Did your parents work from home? (Aside from my software engineer dad, I knew of few adults who did.) What a difference a couple of decades make!
Thanks to accessible technologies, improved infrastructure, and cultural shifts in today’s workforce, much of the world has seen a steady increase in remote work opportunities. From personal well-being to improved relationships to lower overhead, its benefits have been lauded in many a blog post and news article.
For those engaged in remote work, however, the issue of isolation isn’t an uninformed comment from critics or skeptics: the loneliness is real. Up until recently, dealing with it has been a somewhat unguided journey.
Seeking a community as a remote worker has led to a variety of traveling cohorts, coliving programs and online groups—some of which even meet (gasp!) face-to-face. Now, I’m no hermit, but I do prefer to make in-person engagements as meaningful as possible, maximizing networking and learning opportunities in one fell swoop.
Enter remote conferences. If you’re game for attending a major event—and yes, that often means going somewhere, as not all of these are, in fact, remote—have I got a list for you!
Whether they’re focused on digital nomads or work-from-home pros, a variety of remote conferences have sprung up around the topic of remote work and the lifestyle you can have surrounding it.
Here are some remote conferences worthy of attending:
The TRaD Works Forum (Sept. 27-29, 2017, in Washington, DC, USA)
An invite-only event that offers topics for a variety of organizational stakeholders, the TRaD Works Forum is hosted by FlexJobs and Remote.co, and focuses on telecommuting, remote, and distributed roles. The annual gathering hosts researchers, thought leaders, and other experts who explore many aspects of remote work, such as hiring, productivity, organizational infrastructure, and work-life balance.
Out of Office (TBA 2018)
If you’re unable to travel to an on-site event, this is the remote conference for you! Out of Office brings together remote founders, media pros, and startup folks in a lineup that covers critical early stage topics for solopreneurs and company leaders, including building and growing a distributed business, as well as the gold standards of smart hiring and project management.
Future of Work Summit (TBA 2018)
This is a heady experience that examines the larger workforce shift that’s happening (think 4th Industrial Revolution-type sessions). Last year’s event featured a Who’s Who of remote and flexible work leaders from Fortune 500s and startups alike in Austin, Texas. If you want to rub elbows with pros from big-name companies such as IBM, Cisco, and coworking giant WeWork, consider requesting an invite to this exclusive two-day event next year.
The Global Coworking UnConference (multiple dates/locations worldwide)
Although this “unconference” has a distinct coworking angle, its agenda suggests that entrepreneurs and freelancers would find much of its content useful. Past sessions have included the independent workforce, self-employment, collaborative workspace, community building, the sharing economy, and the emergence of coworking as a rapidly expanding industry.
The DNX Conference for Digital Nomads & Lifehackers (Sept. 9-10, 2017, in Lisbon, Portugal)
Started by a location-independent duo who have been featured in a plethora of news outlets, this event is billed as an “event for change and transformation in all areas of life.” Whoa. Here you’ll find lots of nomad-friendly topics, such as e-residencies and business development while traveling. Need a kick in those pants you sometimes put on? Achieve your dreams (or at least get inspired) for just 247 Euros.
Running Remote Conference (June 23-24, 2018 in Bali, Indonesia)
The Running Remote Conference is geared those who run remote teams, or are considering it. According to the conference, you’ll learn “next-level, actionable strategies and tactics you can utilize the very next day to manage and grow your remote team.” Topics will include how to communicate across multiple countries, how to grow a remote team, how to motivate remote employees, and more.
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