Data from the CSO shows that there are regional differences and inequalities when it comes to accessing childcare and remote hub services.
The average Irish residential dwelling is located 5.6km from a remote work hub and 1.6km from a childcare service. That’s according to new data published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (25 May).
The data comes from a February 2022 study that looked at how close households in Ireland are located to remote work hubs and childcare services.
It found that more than eight in 10 (82pc) of homes are less than 10km away from a remote work hub. Almost six in 10 (58pc) of homes are situated less than 1km from a childcare service.
As the Government seeks to embrace both flexible work and regional development, Ireland’s network of co-working hubs is growing right around the county.
But the CSO report provides insights on the current differences in service accessibility at a regional level.
Residential dwellings in Cork city (1.6km), Dublin city and Galway city (2.1km) have the shortest average distance to a remote work hub. Meanwhile, people living in Donegal (8.9km), Cork county and Meath (8.4km) have the longest distance to travel.
For childcare services, residents in Leitrim (3.2km), Roscommon (3km) and Mayo (2.9km) have the longest average distances to travel, while those in Dublin, Cork city and Galway city have the shortest.
Dermot Kinane, statistician with the CSO, highlighted the geographical discrepancies that emerged in the report.
“This report shows that almost six in 10 (58pc) residential dwellings in the State are situated less than 5km from a remote work hub. In Donegal this was just over four in 10 (41pc), whereas in Dublin city it was 97pc for the same distance,” he said.
“Almost one in three (33pc) residential dwellings in the State are situated less than 500 metres from a childcare service. This doubled to two in three (66pc) for residents in Dublin city but was just 15pc for those located in counties Monaghan, Roscommon and Donegal.”
Irish people’s attitude to remote work hubs
As part of Ireland’s five-year rural strategy, the Government launched the Connected Hubs network last year to make remote working more accessible across the country with new co-working and hot-desking facilities.
Barry Cahill, director of Taxback.com’s employee financial wellbeing service, said his organisation has done research into Irish people’s attitudes to the use of remote working hubs.
“We recently surveyed 1,000 people nationwide and found that six in 10 workers ‘love the idea’ of remote working hubs and would be willing to use one of the Government’s new Connected Hubs facilities, if there was one in their area.”
Cahill added that the new CSO report suggests that some areas of the country are much further along than others in terms of providing access to these hubs. “So there is more work to do – but we are moving in the right direction.”
He also said that a quarter of respondents to Taxback.com’s survey said they didn’t know what these hubs were.
This “isn’t altogether surprising, but perhaps in 12 to 24 months they will become much more mainstream”. He added that if the survey is anything to go by, uptake would be strong.
Earlier this week, the CSO published data showing that Ireland’s ICT workers are among the highest paid and educated workers in the country. However, just 32pc of Irish ICT workers were women in 2019.
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