Could Queenstown become ZOOMtown?

December 7 2020 by Trent Yeo – Ziptrek Ecotours

This year’s COVID-19 crisis created shockwaves, putting our personal health and safety to the test and severely disrupting the way we do business. 

The silver lining is that it’s inspired a lot of us to rethink the way we work. Necessity is the mother of adaptation and this disruptor has created the largest global “work-from-home” experiment in history which has fast-forwarded us through years of trial and error.

Remote and flexible working isn’t new to lots of people, particularly the self-employed or digital nomads, who’ve been digitally mobile or part of globally distributed teams for years. But now others are seeing the opportunities and looking to adapt their business models.

Let’s redesign the way we work and invest in the right tools and strategies to work smarter - not harder - for the health, wellbeing and sustainability of our people, business and Aotearoa.
As our workforces become increasingly digitised, work from home (#wfh) or work from anywhere (#wfa) have become normal in our district. With good digital infrastructure, transport connectivity, a great lifestyle, co-working spaces and remote-friendly cafes, and existing remote worker communities, we could feasibly become a ‘Zoom Town’. If we diversify our economy we can focus more on our local talent, target investment in start-ups and side hustles as well as tapping into the returning Kiwi ‘brain gain’ and promoting ourselves as a ‘workcation’ destination for those looking to combine work and holiday.

But as always there needs to be a balance. We need to stay socially connected because lockdown reminded us how much we value in-person interaction. There are some excellent tools and techniques for distributed teams to efficiently connect and communicate which we could learn more about. We could also shift some emphasis from our professional life to personal, such as ‘flexing’ our schedules around catchups with family and friends, activities or community volunteering.

Can we frontfoot our learnings from one of the most unusual years in history? RemoteTogetherNZ aims to do just that – be a conduit for accelerated learning, innovation and collaboration bringing transformative change…to you! The Queenstown Lakes-based festival (8-13 March) is the first of its kind in NZ with the objective of bringing thought leaders and remote/flexible working experts together to help Kiwis review, redesign and reset their strategies and business models for future success. We’ll also discuss opportunities for brain gain, side-hustles and the gig economy to help personal and organisational development.
The programme features four learning pathways tailored to self-employed, returning Kiwis, small-medium enterprises, and larger organisations which include roundtable discussions, masterclasses and networking sessions.

Visit www.remotetogethernz.com.

Join us on the journey and let’s be remote – together.

- Trent Yeo – Ziptrek Ecotours
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