Building Remote Ready Communities

In 2020, we asked our community what they felt would make a ‘Remote Ready Community’. Here’s what they told us:

Illustrated by Orla Breslin who generously donated her skills to this project.

Essentially, it came down to all of the human stuff. A good coffee shop locally, access to childcare, a lively community and a visually appealing main street. This has always been important, but now it’s more important than ever.

Grow Remote uses remote work as a tool for community development and so this is an important component for us. Years ago, people would live where the jobs were. As jobs move towards a more location-agnostic model, people are more free to move wherever they’d like to live.

New models of attracting jobs

It came up at one of our first events in Tubbercurry, Sligo which was Ireland’s first smart community. John O’Duinn joined the event. John had worked on the Remote Work relocation campaign in Vermont that paid remote workers to move there.

“Previously you’d build a shipyard, and they’d bring the jobs and then you’d bring the people and they’d work there for life. That’s an old model, what you’re actually looking for is the people with jobs, so why not go directly to them?”

John O’Duinn

Tools are popping up like Gaffologist. Built by a remote worker in rural Offaly, it’s a better way to find a new place to live. For communities, this means we’re now competing for talent on a new set of criteria.

In Australia, Pointer Remote are rolling out courses on building Remote Ready Communties. Together, we’ve been experimenting with how a community finder tool would work.

Supports in Ireland

Today, the Irish minister for Rural and Community Development announced a new round of funding. And in that, she called out the local amenities that would see the benefit from walkways to parks and co-working spaces.

https://twitter.com/HHumphreysFG/status/1347472210001326081?s=20

The funds, which are listed here, are open to any community groups to apply to. It’s complimented by the likes of the Framework For Town Centre renewal toolkits, and the podcast series on town centre renewal.

One reason we chose remote work as our tool for community development was that it meant we didn’t have to convince a big corporate to move to our community. In the hardest hit of communties, we could always attract people with a tie to the place.

To convince remote workers in an increasingly competitive space, we’re going to need to work towards remote ready communities.