“Work From Anywhere” in the corporate world

Is the perceived privilege of remote working ignorant of people's boundaries?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Sipping my coffee at an airport café, I saw a woman hooked to her laptop, her face covered with a mask and her eyes moving quickly as she probably typed emails while checking if it was the boarding time yet.

I could tell that she had deadlines to meet, she probably was on her laptop in the cab en route to the airport. I looked away, trying not to stare too long, although I think she was hardly aware of my presence. But something about her kept reclaiming my attention.

Maybe, it was the relatability as it reminded me of the times I have taken calls, replied to e-mails, finished a document to meet a deadline at the strangest places at ungodly hours.

Or maybe it was the realization that the ability to work from anywhere isn’t as rosy as people think it is. It obviously looks like a privilege to a child brought up in a bureaucratic office-going household, the pandemic just made this privilege more apparent.

I feel the “working systems” of the world haven’t adapted well to the idea of WFA. If I may coin a term to describe this, I would call it “Remote bureaucracy.”

Ability and willingness are two very different things. The idea of living your life around your job doesn’t suit everyone. A work culture insensitive to people’s boundaries and hooked to 24*7 availability is like a slow poison. It will corrode the well-being of its people while wearing an N95 mask of – “You are privileged to be working from anywhere.”

I finished my coffee just in time for my boarding and before I left the café, I walked up to this woman and wished her a happy journey. Her tensed forehead softened a bit as she looked away from her screen to reciprocate my gesture. I walked out smiling beneath my mask for making her give her work a few seconds of break.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    Anastasia Kraft of Xena Workwear: “Value honest and direct communication”

    by Alexandra Spirer

    “Make home a safe haven away from work stressors” with Dr. Ely Weinschneider & Shao-Lee Lin

    by Dr. Ely Weinschneider, Psy.D.

    “I’d like to create a movement to encourage more generosity in our country” With “Shameless” star, Jess Gabor

    by Yitzi Weiner

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.