Work from Anywhere Weeks: Blessing or Curse?

Do employees have the right to choose remote work?

The COVID-19 pandemic led to many employees either choosing to or being required to work remotely, and many have expressed a desire to continue working remotely at least part of the time.  However, unless it is explicitly laid out in your employment agreement, employees do not have the right to choose whether they want to work remotely or come into the office and as the pandemic situation continues to improve many employers are recalling employees back to the office. That being said, a recent poll suggests that 80% of Canadians would begin looking for another job if their employer mandated that they return to the office 100% of the time.

What are “work from anywhere” (WFA) weeks?

As a result, some employers are experimenting with what is being called “work from anywhere” or “WFA” weeks with their employees. WFA weeks allow employees to work from home or abroad for a specific week, giving employees increased flexibility to work from remote locations to enable travelling or spending more time at home with their families.

How can offering WFA weeks help attract and retain talented employees?

Employers who are offering WFA weeks to employees vary in the level of formality required to use a WFA week, with some allowing employees to choose their WFA weeks at their own discretion and others requiring employees to obtain pre-approval for a WFA week as they would for vacation time. The reason that some employers are considering WFA weeks is to help offset employee unhappiness with recalls back to the workplace following COVID-19 fully remote work setups. Offering WFA weeks is a cost-effective way for employers to attract and retain talented employees by giving employees extra flexibility for a few weeks per year.

How can Whitten & Lublin provide insight and advice on remote work circumstances?

Both employees and employers alike can benefit from legal advice to better understand their rights and obligations with regards to remote work policies and arrangements. We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Nasyr Asmi