Employers must be prepared to offer more flexible career opportunities if the rural regeneration targets in Project Ireland 2040 are to be met. That’s according to the careers platform, Abodoo, which today highlighted how remote working can contribute to regeneration in Offaly and other rural areas.
Project Ireland 2040 is the Government’s new national planning and capital expenditure plan. It sets out how an anticipated one million extra people will be housed, work and go to school in Ireland over the coming 20 years.
In the plan, a particular emphasis has been placed on balanced regional development, with the announcement of a €1 billion rural regeneration and development fund to promote rural renewal.
Commenting today, Vanessa Tierney, co-founder of Abodoo, said Co. Offaly is well positioned to benefit from rural renewal measures – provided employers embrace remote working.
“Rural areas have been drastically depleted over the years, as young people migrated to large urban centres to establish their careers,” she said. “Project Ireland 2040 presents an important opportunity to now call a halt to this trend.
“To regenerate rural Ireland in a sustainable way, we have to ensure there are attractive career and living opportunities in rural communities. An obvious way for this to happen is for employers to offer remote work options.
“In the 21st Century, it’s unnecessary to commute to an office every day to conduct your work. Thanks to high-speed broadband, cloud computing, screen-sharing, video-calling and instant messaging, it’s easy for employees to work effectively from home and to keep in touch with the rest of their team.
“Offaly and other counties have also seen more co-working hubs opening in recent years. These allow remote workers to access shared desk space and office facilities, without having to commute to Dublin. This is the future of work – and the key to rural regeneration. It means skilled workers are not forced to migrate to big cities and towns: they can choose to live in rural Ireland, close to their families, with no long commutes, more affordable housing and a better quality of life.
“Project Ireland 2040 provides for a significant increase in both housing and transport infrastructure outside of the capital city. This is a welcome move by the Government, as it presents significant opportunities for rural regeneration and paves the way for remote working to become the new norm.
“I would encourage businesses and residents of Offaly to take the lead in shaping the community’s future, by seizing this opportunity for rural regeneration and by making Offaly a hub for remote working.”