Getting ready for Running Remote 2024: Sessions We’re Most Excited About

Running Remote Conference 2024

These days, we are preparing for, what is now becoming an annual, detour to Lisbon – can you guess the reason?

Well, of course, it’s that time of the year – Running Remote is once again coming to Lisbon, and My Coliving Space: Spain (T&T) is joining as a media partner. 

After another year working in the coliving sector, we have witnessed many changes in 2023-2024 on the remote-work front ourselves.

This is the first time in our history that we are experiencing the possibilities of such a wide variety of professionals being able to be location-independent. With such a shift in how we look at work and what we value, these first 5 years are only paving the path we will standardize in the future – or to better say it – this is still only the beginning of the new working culture

And like with many other beginnings, changes and shifts are happening quickly, and it is the same for remote work. 

What we have been noticing through the coliving sector is also a shift in tendencies and a change of personas. We have been seeing many more coliving visitors with not fully remote jobs but 2-3 weeks/year WFA models. 

During the past 2 years many companies have experimented with work models and a lot of them chose hybrid as the best option. Surprisingly, many professionals did as well. 

It seems that there is an increased need for stability, routine, and team connection in the workplace – something that everybody was willing to give up for more flexibility and independence after decades of office work.

It’s been almost 100 years since humanity was introduced with the 9-5 model; is the remote era going to be the end of it and show how with more flexibility (time and location wise), productivity and human innovation thrive?

Well, all these questions are the reason we’re excited about this year’s Running Remote

As professionals from the sector that is highly dependent on location flexibility, we’re curious to see how it can be shaped in the future to answer the newly emerging (and sometimes even conflicted) needs of the new work-life culture.

What will the future of work be – Remote, Hybrid, or In-office? 

As previously mentioned – this is the biggest question. The truth probably lies somewhere in between – in some type of hybrid model that we might not even have in mind at this moment.

Flexibility is not something that can be taken back, but stability and in-person connections are something that we have to get back. 

On the other hand, a big part of this decision comes from productivity. Where are we more productive and where do we set the best work-life balances?

These questions, we’ll explore on RR 2024, but here are speeches on this topic we’re especially interested in hearing:

Office at the Offsite – Future of All-Remote Organizations

Speaker: Mr. Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, Professor @ Harvard Business School

On April 23rd, from 10:20 – 11:00 local time, on Radical stage, Mr. Raj Choudhury, a professor at Harvard Business School, will share his thoughts on what hybrid work could mean in the future. 

When we say hybrid, what most of us think is “a few days from the office and a few days from home”. However, Professor Choudhury proposes an idea of a hybrid work that meets the in-person connection needs in a third location. As he says himself, “his research suggests that teams are innovating on both where to meet and when to meet”. 

Companies are more and more exploring retreats as one of the offsite community outlets for their teams, but what if there are more possibilities other than an annual company retreat? Dr. Choudhury will talk about different locations and situations where and when remote teams can meet. 

Once again mentioning Dr. Raj’s own words, “his research shows that even brief periods of being in-person together help individuals innovate, especially when they meet team members from different time zones or different cultures”.

For us, this speech seems very interesting as it shows us that the future will birth new solutions to meet the needs of this new wave of hybrid work. Downtown offices and coworking solutions will not suffice, and this definitely gives space for new models of coliving spaces specialized for remote teams.

Panel – Productivity Measurement of Co-located vs Remote Teams

Panelists: Jenny He, Founder & CEO @ Ergeon; Dart Lindsley, Strategic Advisor, People Experience @ Google; Michael Cockburn, CEO & Co-Founder @ Desena; & Rosie Sargeant, Project Leader @ Boston Consulting Group

April 23rd, from 11:40 to 12:20 local time, after refueling with coffee and sandwiches, we will be back at the Radical stage to attend a panel discussing a crucial point of the future of work – productivity.

We are looking forward to this systematic discussion among global leaders on how they measure productivity and whether remote work shows more positive or negative results on productivity

Opinions have been changing throughout the years, but they mostly showed that productivity was actually increased with remote work and that a typical struggle is for leaders and companies to set tools and work models that would support and measure productivity in a remote setting. 

With so many years of WFO models, models for measuring work seem to already be set in stone, but can they actually work in remote settings?

For leaders and companies, this might be the biggest challenge and the most frequent disinclination towards giving their teams the flexibility to work remotely. However, if with time tools and models for leading, supporting, and measuring the productivity of remote teams become more available, will more companies and leaders feel confident to step their toes into those waters?

There is definitely something to think about there, so we’ll be very excited to hear the opinions on it from leaders who have faced these situations themselves.

How different locations are attracting remote workers?

Another interesting perspective for us is the global trend of countries and cities to attract digital nomads

This is a very dual topic that can be perceived from both positive and negative sides. On one hand, globalization and open borders are definitely a thing of today (and the future), not only from perspectives of knowledge sharing that happens via international networks of travelers or foreigners in new places but also from the perspective of economic leverage of international talent that countries are tapping into.

However, on the other hand, gentrification is also a thing of today (but hopefully not the future). Many countries have rushed to open their borders to generate more economic value only to pose economic challenges to their own people.

The idea of bringing (wealthier) people to countries that are facing economic challenges is a double-edged sword and the best approach on how countries can do it is something that is being tested in real-time and will take shape only in the future.

In general, if done carefully and by protecting the local habitants, bringing remote workers to the countries or cities that face challenges and low population, or just a decrease in popularity, definitely has a lot of benefits to it. 

With that said, we are glad to see a few topics close to this on this year’s RR, and here are the speeches we’ll look into:

Impact of building the most successful remote work relocation program in the world

Speaker: Justin Harlan, Managing Director @ Tulsa Remote

At 12:20 – 12:50 on April 23rd, on the Deep Dive Stage, we will hear from Justin Harlan, the Managing Director of Tulsa Remote, a relocation program to Tulsa aimed at remote workers. 

This is a very interesting concept and definitely something that we will see more in the future – cities or countries creating special programs aimed at remote workers to enhance the local economy and reshape and modernize the local environment. 

In the past years, we have already been seeing countries such as Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, offering these programs aimed at populating rural areas with the decline of population, but we definitely expect to see more of these programs aimed at professionals and remote workers, such as Tulsa Remote. 

What is especially interesting is not the program itself but the infrastructure and the community of remote workers that will reshape the city. It will be very interesting to see what Tulsa Remote is offering beyond the 10000 USD incentive and how this is expected to change the city in the future. 

The program has already attracted around 3000 remote workers who moved to Tulsa and contributed more than $560 million to the local economy.

We’re very excited to hear Justin speak about this program and the impact that is already being generated from it.

How to enable your next remote experience in Buenos Aires?

Speaker: Mauro Alejo Guevara, Director of Int’l Relations @ Visit Buenos Aires

From 16:10 – 16:40 on April 24th, on the Radical Stage, we will join the speech from Mauro Alejo Guevara, Director of International Relations at Visit Buenos Aires. 

Last year, we also tuned it for the speech from Visit Buenos Aires and learned some things about the city and what makes it attractive for digital nomads. 

This year, we expect the focus to be more on the possibilities for remote workers and companies to visit or settle for a bit in Buenos Aires, as well as the infrastructure that makes this city a true hub for remote workers. 

There are many other speeches we are looking forward to but let’s leave those for real-time reactions and a post-conference summary. 

What speeches have you written down in your schedule and what are you looking to get from this year’s Running Remote?

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