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New festival in Queenstown encourages working revolution - RemoteTogetherNZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"If you could work anywhere in the world, where would you go?"

The inaugural ‘RemoteTogetherNZ’ festival, launching in Queenstown this November, brings together thought leaders from around New Zealand and abroad to focus on how we can design the way we work to enhance our quality of life.

The 12-day festival runs 2-13 November and is a deep dive into all aspects of a flexible workplace. It will provide clarity, guidance and tools to individuals and organisations at different stages of remote working to help them redesign their workplace and live their aspirations.

With professional development, networking opportunities, free access to co-working spaces, wellbeing activities and time to enjoy Queenstown’s vibrant outdoor lifestyle, scenery and experiences, the festival embodies the freedom and benefits of remote working.

There are more than 40 online and in-person activations to choose from including workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions, facilitated conversations, and networking events. These will be centred around exploring five remote working themes: creativity|collaboration, productivity|tools, wellbeing|people, sustainability|regeneration, and space|place.

Programme highlights include:

- Psychological Management for Leaders of Remote Teams with Sarb Johal

- Engaging Untethered Teams with Kristen Swanson from Slack

- Remote Workers Online Collaboration Toolkit with Erica Austin and Jane Guy

- Building a Brain Gain Manifesto with Colart Miles

- Investing in a Remote World with Jason Wilby

- Building Highly Connected Remote Teams by Rachel Garret of Shopify

The festival is led by well-known business and events entrepreneurs Trent Yeo, DK and Scott Kennedy. It has attracted the support of various New Zealand organisations including the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Tourism New Zealand, NZTE, StatsNZ, Edmund Hillary Fellowship, Kea New Zealand, Queenstown Lakes Women, Startup Queenstown Lakes, Mountain Club, MiPad, Sherwood, Lululemon, Mons Royale, and Real Journeys.

Mr Yeo believes that the content and timing of the festival is vital in response to the seismic shift that businesses and workers have had to make this year.

"The future has crashed into the present over the last six months - it feels like we’ve fast-forwarded 10 years because the impacts of COVID-19 have forced us to reassess the future of our workplaces and make a quantum leap in remote working practices and mindsets.

"While some businesses were already moving away from an ‘under one roof’ model to more of a ‘hub and spokes’ approach with co-working spaces and remote workers, many others have had to make the transition in a matter of days and weeks.

"The remote world is here to stay and Aotearoa has a great opportunity to be a global leader. Our country is remote by nature but in terms of productivity, efficiency and lifestyle, we tick all the boxes. We need to consider how we can use these advantages to proactively change the way we work and connect with others so that we don’t just survive, we thrive.

"RemoteTogetherNZ aims to be a vehicle for change. We want to change the way we work by design, not default. Our goal is to move people at different stages of the remote working spectrum - from start-up to scale-up - efficiently and empathetically to higher capability. This will allow us to transcend our current ‘moat’ of safety, take a mature and holistic view of work, and build globally impactful businesses from New Zealand with asynchronous, distributed workforces," said Mr Yeo.

RemoteTogetherNZ will explore questions including:

- How do we stay connected and create a community of support with more and more of us working remotely?

- How can we make extra money on the side doing the things we love?

- How do we harness the unique opportunity to optimise the ‘brain gain’ created as more Kiwis return home from overseas?

- Are our 1 million Kiwis overseas recognising the opportunities now in NZ?

Visit to view the programme and to book tickets. The Earlybird All Access Pass is $175+GST and covers entry to all events and the co-working hub. Some extra activities, supplementary to the festival, are discounted.

The festival will follow all COVID-19 protocols including contact tracing, physical distancing and sanitisation. All festival tickets are fully refundable.

For updates, ideas and discussions follow @remotogether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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