While it offers flexibility and autonomy, working remotely can sometimes feel isolating. However, a sense of community can be cultivated among individuals who work remotely. With leadership and grassroots community-building, remote workers can come together to strengthen communities at the hyperlocal level. Indeed, this is the lifeblood of Grow Remote.
In this blog post, we will explore some inspiring examples of remote workers who are actively building strong bonds, fostering connections and creating a sense of belonging in their respective communities. These changemakers are actively contributing to Grow Remote’s mission to make remote employment more visible and accessible in their local communities.
Let’s meet 5 of our local leaders – Georgina, Mary, Anna, Darren and Sinead!
Making Remote Jobs More Visible
Georgina Wilson is a remote worker and active member of the Grow Remote Community. As well as connecting with other remote workers through Grow Remote Online (our community’s Slack space), Georgina contributed directly to the Grow Remote Summit as a Virtual Admin Support in the months prior to the event on 8th and 9th June. In this capacity, she provided ideas and insights towards the design and marketing of the Summit. We are eternally grateful!
Georgina also volunteered at the Summit itself, wearing the prestigious Grow Remote polo shirt alongside dozens of other amazing community members. By sharing their knowledge and experience of the Grow Remote community, these individuals contributed profoundly to the event’s success and provided a tangible community spirit in the room.
Alongside Georgina in the Grow Remote polo shirt at the Summit was fellow Offaly local leader, Mary Hensey. Mary has spent the last few years promoting Grow Remote’s mission in Offaly in parallel with her role as Manager of The Junction digital hub in Tullamore.
On 10th June (the day after the Summit), both Georgina and Mary represented Grow Remote at the Offaly Job Fair in Tullamore Court Hotel. This follows their contribution to the Information and Recruitment Event for People with Disabilities on 30th November 2022. Such recruitment events are integral to Grow Remote’s mission to make remote employment more visible and accessible locally. By raising awareness of the thousands of remote jobs available in Tullamore, Georgina and Mary are sharing life-changing information, one conversation at a time.
As well as these recruitment events, Mary and Georgina are keen to connect remote workers socially and they have hosted several Grow Remote lunches for remote workers in Tullamore. The fairs and lunches create a local space where connections are fostered and mentorship opportunities can arise between fellow remote workers, job seekers and potential future colleagues.
Georgina and Mary continue to build community locally and we are thrilled to have people of such integrity and energy in the Grow Remote community!
Escaping the confines of their home offices, a few adventurous professionals came together on a Saturday morning to embrace nature and engage in active community-building under the Grow Remote banner. On 20th May 2023, a group of remote workers organised a kayaking expedition. With the amazing support of Grow Remote’s Munster Outreach Lead, Victoria McCormack, the individuals who made the effort formed new bonds, made new friends and had some fun in the process. Check out this amazing video!
One of the remote workers who attended is local leader, Anna Mitchell.
Anna volunteered during the Grow Remote Summit so you may have seen her coordinating the audience at the Community Stage, or indeed being interviewed on it herself as an influential changemaker in our community! Anna is an active contributor to Grow Remote Online, regularly offering support to and connecting with other members, and she has taken a lead role in growing the Cork chapter’s Last Friday Drinks in recent months.
Remote employees from various companies have been coming together in Cork city on the Last Friday of the month. Since March, this event has more than doubled in size as word has spread about the tasty pizzas, refreshing beverages and great craic being had by the Grow Remote community in Cork city.
The event has also spread to Waterford city, where local leader Darren McMahon is leading the monthly party. Darren took the Grow Remote Local Leader Training in late 2022 and has since begun building a community of remote workers locally.
After all, social isolation is the number one challenge for remote workers and it’s often the primary driver for local leaders getting involved in Grow Remote’s community work.
Winding Down After Work
The Grow Remote local leader in Balbriggan, Sinead Kearns, moved to the town shortly before the Covid pandemic and says she found it difficult to integrate into a new community. She wanted to do something about it, so she now hosts coffee meetups, beach walks and after work socials through the local Grow Remote chapter.
In April, Sinead brought together remote employees from across North Dublin on a Friday evening for some food in The Harvest. Supported by the Grow Remote Community Fund, the group enjoyed a few relaxing drinks, a bit of dinner and some good conversation. It was a lively opportunity for locals, who may never otherwise meet, to come together and chat about the similarities and differences in their own remote jobs and lifestyles as hybrid and remote employees.
A month later, Sinead helped organise another after work social – this time in neighbouring Skerries, when she invited local remote workers to meet at the harbour for a few sun-tinged refreshments. Remote workers from various industries gathered outside Joe May’s pub to unwind, connect, and share their experiences of remote work and also of living locally. This meetup provided a relaxed atmosphere for networking, brainstorming ideas, and building friendships.
Moments like these emphasise the reality that remote workers can very easily become disconnected from colleagues – but also from their own communities. It takes local leaders like Sinead to step forward and organise a casual gathering like this. The impact is huge as it builds relationships and ultimately strengthens the local community.
Whether it’s hosting a stall at a careers fair, kayaking on a Saturday morning or meeting for after-work drinks, Grow Remote is committed to building hyperlocal communities of remote workers. Experiences like these highlight the importance of human connections, collaboration, and shared experiences in fostering a supportive remote work environment.
Whatever it is you want to do to further Grow Remote’s mission, you’ll find support from our team. Together, through grassroots actions, we are driving systemic change in Ireland. If you want to run a local event in your community, email us now and we’ll make it happen!