Remote work is already here: it’s just not evenly distributed

At the moment, there are 650 remote job vacancies, at the very least, here in Ireland. That’s excluding the IDA’s recent announcement of 100 remote jobs. So why don’t more skilled jobseekers in the regions and rural Ireland know about them?

Or to quote a community member at Grow Remote: “Every Gitlab job available in Dublin is available in Donegal, I just can’t understand why someone isn’t standing with a giant sign in every town in Donegal shouting this daily.”

For years we as community developers have been demanding remote work, but what we really meant was remote from Dublin, and local to us. Remote as location-agnostic is still new. 

So if we have been asking for it for so long and it’s here, why do we not have a town cryer? The problem is that there is no-one who would pay a sign holder, a town cryer, or anyone else to promote the vacancies. 

Because when it comes to remote work, companies don’t need to advertise locally. All of the traditional channels like careers days, local recruiters, or posters in the local shops are redundant. Remote work is found in new places, and there’s a body of education and awareness to do around that. 

We need to step in. We need the equivalent of the campaigns and programmes we ran when we were building awareness around the internet in Ireland, something akin to Brexit Ready, but for remote (thanks Emer Currie for that one). 

When it comes to remote work, our communities are still waiting for a large Irish household name to go remote before it becomes a real possibility they can embrace. 

If they get more curious about remote work, they may search on Facebook, where one WFH Facebook group consists mostly of scams and pyramid schemes. 

There is a big gap between our communities and the jobs that can enable them to thrive.

Have you ever heard of Shopify launching in Roscommon – a €1.5 billion company with 5,000 staff? 

Why is it that although one of the largest ecommerce sites in the world employs talent all across Roscommon, and beyond, we still don’t really associate the two? 

There is still a common local perception that ‘there are no jobs here.’

Is it about seeing a ribbon cut in the local media? 

Automattic and Gitlab, two of the world’s largest remote companies already employ people all over Ireland, yet there’s no fanfare about this. 

This was because when they advertised the jobs, they did so without specifying a location. It just so happened that the best talent was based in west Cork, Westport, Cavan, Leitrim and everywhere in between. 

Remote.com has 31 well paying jobs open now, and that’s just one company, and plenty are non-tech and go from admin to legals and sales. Why haven’t we heard more about that in our social or mainstream media?

Remote work is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. And for it to become so, we need new methods of distribution. 

We’re still talking about remote work in Ireland as though it’s something someone should really do sometime, but it’s here right now, so how do we do a better job of raising awareness about it?

At Grow Remote, we have a few methods:

  1. Support local community leaders who in turn can support their local communities – to date we have over 130+
  1. Deliver free courses on how to find remote work 
  1. Deliver free courses on remote work as a skill – (thanks to IDA, Leitrim and Offaly Education and Training Board LOETB, social enterprise platform ChangeX and state education and training agency SOLAS)
  1. Put everything in one place, so that people have a one-stop shop. 

The upside is that as a country we still have an opportunity for first mover advantage. To do something that hits home more than the mover campaigns that generate so much fan fare. In a new world where these jobs can be anywhere, we can land them locally.