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Central Iowa Broadband Survey: Remote Work Challenges

Remote Work Challenges

For residents looking to learn more about the Central Iowa Broadband Survey, the Greater Des Moines Partnership has put together virtual forums so that participants can hear directly from residents on how broadband has impacted their lives. During the final session, “Remote Work Challenges,” panelists included the following:

The group focused on remote work challenges in Greater Des Moines (DSM) and how work will be defined in the future as not somewhere you go, but something you do to add income to your family.

How Remote Work Has Changed

Ballard pointed out three ways in which remote work has recently been discussed by the IEDA. This has included focusing on:

  • Workforce attraction and building a highly-trained workforce in Iowa
  • Economic recovery following the pandemic
  • Flexibility with telework within IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) offices

In order to work from home, a fast and reliable broadband connection is essential. There is a challenge in recruiting executive employees, along with their spouse who may need to work remotely, as well as team members’ ability to work from home or some other location. When hiring, it’s important to be an employer of choice for your community and state, but also in the country and globally and be able to provide work-from-home team members with access to what they need in a company network.

Recent remote work findings imply that remote work is here to stay, but just not for everyone. Ballard outlined that the share of people that are working full-time remotely is shrinking, dropping from 52% at the height of the pandemic. She also discussed research on hybrid work and adapting workplaces for a hybrid environment. Employees looking for absolutes are in the minority, while people who want to work a few days in the office and a few days from home are the majority. DeJear pointed out that employers will need to make sure systems are at the capacity they need to be at when workers do return to the office because virtual meetings will still happen. Therefore, many employers will need to consider improving their infrastructure to support this hybrid model of work.

How Entrepreneurs Have Grown in DSM Through Remote Work

McDougal spoke on the power of being able to teleport through remote work. He said that we should be leaning into entrepreneurship and innovation while focusing on how virtual communication is an opportunity for leveraging employee skills. Virtual meetings allow for many efficiencies when interacting with a wider selection of people.

Watch the full webinar below:


For more information on these broadband forums, visit DSMpartnership.com.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) has one of the best business climates in the country. The region is nationally recognized for having a talented and educated workforce, a cost of doing business 13% below the national average, a low cost of living and an exceptional quality of life.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.