This is the 15th paper in our Transforming Workplace series. In this paper we examine how ‘work from anywhere’ can be made to work better.

Many initiatives can be implemented by both parties (organisations and employees) to improve ‘work from anywhere’ outcomes.

Firstly, employees and organisations can jointly address employees’ two “biggest struggle(s) with working remotely,”1 which are:

Not being able to unplug

1. Not being able to unplug. 

Difficulties with collaboration and communication

2. Difficulties with collaboration and communication. 


Confirming that employees are not able to unplug, a recent study of Microsoft employees worldwide found that “fifty-four percent feel overworked” and “thirty-nine percent feel exhausted.”2

Many remote employees find they are:

Stretching their day answering emails or conducting other business-related tasks
  • “Stretching their day answering emails or conducting other business-related tasks”3 
Experiencing video-chat exhaustion
  • Experiencing “video-chat exhaustion (Zoom fatigue)” – “it’s not sustainable to keep employees on video calls for hours each day.” 4
Feeling pressure to show their boss theyre not taking advantage of home working
  • Feeling “pressure to show their boss they’re not taking advantage of home working.”5 

“Three strategies to create better and healthier boundaries for remote work” can be adopted by remote employees to address this issue:6

Separate the remote workspace then commit to working only in that space if possible
  • Separate the remote workspace – then commit to working only in that space if possible. 
Set a schedule and stick to it
  • Set a schedule and stick to it – if you don’t pick a time to ‘leave work’, you’ll keep tackling your to-do list. 
Practise self-care
  • Practise self-care – prioritise well-being, particularly sleep and exercise. 

Other initiatives available to reduce meeting and ‘Zoom fatigue’ are:

Employees should push back against their FOMO, and the habit where “showing up to a meeting has become the signal of doing work.”7

Leaders need to ask themselves do you have to have this meeting
  • Leaders need to ask themselves “do you have to have this meeting? No, really, do you have to?” 

For organisations, it is vital to allow employees to have work/life balance, and “unless you’d like to be known as an employer who demands 24/7 attention from your remote workers, make it clear that you want everyone to enjoy a personal life.”8

Fixing remote employees’ difficulties with collaboration and communication is a challenge. Organisations have to balance the need to reduce employee exhaustion by cutting unnecessary meetings, with the need to hold meetings to boost communication and connection.

Instead of more meetings, “employees’ feelings of team connection (can be enhanced by) receiving (workload) prioritization support from managers, feeling productive, and maintaining work-life balance – all of which managers heavily influence.”9

Great leaders can also “create a supportive work environment where their people love the work and feel they have work-life balance, (and as a result) the natural by product is that teams feel more connected.”9

Organisations can improve other factors in their control to make ‘work from anywhere’ work better, in particular:

  • Culture - “create a culture where taking breaks is a sign of intelligence, not of laziness.”7
  • Wellbeing - become “the most vocal, visible advocates for wellbeing” to create “the permission structure for everyone in the organization to put wellbeing first.”7 
  • Support – “ensure employees have the right home-working software and tools.” 
  • Trust – demonstrate trust, otherwise “workers feel pressure to show their boss they’re not taking advantage of home working” which “could lead to overwork and burnout.”10 
Teamwork and Innovation
  • Teamwork and Innovation – “look for ways to foster the social capital, cross-team collaboration, and spontaneous idea-sharing that’s been driving workplace innovation for decades.”2 

In summary, we have outlined many ways in which employees and organisations can make ‘work from anywhere’ work better. One significant benefit from adopting some of these initiatives is “that happier, healthier people also have greater impact.”

Norton Rose Fulbright assists organisations to efficiently and effectively address the legal aspects of the new global work environment, including working from anywhere. Please reach out if we can assist your organisation in this respect.

Our next paper will consider if ‘work from anywhere’ and hybrid work have led to the end of the office as we know it.


1, ‘The 2021 State of Remote Work.’


Microsoft WorkLab, ‘The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?’, 22 March 2021.



Randstat, Workmonitor 2021 Second Edition, Workforce Transformation Through the ‘Great Enlightenment’, August/September 2021.


M Elgan, Computerworld, “Remote Work 2.0 – When WFH Really Means ‘Work From Anywhere’, 8 February 2021.


M Savage, BBC Worklife, ‘What Bosses Really Think About Remote Work’, 13 September 2021.


R Glazer, Inc., ‘The Number 1 Issue Remote Workers Face – and the Surprisingly Easy Fix.’


J Spataro, Microsoft WorkLab, ‘6 Principles for Hybrid Work Wellbeing’.


J Comm, Inc., ‘3 Ways to Create a Culture of Trust With Remote Workers.’


Microsoft WTI Pulse Report, ‘In Hybrid Work, Managers Keep Teams Connected’, 30 March 2021.


A Christian, BBC Worklife, ‘Why Hybrid Work is Emotionally Exhausting’, 21 January 2022.


Partner | Employment & Labour Team Leader
Senior Partner
US Chair, Head of Employment and Labor, United States
Global Head of Employment and Labor
Head of Employment - Europe, Middle East and Asia
Partner, Canadian National Chair, Employment and Labour

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