At FreeAgent, we’re passionate about investing in our people and ways of working to create a happy, high-performing and diverse team and support our customers. Our people have joined us from across the UK and beyond, which has helped us to create an impressive product and a great working environment - plus it makes for some interesting conversations over lunch!
However, during the Covid pandemic, this didn’t always feel like an advantage, as many of our employees had to wait over a year to see family and friends because of travel restrictions. So, when things opened back up, we wanted to make it easier than ever for our people to travel, work and spend quality time with the people they care about.
What is FreeAgent’s Work Anywhere policy?
If you’re working for FreeAgent and want to work from somewhere other than your home or the office, we’ll support this wherever possible. Our policy will guide you through how to work anywhere while helping us stay on the right side of the law.
The basics you need to know are: as long as you can carry out your normal role, you may well be able to work from a different location. Within the UK, it’s straightforward to take your work on the road occasionally - as long as you aren’t permanently changing your working location. If you wanted to make a permanent move within the UK, you’d need to chat to your manager to discuss whether your role can be fully remote.
“I’ve used the Work Anywhere policy to travel back home to the Highlands,” said Hayley Ross, Senior Marketing Executive. “It’s a four-hour drive away, so squeezing in time for family and friends over a weekend is almost impossible. Being able to work anywhere and spend the evenings seeing people really helps me maintain a good work-life balance.”
If you want to work from outside the UK, there are a few more things you need to know to help us meet our legal obligations.
Working outside the UK
You can work from another country for a short period up to twice a year. The main reason you are abroad must be for holiday or another kind of leave (such as maternity leave). You’ll be able to work for an additional period of up to 50% of the time you’ve taken off. For example, if you take two weeks of holiday in Ireland, you can also work from Ireland for an additional one week at the beginning or end of your leave period.
You must also have the right to work in that country. If you’re travelling on a tourist visa, you’re responsible for checking the restrictions in that country. Bear in mind some countries have stricter rules than others. If you’re travelling in the EU, you can read guidance on each country’s rules.
There are a few exceptions to the policy according to the levels of risk involved. Employees can check the Work Anywhere policy or chat to IT for the latest updates.
What do our people like about working anywhere?
Our people love the flexibility that working anywhere offers them. In the first half of 2023, we’ve already had 30 people use the policy to travel to the Highlands, Italy, Poland, and beyond!
Louis Pernet, Marketing Automation Manager, said: “As I’m from a different country and have parents and siblings all living in different parts of the world, this has given me the flexibility to spend more time abroad with my family and friends - especially after we couldn’t see each other for so long during the pandemic.”
You might need to consider your working hours if you’re staying in a different time zone. Do you need to keep UK hours, or does it make sense to adjust your hours?
When Veronika Szentesi, Senior People Assistant, stays with her family in Hungary, she chooses to keep her UK hours the same, which means starting at 10am and finishing at 6pm local time.
“I really enjoy spending the mornings with my family, we often go out for breakfast before I have to start work. And then of course, when I’ve finished, there’s still plenty of time to go out and meet old friends.”
If you’re looking for a new role with flexible working options, take a gander at our vacancies.