Remote working is one of the most important aspects of my work.
Working Monday to Friday, 9–5 in an office environment just doesn’t suit me mentally or physically. So when I heard there was going to be a remote working conference in Tralee, I just had to go. I wanted to meet like-minded people and hear from companies interested in hiring remote workers.
Hosted in The Rose Hotel in Tralee on the 28th September, the hotel offered a great B&B package that I took advantage of.
As I entered the conference I was greeted by the conference organisers who were very interested in meeting their attendees. I heard that the conference was oversold, a sure sign that there was big interest.
The first two speakers, Dennis Collins, CEO of Smarter Dynamics and Shauna Moran from Operate Remote completely validated my choice to be a remote worker.For Dennis, remote working is important for people with chronic conditions as in-house work does not offer the flexibility needed to support those who are ill or disabled. Shauna echoed the thoughts I had before I chose to work from home. Mentally, she knew that the daily grind was not for her. Like her, I could see my life already set out for me in a monotonous repetition of office work and battling the dreaded commute which causes unnecessary stress. Shauna highlighted the benefits of remote working not just for the individual but for the company and the world on a whole. There is a lower rate of absenteeism for remote workers than for traditional workers and by taking ourselves out of the daily commute, we are reducing our impact on the environment.
There were also a number of panel discussions where people from various remote working companies and those in various industries offered their perspective on remote working and the challenges that need to be tackled in Ireland to help more people work remotely.
John Riordan from Shopify offered great tips on remote working as a skill that needs to be developed. Remote workers need to be able to set boundaries and know when to stop working as well as when to start. As remote workers can be isolated, it is very important that we take care of our mental health and take advantage of remote working hubs for some social interaction as well as a break from the home office.
There were other discussions on managing remote teams with people videoconferencing in from Seattle and Mayo. While the panel discussions and most of the speakers had very polished talks that fit within the ten-minute time frame, there were a few speakers who were not as organised and they tended to waffle on, their presentations were quite boring. However, this did not take away from the conference as a whole. I really enjoyed it and learned quite a lot from it. I have to say, I’m looking forward to the next conference already!