A series of new initiatives and funding will make remote working more accessible and attractive for people, a Senator has said. The recent announcement by Minister Heather Humphreys includes a voucher scheme which will give remote workers free access to local digital hubs and provide at least 10,000 hot desk facilities in total free of charge to existing hub users and those using facilities for the first time. Senator Seery Kearney said: “A series of measures announced by my colleague, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, marks a significant development in making remote working a more viable option for people living in Dublin.
“At least 10,000 hot desk spaces will be provided across the country under the new Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme, which is aimed at both existing hub users, as well as those accessing digital hub facilities in Dublin for the first time. The scheme will initially provide three days of hub use per person between now and the end of August. “Minister Humphreys also announced €5 million in funding, through the Connected Hubs 2022 Call, which will be used to build capacity and enhance existing Remote Working facilities. This is on top of the almost €9 million that was awarded applicants in 2021.
“Some 81 projects across the country were successful in securing funding. “In addition to these measures, funding of €50,000 is also being provided to Dublin City & South Dublin Local Authorities under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. “This will help Councils to promote remote working opportunities and Dublin communities as a destination for people considering relocating from our cities and larger towns who may want to return home and enjoy a new experience. “It was also revealed today that the number of Remote Working facilities on the Connected Hubs Network has now reached 242. This represents over 60 per cent of the 400 hubs pledged as part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s landmark five-year rural development policy.
“The Department of Rural and Community Development has to date invested some €100M in the development of remote working facilities under programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. “Fine Gael is determined to ensure balanced regional development across the country and an important element of that is making remote working an option for more people. “The drive to encourage remote working will help revitalise towns and villages and it supports Fine Gael’s ambition and campaign to build stronger, safer communities in Dublin, Senator Seery Kearney concluded.
Announcing the new measures, Minister Humphreys said: “When I meet remote workers across the country, they tell me all about the benefits of spending a few days each week working from a digital hub in their local community. “They talk about how their lives are improved now that they don’t have to embark on that early morning, gruelling commute to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway or other urban centres.
“Remote Working has been a game-changer for thousands of people. It’s given people of all ages a better quality of life – allowing them to spend more time with their family friends, working within their local town or village. “I am absolutely delighted to announce a series of new measures that represent the next chapter in our Remote Working journey.”