The City of Vernon is seeking the input of people who work remotely or out of non-traditional office space to learn how to better support these “hidden professionals.”
The hidden professional movement is on the rise globally and the City wants to gain a fuller understanding of this existing cluster of professionals in order to better assist them and to quantify their socio-economic contributions to the region.
“We know there are people who live in our community that are making significant contributions and who are often exporting their services and bringing new money into our economy,” said Kevin Poole, Vernon’s manager of economic development and tourism. “We’re conducting this research to measure these contributions while gaining a full understanding of how business support agencies can better meet their needs.”
Poole said as Vernon is already well positioned to attract and retain this type of professional, the City wants to make sure they’re doing all they can to this end.
“The City recognizes that this group presents an emerging economic opportunity,” Poole said. “People choose Vernon for a variety of reasons, from lifestyle to climate, recreation amenities to our fibre optic capabilities, just to name a few.”
The City of Vernon has partnered with Urban Systems Ltd. to conduct research regarding the region’s hidden professionals. Urban Systems is coming to the table to pilot the research and identify these individuals.
“The needs of these hidden professionals are often different than other traditional home-based businesses and it’s important to draw that distinction between the groups,” said Wayne Robert, management consultant of Urban Systems. “Often, we see that there is a large social aspect that needs to be fulfilled. It’s important to find ways to manifest an inclusive work environment that truly supports them and keeps them in the community. This sometimes requires thinking outside the box of a traditional suite of business needs or services.”
Hidden professionals are asked to complete the survey at www.vernon.ca/hidden-professional-survey.