How we make remote work local

‘We Make Remote Work Local’ is our tagline. That’s because the gap between remote work and local impact exists because there is no business model in making remote work local. We spoke about that here.

We wanted to go a little bit deeper into how we do that. Although we’re experimenting with lots of approaches, we know these three mechanisms work:

Empowerment of local community leaders

The number one way we make remote work local is by disseminating information that is usually behind multiple paywalls. We put it into one place, educate one local community leader, and they in turn educate their local communities. While we’ll never see Gitlab (the world’s largest remote company) turn up at a schools careers day, you will see us!

We’ve gotten better at this over the years and now have Dónal Kearney & Graham Harron in the team as Community Facilitators to support all members. As defined by our cofounder’s, the guys know just how central community is to us, it is us.

Activities for local leaders would include:

  • A very accessible way for anyone to sign up through ChangeX
  • An onboarding process with 5 steps
  • Online mini courses in both remote work and community development
  • Monthly mailers
  • Monthly town halls
  • Yearly get togethers
  • All though we’re all about offline, we run central activities online that all chapters can avail of

That’s core to us, empowering everyone with the tools and resources to make change. In this instance, create and sustain local employment.

Using online communities

Very early on, we got a handle of the nuances around the problems we’re solving. One was that people who were searching for work were looking on traditional job sites, and only searching by location. We needed to tell them about the new jobs boards, and that now we need to search by timezones, minimum.

While we’re all about going local offline. Facebook groups by location are a great way for us to meet people where they’re at. Whenever a company is hiring remotely, we post it to every local jobs group, and local community group. This has proven to be a really quick way to help people learn more about these roles.

Local advertising of location agnostic jobs

In May, our cofounder and community manager Rose secured us Google NonProfit access. This meant we could avail of 10k in advertising per month. Although there are some restrictions to the kinds of advertising you can use the credits for, it can be very impactful. December was the first time we spent all of the 10k in one month, and here’s how we’ve done since we started:

Google Ads Spend

Having raised 500k from Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, that mostly went to staff costs, this was a welcome addition to a marketing budget. It’s key to awareness, and here’s why: we set up a campaign for every county in Ireland, so that when people to search for a job in their location, we will come up.

Think about Automattic hiring remotely all across the European timezone at minimum, they’re unlikely to run local campaigns. Not least because they do not need help in accessing talent. Also because it’s logistically a nightmare surely.

So we step in, and instead of the jobs coming to us, we go to them and bring them to us. Google ads is a brilliant mechanism for that local delivery.

How it comes together

Of course when people do get access to employment, we have this, thriving local, in person, communities of remote workers everywhere:

Other approaches

  • We have been advertised in mass booklets. It’s free and hyper local.
  • We run sessions with local government groups and politicians
  • We target local press media with jobs announcements that are location agnostic
  • We’ve put up posters like this one in grocery stores across Ireland:

Have more ideas? Let us know in the Slack community