Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes a series of new initiatives to support Remote Working 

10th June, 2022

  • New voucher scheme to give remote workers free access to their local digital hub

 

  • At least 10,000 hot desk facilities to be provided free of charge to existing hub users and those using the facilities for the first time

 

  • €5million investment under ‘Connected Hubs’ to improve 81 remote working facilities nationwide

 

  • Local Authorities to each receive €50,000 in funding to promote remote working opportunities in their areas

 

Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, has welcomed a series of new initiatives that will make remote working more accessible and attractive for thousands of people.

The Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme will give remote workers free use of their local digital hub.  In addition, At least 10,000 hot desk spaces will be provided under the Scheme, which is aimed at both existing hub users, as well as those accessing hub facilities for the first time.

Minister O’Brien also welcomed €5 million in funding, through the Connected Hubs 2022 Call, which will be used to build capacity and enhance existing Remote Working facilities.  The funding will benefit 81 projects and will support a wide range of works, including the expansion of existing hubs, installation of privacy booths, access control and security systems, the conversion of existing open plan space to modular offices, and provision of podcast studios, enhanced audio visual, networking and conferencing facilities.  Drinan Enterprise Centre, Swords was a successful applicant for funding of €75,000.

Welcoming this funding Minister O’Brien said:

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.

The funding awarded to the Drinan Enterprise Centre in Swords will help fund the project involving the re-positioning of one large office space as an extension of the existing single room hub within the building. The Privacy booth will be adjacent to both Hub Rooms and the two Hub rooms will provide 10 remote working zones. The roof on Drinan and its aspect is suitable for the installation of solar panels and this will help manage electricity costs.

All potential new hub users including those thinking of a working staycation should set up a connectedhubs.ie profile.  This scheme is based on the ‘voucher follows the person’ approach and will initially provide three days of hub use per person between now and the end of August.   For people who may wish to holiday at home this summer, this scheme is ideal if you need to do a couple of days working in facilities that are comfortable and underpinned by good quality broadband.  ConnectedHubs.ie is an initiative managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development.  The Department will be applying vouchers to all registered users in the coming weeks.