Investment in remote working is critical to rural Ireland’s economy, a Fine Gael European Parliament candidate has said.
Maria Walsh, candidate for the Midlands North-West was speaking as An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar joined her in Galway today (Friday 17th) meeting with remote digital workers in the city.
Maria said: “Remote Working is growing at a fast pace across the country with the West and North West making great strides in developing hubs for workers to have space, support and a sense of being a part of a vibrant entrepreneurial community. It is estimated 216,000 people in Ireland are working from home or from a co-working space.
“Hubs such as the PorterShed in Galway speaks to the promise of a balanced, growing economy where entrepreneurs deliver the jobs of the future. It is beneficial for the economy and enriches the communities in terms of people, experience and culture. This innovative hub provides a co working space that fosters collaboration between entrepreneurs. It is focused on boosting Galway’s technology ecosystem and runs an intensive programme of business and cultural events.”
Maria is a strong advocate for the sustainable growth of rural Ireland. She believes that the future of work and employment is critical to the rural towns and villages across the West and North West as it is to urban centre’s.
Maria continued: “By 2025, 75% of all workers will be millennials. These people want flexibility so they can ensure a better work/life balance. Through the Grow Remote organisation we have seen companies, talent and communities come together across the counties of the West North West. This region can be a haven for remote networking, attracting quality labour to all parts of the Western region while easing demand on high cost living in cities.”
The Grow Remote voluntary organisation has grown to 43 chapters across Ireland and Europe whose mission it is to bridge the gap between remote working and local impact.
Some companies have already implemented a 100% work from home operation, including Shopify with over 300 employees and Apple who employ hundreds of home advisors, all of whom receive the same benefit package as office-based employees.
Maria continued: “The world of work is changing, driven by advances in broadband. Our challenge is delivering on this, through high quality broadband reaching the remotest corners which will allow for all our communities to benefit and thrive.”