- Remote working has the potential to open up an array of economic and environmental opportunities for all our towns and villages
More than one in four private sector workers in Ireland is capable of working remotely and the development of co-working hubs with high speed broadband has the potential to open up an array of economic and environmental opportunities and stimulate inclusive recovery in our regions, a new report shows.
The Regional Co-Working Analysis – which was prepared by the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland – found that 387,000 private sector workers are capable of operating remotely in Ireland; with just over 186,000 likely to be based in Dublin as of Q2 2020.
The comprehensive Regional Co-working Analysis provides critical data that will assist in developing the potential of remote working in our regions, a pattern which has become the norm since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
Of the 387,000 or 27.4% of private sector workers capable of operating remotely in the analysis carried out earlier this year:
- 65.5% or 253,600 were based in the Eastern & Midland region
- 23.6% or 91,300 were based in the Southern region
- 10.9% or 42,100 were based in the Northern & Western region
Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach, Cllr David Maxwell said: “This is the single biggest opportunity for regional Ireland. Retaining remote workers in high value jobs is something we now have to incentivise, both across private and public sectors. It’s an opportunity to reimagine our towns, villages and urban areas“.
The 8 areas of consideration for policymakers include detailed consultation with private firms in sectors that are capable of operating remotely, seeking their views on factors that need to be addressed to allow employees to work remotely from co-working hubs on a permanent basis. It also suggests a nationwide survey be carried out on the current capacity of co-working hubs – both privately and publicly owned – in consultation with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Enterprise Ireland, the Regional Assemblies of Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.
The Regional co-working Analysis proposes a nationwide survey that identifies the ideal work location of private sector workers whose jobs are considered to be remote workable, while simultaneously identifying the up-to-date habits of commuters who have remote workable jobs.
The joint analysis suggests exploring the possibility of providing employers with a tax credit for every employee that is allowed to operate outside of its own head office in Ireland, as a means of encouraging private firms to let employees work in geographical locations of their own choice.
The analysis also urges policymakers to enhance the level of funding provided to the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and explore a range of match funding opportunities to deliver more co-working hubs within or close to Designated Regional Growth Centres and Key Towns as defined by each Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy and prominent rural communities. Resources from the European Regional Development Fund for such works should also be considered.
The final recommendation is that we safeguard funding for the National Broadband Plan to allow for the delivery of up to three hundred “Broadband Connection Points” across Ireland, providing remote working opportunities in rural communities.
The analysis also shows a total of 186,476 private sector workers in Dublin were likely to be capable of operating remotely, as of Q2 2020.