5 Underserved Communities Who Benefit from Remote Work

I joined Jordan Digital Marketing in 2021 in large part because it offered a culture engineered around the concept of remote work. I’m a proud military spouse with a husband in the Navy, and while our family currently lives in San Diego, we know that can change at a moment’s notice. 

Working at a company that will let me build a career regardless of location provides an incredible feeling of both relief and reassurance. I’ve been able to throw myself into my career at JDM, learning skills and earning certifications (I got PHR-certified earlier this year) that will benefit both me and the company. I am emotionally and professionally invested in JDM, and I know the company feels the same way.

There are a lot of communities out there full of people like me: people whose life circumstances mean that remote work is the only real option. I’d like to introduce a handful of those communities in this post to open some eyes about the incredible people who can benefit from companies willing to offer at least the option of working remotely.

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1. Military Spouses 

Military spouses face a PCS (permanent change of duty station) every 2-4 years. Even when they’re in one place for an extended period of time, service members often have unpredictable hours, deployments, and duty days where they are not able to be home. These complications show up in employment statistics: 13% of military spouses (almost 4x the national average) are unemployed, and 32% are underemployed (working part-time or unable to use their licenses and certifications because of differences in state laws, which affects teachers, lawyers, nurses, and more).

Remote work allows military spouses flexibility to be present for home and family responsibilities and accommodates relocation. It means we can dive into our work with an eye on the long term, which benefits all parties.

 

2. Caregivers

Even if you don’t have kids (and I do!), most of us know working parents who have to juggle things like childcare, school drop-off and pickup, and parent-teacher meetings. It isn’t necessarily news that remote work offers great flexibility for working parents and other caregivers of kids.

One community that doesn’t get as much attention is caregivers for the elderly. There’s already a sizable group of professionals caring for their aging parents. As the US population ages, there will be a greater need for the workforce to assist their respective families with caregiving assistance - driving to medical appointments, administering medication during the day, etc. In some cases, remote work will be the only real option for these caregivers.

 

3. People with Medical Conditions / People with Disabilities

Commuting to an office and simply sitting at a desk can be challenges for people with disabilities and/or people with medical conditions like diabetes, endometriosis, and anxiety (to name a few). Remote work allows people to customize their workspaces to suit their individual needs in the comfort of their own homes. Some remote employers, like JDM, offer their team members a home office setup allowance that can help employees purchase or subsidize equipment like standing desks, desk treadmills, specialty desk chairs, large monitors, or any other items that will make work days easier.

 

4. Military Veterans Who Want to Live Near Bases to Access Services

Through their service, military veterans earn a host of benefits that are concentrated in and around military bases. Remote work allows veterans to choose to live near bases to access benefits including:

  • Commissaries: By law, these are required to deliver savings to shoppers over average prices found off base
  • MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) retail facilities: These include Exchanges (tax-free shopping!), access to free movie theaters on base, and discounted recreation (e.g. golf, bowling, etc.) tickets to local civilian activities 
  • VA health centers: While veterans are able to access civilian healthcare if they live outside the radius of care, there is often superior specialized care at VA (Veterans Affairs) hospitals


5. Rural Communities

People in distant rural communities face either limited access to jobs or long, expensive commutes. For many of these people, local jobs may not include a broad range of industries or wages that would be competitive on the open market.

Remote work opens a world of possibilities to folks living far outside of the traditional corridors of business. At JDM, we have team members working in states like Vermont and Alabama, which aren’t normally associated with digital opportunities. Great talent exists everywhere; great jobs should seek to engage it.

 


 

Employers in the tech industry (and many other industries) are still leaning into the challenge of building a more DEI-friendly workforce. If and when those conversations overlap with discussions about in-office, hybrid, or remote set-ups, consider the opportunities a remote option could present to communities like the above who often fly under the radar.

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