16 Aug 2022

Study: 30% of remote workers in South-East wish to start their own business

Three in four remote workers surveyed are saving at least an hour, and 24% are saving three hours a day, by remote working


Alan Quirke

Around 30% of people who are currently remote working are interested in developing their own business, according to a new study of 904 remote workers in this region carried out by the South-East local authorities and their Local Enterprise Offices, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Ireland South East Development Office.

In Kilkenny, responders were highly educated with over 40% indicating degree qualification, and a further 36% at Master or post graduate level. Kilkenny offers a vibrant city life and equally offers the options of rural living, with little commuting time into the city hubs. This can be particularly attractive for remote workers returning from urban cities abroad.

“A strong start-up economy is absolutely vital to the future of Ireland’s regions and we look forward to working with the Local Enterprise Offices to support these individuals in realising their business vision," says Enterprise Ireland regional director Martin Corkery.

“The South-East has become a prime nurturing environment for start-up activity with many examples of indigenous entrepreneurs inspiring others from across the country that they too can start and scale successfully in the South-East.”

The study reveals almost three in four remote workers surveyed in the South East are saving at least an hour a day, and 24% are saving at least three hours a day, by remote working.

“The South-East provides many unique options for remote workers depending on their needs and tops the poll when it comes to offering work / life balance," said Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council.

"The South East region offers lower housing and childcare costs, rural/coastal lifestyles with great transport infrastructure."

"Most businesses, individuals and households have been affected significantly by a change of working conditions since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we look with hope towards the re-opening of our country and economy this study has given clear insights into the opportunity for remote workers in the South East through the development of a hub network supported by Enterprise Ireland , the South East Local Enterprise Office network and the South East Development Office. It also demonstrated the opportunity to provide start-up supports and training to these individuals that will foster a thriving start-up culture in the region."

The key findings of the survey include:

The South East has an opportunity to be a hub for new innovative start-up supports for the new remote worker community as over 30% of respondents are interested in starting or developing their own business.
The South East has an opportunity to work with the current hubs in the various strategic locations and develop new solutions for remote working and enterprise development.
The development of hybrid working models will accelerate the achievement of the green agenda for the South East with the potential for significantly less people commuting than in the pre-Covid Era.

"The South-East region has numerous advantages to offer when it comes to remote working and this study provides a solid foundation to guide future policy development and implementation to the benefit of all remote workers in the South East," says Alan Quirke, Director, Ireland South East Development Office.

This includes, for example, the benefit remote working provides for the green economy through the reduction of commuting time which can also attract more remote workers by providing an improved work / life balance which in turn would bring a renewed vitality to the region.

Remote working offers employers a wider choice in facilitating the right person to work for their organisation from a location of their choice. This trend presents an opportunity for the South East’s Towns and Villages to market themselves as an attractive place to live.

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