According to a new report from the Regional Assemblies of Ireland, people working in the east and midlands could be best prepared for a remote future.
New research from the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland sheds light on how prepared different parts of the country may be for remote working.
The Northern and Western, Eastern and Midlands, and Southern assemblies compiled a report that says more than one-quarter of people working in the private sector are capable of remote work – a total of 387,000. As of Q2 2020, around 186,000 of these would likely be based in Dublin.
It added that 253,600 people (65.5pc) in the east and midlands, 91,300 (23.6pc) in the south and 42,100 (10.9pc) in the north and west could be able to work remotely.
Within those regions, local authorities most prepared for remote working, according to the report, are Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Cork County, South Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Limerick City and County, and Cork City.
The report also assessed the number of privately and publicly owned co-working hubs currently available in Ireland. It found 67 in the north and west, 158 in the east and midlands, and 105 in the south.
The Regional Assemblies said the report does not provide a complete picture of remote working in Ireland, but aims to identify gaps and begin a process to increase the possibility of remote working through regional development, increased availability of co-working hubs, tax credits, and broadband connections.
It offers eight considerations for policymakers and private sector companies. This includes safeguarding funding for the National Broadband Plan so that up to 300 connection points can be installed across Ireland and facilitate remote working in rural communities.
Another suggestion is providing employers with a tax credit for every staff member permitted to work outside the company’s head office in Ireland.
An economist with the Regional Assemblies, John Daly, said that developing co-working hubs with high-speed broadband could unearth an “array of economic and environmental opportunities and stimulate inclusive recovery in our regions”.
“By supporting remote working, policy makers could help provide a wider range of options for workers and open opportunities for business solutions,” he said.
“This includes allowing some workers to live and work in geographical areas of their own choice, reducing business costs associated with commercial properties, staff retention and wellbeing benefits, access to greater pool of applicants and talent, increasing productivity, reducing traffic congestion, enhancing quality of life and family time and reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions from car usage.”