud technology, with high-speed internet connections, is making it more feasible to work from anywhere. 

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 “This trend is set to accelerate further, and we will continue to see more and more companies embracing WFA policies to improve employees’ work-life balance and increase their attractiveness as an employer,” he said

The vast majority (89 per cent) of those surveyed said that they are more likely to work from anywhere now than they were pre-pandemic, with 83 per cent saying the adoption of hybrid working by businesses has made it more feasible to do so.

Zoe Peterkin, head of marketing at Summize, is taking advantage of her employer’s work from anywhere policy, but noted the cost and practical implications of this, highlighting that it would not be as easy to have regular conversations with colleagues as it is from home.

“It’s a two way street with your employer – they will help you to make your trip successful and are providing the benefit in the first place, you need to be able to maintain your output and keep on top of tasks,” she said.

Kay Phelps, founder and director of PRinHR, decided to work abroad this year after seeing many ‘out of office’ emails last year. “Even though my laptop is in use this week for Zoom calls, strategy work and emails, I already feel far more rested,” she said. “The key to making it work is trust, commitment and good communication.”

Molly Johnson-Jones, co-founder and chief executive of Flexa Careers, said that the opportunity to relax in different surroundings is beneficial for both performance and wellbeing, adding that her own team has a 45 day a year ‘work from anywhere’ policy, and can add this time onto annual leave.

“Since working location has no bearing on output, it makes total sense that people would want to extend their trips and capitalise on positive holiday energy whilst working,” she said.