Episode Archive

SCP E228 Remote Work in Smart Communities, with Jo Palmer

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode I have a fantastic chat with Jo Palmer, the Founder and Managing Director of Pointer Remote, who work with communities, businesses and individuals to leverage remote work. Jo tells us about Pointer Remote and why she started it, as well as the changes to the business model that evolved over 2019 and 2020. We discuss the common struggles organisations face in being set up for remote work, as well as the opportunities and challenges in the remote work space since the pandemic. Jo and I explore the power of local champions to change mindsets about remote work in regional and rural areas and ways local government can support that. Jo explains why in-person meetings with your remote workforce are still required and the importance of a digital footprint to build trust in our digital world. We finish our chat discussing the impact putting women in work has on local economies, and the emerging trend of attracting and retaining professionals in rural communities. As always we hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • About Pointer Remote and Jo’s role there 
  • Why she started Pointer Remote 
  • The changes to the business model that evolved over 2019 and 2020
  • The common struggles organisations face in being set up for remote work 
  • The opportunities and challenges in the remote work space since the pandemic
  • The power of local champions to change mindsets around remote working
  • Examples of ways local government can support Smart Communities in regional and rural areas
  • The case for quarterly in-person meetings with your remote workforce
  • The importance of a digital footprint in building trust in a digital world 
  • Why 2020 humanised our work personas like never before 
  • The impact of putting women in work has on local economies 
  • The emerging trend of attracting and retaining important professionals in rural areas and the flow on impacts for the community

Quotes:

“I started the business, because I had a really large network of really clever girlfriends who had married farmers and left corporate careers. And they just couldn’t access the work that they were trained, or experienced in where they were living in, in a rural or remote community. And so that wasn’t just my group of friends, I very quickly realised that that was a lot of people. And it wasn’t just people that were physically isolated. It was people with disabilities, it was people from different ethnic backgrounds or other minority groups or other marginalised people in the community. Remote work was a real leveller and an opportunity for them.”

“We’d get a call from the person that we placed it into that remote job [saying], ‘This is a disaster, they’re trying to run it as if I’m there, I’m left out of meetings, I haven’t got access to the things that I need, I’m really feeling left out of the culture, I can’t work autonomously, and I can’t get access to the manager that I need to be able to do my job, get me out of here.’”

“[2020] forced government, forced corporate, it forced small business, it’s forced sole traders, literally, everyone has had to look at work differently, regardless of your industry.”

“For rural Australia, [remote work] is our seat at the table. We can apply for the jobs, we can be on national boards and committees.”

‘You need to be seeing [your remote workers] at least once a year. And that’s not enough but at least once a year. I know [people say], ‘I’m a small business, I haven’t got enough money to do that.’ Well, it will cost you way more to replace them when they quit because they feel completely out of the loop and haven’t seen anyone for three years.”

“I’m throwing out the concept of work-life balance, it is a work life blend. You don’t do work, and then do home or life. They are part of you. You work two thirds of your life or something soul destroying like that. And if you’re trying to keep them separate, then it doesn’t work.”

“I think that what we are not talking about is the impact that one salary [from an extra person in remote work] has on a whole rural community.”

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Jo on LinkedIn 

Connect with Pointer Remote at the website pointerremote.com.au or on social media

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

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