Remote working app to be launched by Government

A new remote working app is to be launched by the Government, to allow people to see what spaces are available near them.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys says this is down to a major change in how people are operating.

“COVID-19 has brought a change in terms of the way we work and remote working – or connected working, as I call – is now a reality.

“It was an aspiration only a year ago, and now it’s a fact of a life – and it’s a good thing”.

She said this will mean less time commuting, a better quality of life and an overall better work-life balance.

She said her department is currently mapping out all the co-working spaces, digital hubs and others which will then be integrated into an app.

“People will be able to see where I can go and work from a local centre”.

A contract has also been signed with telecommunications company Vodafone for the roll-out of broadband connection points.

This will provide internet services to some 300 different places by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Minister Humphreys said: “Those connection points will be in community halls, there’ll be in centres up and down the length and breath of the country”.

“I see Ireland as a remote working country, and when all of the information is put on the app I feel that we will be lit up and we can certainly see that this is the offering here in Ireland”.

She also said a target to see 20% of civil servants working remotely “can be more ambitious than that”.

“If you look at my Department of Social Protection, over 50% of the staff are working remotely… the service that they have provided this year has been exceptional”.

While some 95% of staff in the Department of Rural and Community Development have been working off-site.

Minister Humphreys said this “hasn’t impacted in any way on the delivery of the services”.

“I think this is the new future, and I’m very much supporting it”.