Inspiring work on behalf of social justice takes place all over the world. But if one is getting paid to do social justice work, the default setting for this inspiring work is an office.
Here at Provide, our work is to ensure abortion is accessible to all women in the United States. Focusing on Southern states and rural communities, we help professionals who care for women play a role in making abortion access to their clients and patients. We have an office, but most of this inspiring work takes place outside of it – in coffee shops in Kentucky, in home offices in North Carolina, on the road in Tennessee. To do this work well, we have an organizational practice of remote work.
Any organizational practice functions best when it offers clear gains for the organization and its mission. For us, a remote work culture offers at least three.
First, remote work is needed to make change around a complex issue like abortion. The places we work are distinct and an ‘on-the-ground’ presence is required in our strategy for moving abortion in hard places. We produce more effective change when we can leverage local relationships and more sustainable change when we can support ‘in place’ capacity.
Second, our practice of remote work asks the whole organization to exercise muscles that help us move the issue of abortion. It requires us to live the best practice of proactively maintaining productive relationships. It also asks us all to hold difference among our colleagues, honoring the benefit of different life experiences, backgrounds, and work styles and avoiding the homogenizing effect that can come with an office-based work culture.
Third, it is another tool to bring talent into our vibrant organization, opening our team to individuals from different places around the country and within project states.
We created this blog is to share what we’ve learned – in particular, that remote work isn’t just for tech people and Fortune 500 companies, for speedily coding a new program or for saving big companies big money. Remote work can help social justice happen, too.