Study of remote workers shows huge time savings and a desire to be their own boss

A South East study of 904 remote workers 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 shows that 30% of people who are currently remote working are interested in developing their own business.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Director in the South and South East, Martin Corkery said: “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”. Corkery continued to say “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 3 in 4 remote workers surveyed in the South East are saving at least an hour a day, and 24% are saving at least 3 hours a day, by remote working which provides a greater work / life balance and means that commuting is much decreased which helps to support the environment.

Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council on behalf of the South East Local Authorities stated, “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. The South East region offers lower housing and childcare costs, rural/coastal lifestyles with great transport infrastructure.

She further commented, ‘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.

Alan Quirke, Director, Ireland South East Development Office commented, ‘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.

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.’

The reports can be found here: South East Remote Working Study 2021 & South East Remote Working Report