Since 2015, the United Nations has been working on its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are 17 related and integrated goals that are “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.”
FlexJobs highlighted how remote work can help meet many of these 17 goals. Through work flexibility, issues like poverty, inequality, and the environment can be impacted positively.
Here, we’re focusing on Goal 10, reducing inequality, and how remote work can play a part in the solution.
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Within Goal 10 are targets the UN hopes to achieve by 2030. Two of those targets are: “By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population at a rate higher than the national average” and “Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage, and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality.”
Economic development is a step in reducing inequality among our cities and states. Flexible work can bring jobs to those who may not otherwise have access. Flexible work can provide better salaries, reduce expenses for workers, and therefore boost the local economy.
According to research from the World Economic Forum, the job market in rural areas is 4.26% smaller now than in 2008. In 2018, FlexJobs partnered with Teleworks USA to help close the urban vs. rural employment gap, specifically in Eastern Kentucky, which has an unemployment rate that’s nearly double that of urban areas.
Through the FlexJobs and Teleworks USA partnership, Kentucky residents were given access to remote jobs, training on working remotely, and assistance with preparing for virtual job interviews. As a result, 334 remote jobs were created for eastern Kentucky residents.
Other local city and county organizations are making similar efforts. Logan County, Colorado’s Economic Development Corporation, also partnered with FlexJobs to increase access to legitimate remote jobs in their region for people who otherwise wouldn’t have thought or known about the option of remote jobs for employment.
And Soloworks in New Mexico is a “micro” economic development program that is training and connecting workers to remote out-of-state jobs with the vision of creating a new economic base for rural communities.
FlexJobs members who live in rural areas and found a flexible job from FlexJobs point out the necessity of remote work:
“I live in rural Arkansas. … Being able to make from-home earnings [that are] much higher than the average pay for my area is wonderful. In no time, I’ll be able to purchase a new car, but this job is going so well I plan to travel the world and continue to do this work…” —Mandi
“We had just moved to a rural area and in order to continue working in my field, I would need to commute an hour each way daily. … I thought that I had to choose between having a career and having time with my family because that had been my choice for many years. Now I realize that I can do just about anything remotely, and I love it!” —Jennifer
Not only does remote work increase access to jobs and steady income, but it can also give people the time to volunteer and help those in their communities. FlexJobs readers have expressed how remote work gives them increased time in their schedules to help others and reduce inequalities:
“I am passionate about children and early education. I’d like to volunteer at a low-income elementary school by helping out in the classroom, help run a school event (book fair) or after-school program (spelling bee, robotics, tutoring). With very little funding, teachers and school admin can only do so much.” —Camille
“I recently started teaching English to refugee children and adults. I am enjoying it so much that I am considering trying to find a way to do it full-time!” —CP
“If I had more time, I would like to volunteer with a literacy advocacy organization. There are way too many children and adults who are illiterate or are barely literate. Illiteracy can have long-lasting effects on a person in regard to education and jobs, not to mention self-esteem. That is what I would spend my extra time doing.” —Julie F.
Learn More About Remote Work’s Impact on the Sustainable Development Goals
FlexJobs has a full break down on how remote work can assist with many of the SDGs. Check it out for more details.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
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