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28 May 2022

Laois Chamber CEO calls for incentives and tax reliefs for employees and employers availing of remote working hubs

Laois Chamber CEO calls for incentives and tax reliefs for employees and employers availing of remote working hubs

Caroline Hofman, Laois Chamber CEO

Laois Chamber CEO, Caroline Hofman is calling for incentives and tax reliefs for employers and employees working remotely to be included in Budget 2022. Speaking about remote working in Laois, Caroline says:

“We have a remote working hub in every town in Laois, and Budget 2022 must include provisions for employers and employees to avail of these top class facilities.

''Covid-19 has made many employers and employees adapt in their way of working, and incentives and tax reliefs should be included in Budget 2022 to support remote working. This would cement the Government’s commitment in accordance with the National Remote Working Strategy.”

In January 2021 the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment published ‘Making Remote Work – National Remote Working Strategy’ which outlines the vision for the future of remote working in Ireland.

Legislation is to be introduced next month for employees to have the right to request to work remotely. The report also looks at the acceleration of the National Broadband Plan.

Caroline says, “Ensuring continued investment in our remote working hubs is vital, as not only does it have an environmental benefit with reduced commutes as we work towards achieving our 2030 climate targets, but employees will also benefit from a better work-life balance. Studies have also shown that remote working can increase productivity.”

A survey of 200 business and IT leaders across Ireland conducted by digital transformation company, Expleo, found that a combined 89% of respondents said productivity had improved or stayed the same while working from home, with 52% of respondents noting improved productivity.

The second phase of the National Remote Working Survey led by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission was conducted in October 2020 and found that out of 5,639 respondents, 94% were in favour of working remotely some or all of the time. Speaking about the benefits of remote working and being based in Laois.

“Covid-19 has made us realise the benefits of flexible and remote working,'' notes Caroline.

''Laois is ideally located with excellent motorway and public transport links. Our central location means that our main cities, airports and ports are all easily accessible. We also have fantastic meeting spaces available throughout the county, and this is something that can be utilised as a central “halfway point” for companies, employees, and clients.

''Encouraging and supporting the use of our wonderful remote working hubs throughout the county will have great benefits for the local economy by increasing footfall in our towns, benefiting retailers and local businesses.

''Sustaining a better work life balance is also crucial, and something that can be achieved by avoiding the long commutes on a daily basis and by being based in a remote working hub. Those managing and running our remote working hubs throughout Laois are doing a terrific job.

''Not only do our remote working hubs facilitate employees from established businesses as well as start-ups, but they also provide facilities such as catering and food development kitchens, digital fabrication, and industrial units.”

Throughout Laois, there are remote working hubs located in Mountmellick, Mountrath, Portarlington, Portlaoise, and Rathdowney.

Visit the Laois Hub Collective website at www.laoisonline.ie to find out more about Laois’ remote working hubs and what each has to offer.

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