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Rural offices

Leverage the high quality of life in rural villages of Italy to further release the pression from the urban areas

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
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Rethink the business or businesses distributed in a network of villages and farms in the rural area, in this case in Italy in the Appennino mountains of Piemot, Liguria and Emilia Romagna, but it could be everywhere. 

Why? 

COVID-19 has created the opportunity to accellerate digital transformation in businesses and in the population. During the shut down many companies had their employees working from home. Of course for people that are used to this type of work this is not such a big deal, still for many companies, organizations and people it was something new and it has happened. 

The thing is that if companies are able to keep carrying on this digital transformation it might be worth also to start asking some questions as business and as employees. 

Do I need a big office in one big city? 

Are all those business travels necessary? 

Do I really need to live in the city? 

What could be the alternative? 

Think about saving commuting time, some workers in Milaan might commute 2 to 6 hours a day from the urban areas around the city. Major saving in CO2, travel cost, time and stress, win win for both business and employees. 

There are not many things I am sure of but I believe most of the people leaving in the cities want to escape the city driving to the countryside as soon as they can. 

As a  brand with a vision you could think further. Think about creating a tribe and culture distributing your teams across a couple of small valleys in the country side of Italy. Houses are cheap, you might buy half village with 1 million dollars. 

This could turn really interesting if you could convince some other companies doing the same and create a distributed business ecosystem in the rural area. 

Options are many, one could be partnering with the municipality and create meeting rooms and services like cafés, lunch rooms, shopping area, inside and outside gym, restoring old buildings in the village and residential areas or restore and renew old houses and farms as residetials.

When needed face to face work could happen in the rural offices, while when working from home employees can enjoy beatyful views on the valleys. No commuting, less stress. Going to the meeting rooms in the village from your house could be done with a horse, jogging, taking an electric mountain bike or with the public electric bus, or simply walking between 1 or 2 kilometers among the woods. 

Villages wil come to life again, business wil realise that with digital transformation they can be less dependent from the city, urban areas wil become less populated, and glocal craftsmanship wil rise again. 



What is the need are you focusing on?

Distributed teams, distributed population, less pression on cities, higher quality of lives, more productivity, less costs, revitalize and nurture rural areas as nursery of talent.

What is the best example of business adaption you’ve seen in response to COVID-19?

I believe that for several SMEs and Large companies in Italy letting their employees working from home was a big step, some might get a bad experience, hopefully most of them will see benefits not only in cost savings but in productivity. In Spain hotels have offered their services as shelter for patients. Microsoft has pushed Team to the schools, I have seen my kid 12 years old making video calls with Teams, big move one might say from a dinosaur like Microsoft getting into teenagers video calling and chatting among schoolkids.

What is your profession?

I am a service designer

Where are you located (country)?

Netherlands at the moment

Where are you located (region)?

  • Europe

Which industry do you work in?

  • Agriculture/Farming
  • At Home Parent
  • Business/Consulting
  • Customer Experience/Service
  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)
  • Education
  • Entrepreneur/Investor
  • Healthcare/Medical
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your submission? Are you participating in these efforts?

I am collaborating in another hackaton the global hack with this idea https://www.reddit.com/r/theglobalhack/comments/frhfye/the_living_room_webcam_help_families_and_older/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

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