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01 Dec 2021

Laois remote working hubs join a new national network that help cut costly commutes

Network to make remote working a reality throughout Rural Ireland

Laois businesses make the move from the kitchen table to a co-working hub

Christine Kenna of BizEquip at her desk in Webmill, remote working hub in Mountmellick in 2019.

Laois hubs that allow people to cut down or cut out costly commutes to work are part of a new national network of remote working centres around Ireland.

Bloom HQ Mountrath and The Webmill Mountmellick are now connected to the ConnectedHubs.ie Network which is the National Network of remote working hubs. 

The Department of Rural and Community Development said the ConnectedHubs.ie platform will offer a suite of booking, hub management and e-commerce applications to members of the Network. The Network will also facilitate the sharing of innovation, experience and best practices across the community. The Department said these supports will serve to maximise benefit to member hubs, hub clients, employers, local communities and the wider economy.

The National Hub Network Working Group led by the Department of Rural and Community Development has identified and mapped over 400 remote working hubs across the country. These hubs will be invited to join the Connected Hubs Network to create shared infrastructure that will deliver real benefits across the country. A National Hub survey is currently underway to gather further information with regard to services offered by these hubs.

Sean Fleming TD Minister of State at the Department of Finance welcomes the news that two Laois hubs are signed up.

"It is great to see Mountrath and Mountmellick are in the first group of 66 hubs to be connected to the new network. The Connected Hubs Network will see over 100 hubs connected by the end of 2021 and having the 2 hubs in Laois is great news for these local communities

"I would like to congratulate and thank everybody involved for their work to date and to wish Bloom HQ and The Webmill every success in the future. Their facilities mean that remote working can be an option for many more people and businesses in the midlands," he said.

Laois Offaly based Minister of State Pippa Hackett also welcomed the news.

“I’m delighted to see The Junction in Tullamore and The Webmill in Mountmellick included in the Connected Hubs Network. This is part of revitalising rural Ireland. Every worker who chooses to relocate to these areas becomes part of the community and adds to the local economy. These are the jobs of the future and they will enable our young people to live and work in our towns and villages,” she said.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has launched the Connected Hubs Network.

“Hub working can support the development of employment opportunities and career paths in rural areas. This will help to give young people the choice to stay closer to home while pursuing their careers and also to encourage people living in cities to consider moving to a more rural location.”

“Throughout this pandemic, so many of us have experienced the benefits of remote working – reduced commutes, more time spent with your family, increased footfall in towns, a lower carbon footprint.

“As we look to the reopening of our country, I am determined that we make remote working a permanent and viable reality for thousands of people.

“The Connected Hubs Network provides the perfect opportunity for workers and employers to embrace a ‘blended working’ model, and to find the balance of hub, home and office working that works best for them,” he said.

Her Department says following initiatives will be developed through this initiative:

·         A Shared Connected Hubs brand identity for all member hubs

·         A Centralised Connected Hubs media and promotional campaigns

·         Access to the ConnectedHubs.ie suite of booking, hub management and e-commerce applications.

·         Development of a Peer-to-Peer Hub Community

·         Sharing of Innovation, Experience and Best-Practices within the community

·         Developing a shared quality standard for hubs in the Network

·         Supporting collaborative projects in the Network to drive economies of scale

·         Developing a ‘shared voice’ for Connected Hubs

·         Supporting collective engagement between Connected Hubs and large scale employers

·         Supporting collective engagement between Connected Hubs and Government Agencies

·         Helping to identify the benefits Connected Hubs deliver for their local communities and the wider economy

·         Developing a dataset to inform future investment decisions in remote working facilities

A full list of connected hubs is available on gov.ie.

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