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24 May 2022

Five remote working hubs launched throughout County Kilkenny

KILKENNY

Members from Connected Hubs Kilkenny at the launch of Galmoy Connected Hub with Cathaoirleach Cllr. Fidelis Doherty and Head of Enterprise Kilkenny County Council, Fiona Deegan

Kilkenny County Council, in collaboration with local community stakeholders and funded by the Department of Community and Rural Development, has developed ‘Connected Hubs Kilkenny’, based in five local facilities throughout the county and based in Broadband Connection Points.  It is an initiative that provides space for local communities to facilitate remote working and meeting room facilities in locations with high speed broadband.

The Connected Hubs in Kilkenny are based in Galmoy Community Centre, Glenmore Community Centre, Ballyouskill Community Centre, Crosspatrick Community Centre and Connolly’s of Dunbell. 

The pandemic has changed our world. It has also changed the world of work forever. Millions of people and businesses around the world had to change overnight, moving from the office to home working and from interactions that occurred in person to interactions that occurred mainly on-line.

This shift might have taken decades if it had been planned. Instead it took days. Many of us have returned to the office, but things will never be the same again. Video-conferencing will be more common and travelling for work much less so. While some people will work full-time from the office or from home, most of us will be blended workers, working sometimes from the office and other times from home, a hub or on the go.

On balance, these will be changes for the better. Less commuting, more time for family & leisure, and fewer transport greenhouse gas emissions will be among the benefits. New job opportunities will be created for people who want to live in rural Ireland.  Small towns and villages will see new investment, greater footfall and spend. But there are risks as well. We do not want to turn our homes into workplaces where we are always on. We want to spread jobs more evenly across the county and we want to retain the creativity and innovation that flourishes from people meeting each other and do not want people to become isolated.

So, we need a plan – ‘Making Remote Work – National Remote Work Strategy’ is that plan.   Among the main actions are mandating that home and remote work should be the norm for 20 percent of public sector employment, reviewing the treatment of remote working for the purposes of tax and expenditure, mapping and investing in a network of remote working hubs across Ireland, legislating for the right to request remote working, developing a code of practice for the right to disconnect and doing what we can to accelerate the provision of high-speed broadband to all parts of Ireland. 

Speaking at the launch of the Connected Hubs, Cathaoirleach Fidelis Doherty commented “this is an important initiative which will  deliver for local communities and the wider economy where locals can avail of remote work facilities, meeting room space and work close to home, ensuring a better quality of life for themselves and their families, whilst also addressing our carbon reduction targets”. 

For further information or to enquire about working in one of the Connected hubs, contact (056) 7752662 or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ connectedhubskilkenny/.

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