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Beyond Convenience: Remote Work’s Transformative Impact on Inclusivity and Empowerment

December 11, 2023

Greater Rochester Chamber’s Talent Strategy Partner Melanie DellaPietra presented at DisruptHR Capital Region 3.0 this September to share how remote work can be a transformative tool to create a more inclusive and empowering society for us all. This is an important message she has learned through managing our Greater ROC Remote program, one of the largest remote work relocation programs in the country, and having connected with thousands of remote workers from all 50 states.

A survey of Greater ROC Remote program participants revealed that 60% of the Greater ROC Remote community has at least one disability. Furthermore, according to the CDC, 27% of all adults in the US have a disability. Employment of individuals with disabilities is at an all-time high, largely due to the accessibility of remote work. “While there is no one size fits all when it comes to work arrangements and individual productivity zones, for those who have found theirs in remote work, it’s been life-changing,” Melanie noted.

To hear more from Melanie and to hear the individual lived experiences of how remote work has changed the lives of some of our Greater ROC Remote participants, watch this video of Melanie’s presentation:

“Reality is complex, and when we force employees out of their ideal productivity zone, their ability to perform at their best is weakened,” Melanie advised, “Focus on output, not location. Be open to other perspectives, experiences, and ways of getting work done.” It’s important to understand that the sentiment “nobody wants to work anymore” is rooted in exclusion, and hurting companies and their DEI efforts by closing doors to thousands of workers who would otherwise be able to make important contributions to their organizations. Remote work is a powerful tool to expand DEI work and help disabled employees be their best.

To learn more about the Greater ROC Remote program, please visit


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