Rural communities are great at connecting and supporting each other locally during times of crisis. We all know that.
This current crisis, however, is not local. It's global.
We are all being disrupted and challenged. While we may be feeling alone and isolated in our increasingly quarantined world, we ARE battling this together. As rural communities, we have both, unique challenges and unique solutions that we can share with each other.
We may not be able to travel or meet in person but we are fortunate to have the technology available to make human connection and collaboration possible during these seemingly impossible times. Let's use it. Let's make our connections stronger. Let's build deeper relationships.
We are still better together.
In the spirit of what I believe is an opportunity for connection, I'm opening a virtual office space for anyone interested joining. It's an online office floor with individual offices, meeting spaces and social spaces. All of the collaboration tools we are comfortable using are available from whiteboards, to video/audio/text communication as well as bulletin boards and doc/video sharing.
I'm hoping that simply knowing that other people are working in the same space will bring some comfort and connection to our lives.
"But, I have concerns..."
Me too, but I'm opting to give it a shot before dismissing the idea.
Here are my thoughts.
Working in a virtual environment doesn't mean that it's social time, all the time. It doesn't mean that you won't be able to get work done. And it doesn't mean that you have to be "video presentable" all the time (if pj's are your work at home attire, "audio only" is a perfectly acceptable means of communication). A virtual office is no different from a physical one. When your door is shut, you are working. When you are in the lounge or kitchen, you are open to chit chat. When you are in a meeting room you are collaborating. Appropriateness, expectations and office culture will be part of an evolving process as we build this environment together.
It also means that you are not alone.
If you would like to join the Rural on Purpose Virtual Office in our global social pilot, please sign up below. It is $30CAD/month (see note below).
Try it for a month and see if it works for you. No commitment required.
A note about the fees: The software we are using charges us per person. The advertised rates are based on yearly payments and are in USD. We've opted for the monthly payment option to allow for flexibility for everyone (it's a higher fee). We've accounted for the currency conversion as well as fees that are applied to payment processing. We are asking for a flat fee of $30 charged monthly to cover it. This is NOT intended to be a profit generating offer. We just want to get started, but if it requires significant office administration time, we may have to adjust the fee as we go, with your input.