At the first National Hubs Summit in Athlone, it was revealed that 5,500 remote workers benefitted from free hotdesks in the Connected Hubs voucher scheme.
The number of remote working hubs in Ireland’s national network will pass the 300 mark next week.
That was confirmed at the country’s first National Hub Summit, which took place today (24 November) in Athlone. The summit was organised to celebrate Ireland’s embrace of remote working hubs, and a series of initiatives were announced at the event.
The Connected Hubs Network was established 2021 to make remote working more accessible across the country post-pandemic and provide a boost to rural regions. It involves an online platform to help users to choose from a network of remote working hubs and hotdesks around the country.
The Government confirmed at the summit that more than 10,000 people will have registered on the Connected Hubs platform by the end of the year.
It added that more than 5,500 free hotdesks were provided in hubs across the country in recent months thanks to the Connected Hubs voucher scheme, which is running until the end of this year.
As well as these milestones, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, TD, announced the start of a new pilot scheme to match employers and employees to specific hubs.
The scheme will start in early 2023. It will introduce the concept of remote workers as ‘anchor tenants’ and the use of Connected Hubs as a second workplace for staff, with companies encouraged to form arrangements with hub managers.
In addition, local authorities outside of Dublin are being given a budget of up to €50,000 to promote their county to remote workers.
Speaking at the summit, which brought businesses, hub managers and policymakers together, Humphreys said remote working is now “an everyday reality for thousands of workers and businesses across this State.”
“We have made extraordinary strides in terms of remote working. My department alone has invested over €100m in developing state-of-the-art remote working facilities in every county in Ireland.
“Today’s summit is about bringing all the key stakeholders together – the hub users, remote workers themselves, policymakers, Government agencies and most importantly, businesses.”
Humphreys added that the summit was an opportunity to think about the next stage for Irish remote workers. She said she wanted to explore the idea of encouraging companies to provide a stipend for remote workers to cover the costs associated with using the hubs.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.