The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 40% of Americans will work at home in some form by 2020. Harbor Springs is taking advantage of this trend and working preemptively to make the area a hotspot for remote workers. The newly proposed co-working space, under the working title Remote Office/ Home Office or ROHO, will give remote workers of all types a place to focus, work, and connect with others.
Distractions, isolation, and a lack of reliable technology are often named as some chief concerns among remote or at-home workers. The Harbor Springs ROHO space proposed by HARBOR Inc. solves these problems for the area’s home-based business owners, consultants, artists, and other workers.
“A vibrant home-based business group has a number of positive impacts on the community,” Rachel Smolinski, HARBOR Inc. Executive Director, said in a statement. “Members of that group can be more successful by sharing their experiences and expertise with each other.”
“That success helps other small businesses in the area when they provide more of their products and services. We believe it also has the power to attract more residents. That sells more houses and could also add students to our excellent schools.”
HARBOR Inc., a grassroots, non-profit based in Harbor Springs, focuses on community and economic development and has a history of effectively using technology to advance community goals. Its previous programs have helped to advance digital literacy in the area and improve broadband.
The ROHO proposal leverages existing networks within HARBOR Inc. to create a foundation of interested remote workers and raise the projected $120,000 to open the space and fund it for three years.
The ROHO co-working space will give remote workers access to fast, reliable broadband, a conference and community space, a private working area, and other office amenities and technologies. Located in downtown Harbor Springs, workers will also have access to a vibrant community. Membership will be open to any remote workers, including seasonal visitors and non-residents of Harbor Springs.
The ROHO space provides an opportunity for young, working professionals to stay in the area, gives aging residents a nearby work station with community involvement, and gives vacationers a way to extend their getaway.
Design plans and fundraising are currently underway with completion projected for July, 2017. To make a tax-deductible donation or learn more, visit www.harborinc.org or contact Rachel Smolinski at (231) 526-5060 or Rachel@harborinc.org.
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