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Government Initiatives to Encourage More Remote Working in Rural Communities

The Government announced new plans to help encourage greater use of remote working hubs that have been set-up across the country. Workers will be given vouchers for three days’ use of these hubs, totalling an estimated 10,000 days and saving remote workers approx. €75 depending on the rates charged.

The three days can be used at any remote working hub nationwide and are not restricted to one. They must be used before the end of August and in order to avail of the scheme, people must register by setting up a profile on Connectedhubs.ie.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphries also announced €50,000 in funding for each local authority in the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which will be used to market and promote remote working.

Five million euro has also been secured to improve 81 remote working facilities. This funding can be used to expand hubs, install privacy booths, convert existing open-plan space to modular office space and upgrade networking and conferencing facilities.

There are currently 242 remote working hubs, which is around 60pc of the 400 promised under the Government’s five-year Our Rural Future plan.

According to the CSO’s ‘Our lives online’ survey from November 2021[1], just under nearly two thirds (65%) of employees were working remotely all or some of the time. Of those who could work remotely, 88% wanted to continue to do so, with six in ten of these wishing to do so some of the time.

Our own HR Barometer Report 6.1 found that the average percentage of workforce working remotely some of the time stands at 48%, with 19% of the workforce working remotely full-time.

There’s no doubting the Government’s full support for remote working and how it will help boost rural development and local economies. It’s also evident from our research that employers see remote and flexible working as the most important initiative in supporting in recruitment, retention and improving employee health & wellbeing.
 

 


[1] https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/fp/fp-psolo/pulsesurvey-ourlivesonline-remoteworknovember2021/workingremotely/

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