PORTLAND, Maine — A new nonprofit has an idea for getting more companies, large and small, to locate in Maine: Don’t try for the whole company.On Monday, the group Work in Place will officially launch in Portland, during the third annual Maine Startup and Create Week, with plans to host a national conference in Maine’s largest city next spring to bring location-independent workers together.As they learn more about people who have a boss but not necessarily a fixed office, they want to provide a professional network and support, too.“We’re not evangelizing remote work, and we don’t need to at this point in time — it’s already happening,” said Misty McLaughlin, who co-founded the group with her husband, Michael Erard.The group aims to host events centered on that growing segment of the workforce, in part to help policymakers and economic development officials consider new approaches in a far-flung place such as Maine, which Erard wrote should be “low-hanging fruit.”
More evidence the decentralization of knowledge work and its dispersal across the United States is starting to gain momentum.
It’s no wonder knowledge workers are seeking alternatives to costly, congested metro areas. There’s really no need to work in them now that information and communications technology has matured to the point that knowledge work can be performed independent of location.
To facilitate this megashift in where people work and live, there is an essential infrastructure component that’s needed, especially in poorly connected states like Maine: Universal, affordable fiber to the premise (FTTP) telecommunications infrastructure.