Five people stand on a hill with a view of Dublin behind them.
From left: ESB CEO Paddy Hayes, Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary, eBay senior director Hazel Mitchell, Grow Remote chair John Riordan and Liberty Insurance Ireland country manager Stuart Trotter. Image: Marc O’Sullivan

Four major Irish employers team up to launch new remote working alliance

27 Sep 2021

A group of Irish employers has teamed up with social enterprise Grow Remote to encourage other businesses to join a new remote working alliance.

As Covid-19 restrictions lift and companies are considering returning to offices, social enterprise Grow Remote is partnering with four leading employers in Ireland to form a new remote working alliance.

Vodafone, ESB, eBay and Liberty Insurance have all made commitments to allow their employees in Ireland to work remotely. Now, they hope to encourage more Irish employers to follow their lead

The alliance will collaborate with Grow Remote to develop resources to reach a broader range of employers in a bid to help provide remote working structures for their workers.

“We are at a critical turning point as restrictions lift and offices across Ireland begin to reopen. Employees want remote work, and the pressure is now on employers to implement effective remote and hybrid plans,” said Grow Remote director Renate Kohlmann.

“Companies are navigating the challenges and opportunities of remote and hybrid working, but there is no roadmap or tried-and-tested template for them to follow.

“We need real leadership from organisations who are managing this change. Our founding members are demonstrating bravery, forward-thinking and great leadership in committing to remote working and joining the alliance, and we’re calling on employers around Ireland to follow suit.”

Kohlmann said the alliance would be “a sandbox” for organisations to share how they are managing the transition to remote and hybrid working.

Paddy Hayes, chief executive of ESB, added: “As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to empower our people to work smarter, enjoy the benefits of an inclusive, flexible working culture and significantly reduce carbon emissions through remote and hybrid working.”

Hazel Mitchell, senior director at eBay, which has had a remote working model since 2017, said that joining the alliance would provide the company with access to a network of organisations “who want to learn from each other, share best practices and provide the best for their remote employees”.

“The talent in Ireland has been absolutely central to eBay’s success and with a remote working model we can tap into a highly skilled talent pool from across the country,” she added.

Stuart Trotter, country manager for Liberty Insurance, said his company had joined “to inspire other employers to embed remote working within their organisations in a sustainable way.”

He claimed that Liberty’s switch to remote and digital-first working was “hugely positive” for the business, its people and the wider community.

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, said her company had seen similar benefits arise from a way of working which initially began as a pandemic necessity.

“The impact of Covid-19 gave our organisation an opportunity to test, on a mass scale, what remote working would mean for us,” she said.

Since its founding in 2018, non-profit Grow Remote has developed 140 ‘chapters’ of remote workers all over Ireland and around the world. The chapters are led by local volunteers who give their time to support remote workers locally, or help people in their community to find remote jobs. The organisation also offers fully funded training programmes for jobseekers, employees and managers of remote teams.

“Ultimately our goal is to build an Ireland where employment is accessible no matter where people live,” concluded Kohlmann.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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