“Remote work levels the playing field for professionals in most industries. Your physical location doesn’t matter, neither does your gender, age, ethnicity, physical ability or sexuality. For businesses, it is not only a way to get the best talent into your business, but it’s also an opportunity to hold onto them,” says Jo Palmer founder of Pointer Remote Roles, a remote workforce solutions company that helps businesses find the best talent for their organisations.
What began as a passion project for Palmer to help her “clever girlfriends” who’d married farmers find meaningful work; has graduated to become a full-scale business. Pointer Remote Roles now matches employers and job seekers with remote work opportunities all over the country.
Given the focus of her business, it’s no surprise Palmer is a big advocate for the benefits of remote work for both employer and employee.
“If employees have flexibility, they work hard for you and are far less likely to jump ship for your competitor, she says.
“It’s an amazing way to get diversity into your organisation. You have lower overheads as you are not paying for a desk in an office for them. [There is the] environmental impact, less commuting means fewer emissions. And employees who balance life with work are more productive.”
Indeed, Palmer believes flexible work is not the future of work it is the “now of work”.
“We have hundreds of professionals currently looking for remote work on our platform. We have also helped businesses from across Australia tap into a talent pool they had never considered before. We have been able to help people in drought, fire and flood-affected areas find meaningful and rewarding work, at the same time as helping businesses fill positions in their organisations while saving them money and making an impact environmentally.”
As the founder of Pointer Remote Roles, Palmer also walks the talk. Despite being a rural-based business, Palmer has been able to attract top talent to her team, thanks to her flexible approach.
“I have been able to build a team of employees and contractors from across Australia who are specialists in their field. We have an amazing company culture and we catch up in person as frequently as time and location permits. I have extremely low overheads and my team actually have a life! They pick up kids from school, they play sport and they get more work done than I could imagine.”
Still, the journey has not been without challenges. Being a rural-based business can make networking difficult but Pointer has been able to facilitate a workaround.
“We get around it by encouraging video calls with people we connect with via LinkedIn. I often reach out to events to ask if they will live stream so we can ‘attend’ and we often get a great response from organisers.”
However, her biggest challenge to date, came when she was chosen as one of 12 finalists in the St George Kick Start competition. Pitching to a crowd of 1000s at TEDxSydney was a daunting experience.
“It was scary as hell!” exclaims Palmer. “But it was one of the most amazing experiences. From the coaching you receive, the pitch experience itself and the novelty cheque was such a pivotal moment for my business.
“Winning the $40,000 grant allowed me to scale my business, which I’d never thought was possible. Thanks to the Kick Start program we’ve been able to help more companies connect with the talent they need in their business, remotely.
“With no marketing budget, getting our business name and concept out there was a challenge. Because many businesses don’t think to employ this way, they don’t often Google – ’employing remotely!!’”
The St.George Kick Start funding injection permitted Palmer to take on her first fulltime employee. Adding another team member has allowed Palmer to expand the reach of her business, getting the word out on Pointer Remote. This has given her access to more clients and potential positions for remote workers.
“This increase in jobs has meant talented professionals who live in rural Australia have been able to access the same jobs as those in the city. This has created incredible opportunities for those in rural areas impacted by the ongoing drought and the recent bushfires,” Palmer explains.
As word of mouth for Pointer Remote Roles grows, Pointer continues to champion the benefits of the remote worker. She urges businesses to give flexible work and remote work options a try.
“I think every truly amazing remote worker is motivated, efficient, fantastic at time management and will forever give you more bang for your buck than you could imagine as an employer!”
Find out more about Pointer Remote Roles
To apply for St.George Kick Start you must be an Australian resident and over the age of 18 years of age. For more information see FAQs.
For more information on the St.George Kick Start program and how to apply, visit https://www.stgeorge.com.au/business/kickstart