This past year has highlighted the potential of remote work and the opportunities it can present for communities in Donegal. Grow Remote is a national non-profit organisation whose focus is to provide support networks for remote workers and raise the visibility of remote roles throughout the country and Maria Gallagher, the lead and founder of the Grow Remote Donegal Chapter, discusses the impact of the pandemic on remote working, the support available and their hopes for the future of remote working in Donegal.
The idea for establishing a Donegal Chapter arose when Maria saw the success places like Arranmore Island had in developing remote working opportunities within their community under Grow Remote. She explains that “the goal was to extend that success for the entire county by linking up our network of remote working hubs and high speed broadband with a platform that would enable remote workers to network, attract location agnostic workers from other regions to Donegal and increase the visibility of remote roles among the unemployed and underemployed in the county.
“The Chapter is run by a group of passionate and dedicated community leaders representing all corners of the county, from the Gaeltacht to Inishowen, many of whom run digital hubs and work directly with remote workers on a daily basis” says Maria.
She adds that “there are around 55,000 remote jobs available across Europe at the moment and these jobs are open to anyone in Donegal, many of them offering very competitive terms and remuneration packages. We want to make these jobs more visible to the people of Donegal and encourage local communities to avail of these opportunities. Increasing local employment has a direct effect on local incomes and local businesses and can create a multiplier effect whereby one remote role can create another role in the community, in a coffee shop for instance through the additional income it brings.”
And while Grow Remote welcome the uptake and attention given to remote work since last year, Maria stresses that it is important to differentiate between juggling work from home during a pandemic and remote working in less restrictive times.
She feels strongly that Donegal is an ideal location for remote workers saying that “with the longest coastline in Ireland, an abundance of green, open spaces, a network of outstanding digital hubs and a host of vibrant, bustling communities, it is clear to see why Donegal has emerged as the remote working destination of choice in recent times. So many more people are seeking a better quality of life while also fulfilling their career ambitions, and Donegal is the perfect destination to marry the two. In recent months, I have spoken to many remote workers locally who have secured promotions while working from Donegal and enjoying the ideal work-life balance.”
Maria is looking forward to welcoming more members into the Chapter and facilitating face-to-face networking opportunities post-pandemic such as a Regional Jobs Club event where valuable information on the roles currently available remotely is shared.
“In recent months we have seen an influx of new members to our Chapter and our community is growing rapidly with new members who have relocated here from Dublin, London and even New York. Post-pandemic, it will be great to meet up face-to-face with Donegal’s growing remote working community.”
Maria has high hopes for the future of the chapter in Donegal. “We are passionate about community development and for many years rural Ireland has suffered depopulation and youth drain. We envisage that the remote working movement can help towards reversing that trend in Donegal, by injecting new life into local communities. At the heart of Grow Remote is the motto that no one is left behind”.
To contact Grow Remote Donegal email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @growdonegal
To find a remote job visit www.jobs.growremote.ie
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