The Rise of Remote Work in the Mountains

And How to Make it Work

The remote work evolution is a menagerie of personalities and professions which allow for each individual to choose the benefits that best serve them. Some anchor in community and climate, others in convenience. The glamorized story of an amenity migrant yearning for a slower-paced life (previously unimaginable) close to nature is a new norm of emboldened remote work. Within the Valley, we find the local-gone-remote, nomadic vacationer, second homeowner COVID-convert, remote-by-design staffer and the convenient commuter.

A Future of Work report by UpWork predicts that 22% of Americans will become remote workers by 2025 — an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Expected challenges and unexpected benefits come with the modern workforce. Mountain towns can feel incumbent on tourism and real estate; whereas, remote workers bring decentralized industries to overlooked markets. As we strive for solutions to dial a collective win, we take a lens to how remote workers plug in.

Jeremy Slade, developer at Inntopia, headquartered in Vermont, previously worked at a brick and mortar until COVID forced a lease termination. When leadership chose to go fully remote, Jeremy transitioned to carpooling with his family from nearby Ski Cooper during the school year. With the more flexible schedule, he drops his wife in Edwards and kids at Stone Creek, then settles in at Basecamp Executive Suites in Avon. The transition allows him to design his days around family.

Craig Bettis, director of development for Sigma Coaching, is remote by design. As a former Commander of Vail Police Department, being a remote worker at GravityHaus’ StarterHaus is a foreign concept. “I was a time clock puncher. My home base and community existed within the structure walls. It’s weird after being told where to be for 22 years,” he shares.

Ground yourself in remote work beyond the benefit of reliable Wi-Fi and good coffee.

Photo by Charles Townsend Bessent

Encouraging Innovation to Open the Mind

Strike up a conversation. For Bettis, a simple hello translated into a local nonprofit meeting with which they now partner. In a community where relationships are often based on shared outdoor pursuits, a coworking space provides a novel area to comingle lifestyle and work passions. “I see the opportunity to connect with people I’ve known for years, yet have never been able to talk about the role of what I do,” he says. With staff who lovingly invest in members, you have a double dose of exposure potential. 

  • Inside: Create a creative sharing culture. Spearhead a member monthly mastermind to access the 1+1 = 3 concept, which is about synergy as a cooperative action (jointly.) When two individuals work toward a common goal, they are able to create a result which would not been possible as an individual.
  • Community: Attend a town council meeting. Join as a community member at the Vail Valley Partnership.

Give for the Better Good

You have a sweet remote life. Create a community win, too. We have 152 Vail Valley nonprofits. Be a math tutor with Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365. Join volunteer trail maintenance days with Vail Valley Mountain Trails Association. Regardless, align your company values, then ask your leadership for a local donation.

The Vail Valley is also rich with entrepreneurial businesses looking for out-of-the-box advisors. Start by contacting the Vail Valley Partnership for connection assistance.

Avoiding Isolation to Blast Burnout

Looking at personality types gives insight into isolation and engagement. The developer doesn’t require much face time and is content to check in and dive in. The creative craves and actively seeks to connect with fellow members. All are aware of the importance of managing one’s time.

Stressful travel can be a struggle when out of one’s elements. Fortunate to be trained for efficiency, Bettis’ three days per week at StarterHaus are dialed. Wrapping up his day, he books tomorrow’s gym class, schedules sauna and school pickup, then maximizes the time between. Despite having a home office, he prefers working at Gravity Haus. “Incorporating my true mission feels like freedom. Finding the time for self-efficacy layered with work productivity and family time is walking my walk.”

  • Inside: Set office hours. Book a pod for quiet. Regulate a tech-free lunch area.
  • Community: Allow for a powder day 6” rule, and schedule aprés hiking buddies.

Sync Up Sustainability

Remote work affords alignment with sustainability goals as well.

  • Inside: Lower your footprint through shared utilities and technology.
  • Community: Opt-in to Vail’s compost program and bike share.

Financially

Slade is fortunate to be reimbursed for his Basecamp membership. Bettis works to put skin in the game of affording membership. “As I sit in StarterHaus, I know I earned this moment. It comes at a cost: my wellness,” he explains.

  • Inside: Merge your gym, local coffee shop and coworking space to save.
  • Community: Save on rent with a smaller unit. Contribute to the local economy.

Fuel your alpine palette with neurological inspiration and outdoor adventures through the remote life. Soak in the regulars and get curious with guests. You never know where the conversation may lead.

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