John Evoy says Ireland’s national remote working conference must held in person – and here’s why.
We’re running Ireland’s biggest remote working conference in June. Your first response will probably be “that sounds great! How do I dial in?”
But that’s not what this conference is about.
Remote working has become so synonymous with working from home that we’ve forgotten something important. The more remote we are, the more critical in person connections become. That’s why our remote work conference MUST be fully in person.
“We can see people spending time in the local coffee shops, meeting each other in the local co-working spaces, using the extra time that remote work gives them to volunteer for their local charities, to help out with their local GAA club, to spend more time with their friends and family”
We didn’t set up Grow Remote to advocate for remote work alone. Remote work is the means to an end, not the end itself. Our ambition is to unlock jobs from urban areas so we can create thriving and connected communities all across Ireland. Remote work is the driving force to take us there.
Imagine a better tomorrow
When we close our eyes and imagine the future, we don’t see thousands of people working in isolation from their individual homes and interacting only over Zoom or in the Metaverse. That’s a horrible vision for the future.
Our vision is one where people connect with each other locally, wherever they live. We can see people spending time in the local coffee shops, meeting each other in the local co-working spaces, using the extra time that remote work gives them to volunteer for their local charities, to help out with their local GAA club, to spend more time with their friends and family. That’s what Grow Remote is all about – when people can live and work where they choose, when opportunity is distributed equally around the country, our towns and villages will thrive.
That’s the fundamental reason behind the Grow Remote Summit. We are bringing everyone with a stake in our future together to talk about how we can make this vision a reality. We want to shake off the fear and isolation brought about by the pandemic and enjoy each other’s company again. Real connections, in real time, in real life.
We could easily make the Grow Remote Summit a hybrid event. It would be the smart thing to do from a business perspective. If people can dial in remotely we will reach a much wider audience. But that’s not our priority. Our aim is to inspire action, to shift perspectives and to show how impactful remote work can be for every single person living in this country. You will not get that from dialling in remotely.
Many people will disagree with us, and tell us we are missing out on a great opportunity to generate revenue and gain a wider audience and we understand that. It’s a very controversial statement for an organisation that advocates for remote work to claim that some things cannot be replicated remotely.
But if we are to make remote work for people, profit and planet we must not disregard the magic that only occurs when people with a shared vision come together in one place.
Grow Remote is running a national conference on remote work on 8 June and 9 June 2023.