Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Thousands of employees to ‘go remote’ as Ireland prepares for ‘Beast from the East’

Thousands of employees across the country will work from home in the coming days, as Ireland faces its worst blizzard since 1982. 

As the country gears up for the ‘Beast from the East’, start-up Abodoo, which champions remote and flexible career opportunities, is highlighting how remote working can help employers avoid work disruptions year-round.

Commenting today (27.02.18), Vanessa Tierney, co-founder of Abodoo, said: “When bad weather hits, many employers are thrown into disarray.  They may not have the systems and procedures in place to facilitate remote working, so a weather event like the ‘Best from the East’ can cause severe disruption to their business.

“On the other hand, those employers that facilitate remote working year-round have nothing to fear from bad weather.  They have provided flexible working options for their employees, which means their business will continue to run smoothly no matter what the weather conditions. 

“If employees can work from home, they don’t have to venture out and try to drive to work in perilous conditions.  During storms, remote working is the safest and most sensible option.

“At Abodoo, we believe remote working shouldn’t be the exception and employers should offer this option to employees throughout the year, and not just at times of adverse weather conditions.

Business Case for Remote Working
According to Ms. Tierney, there is a strong business case for remote working, year-round. 

“Apart from avoiding disruption during bad weather, remote working leads to cost-savings, better retention levels, higher rates of employee satisfaction, and greater opportunities for working parents, people with disabilities, and those living outside major urban areas,” she said.  “It’s better for the environment because people need to commute less, and it allows people more choice in where they live and the type of homes they buy.  

Abodoo highlighted the “figures that prove remote working makes sense”, including:

  • Remote workers save, on average, between €2,000 and €7,000 and hundreds of hours of travel time per year – just by removing their daily commute. 
  • 82% of those who work from home report lower stress levels as a result. 
  • 58% of companies in Ireland (in a 2016 survey of 540 companies) confirmed they are investing in cloud technology, of which 46% confirmed this would benefit remote working.
  • 15% of large multinational companies in Ireland now support home-working, and this figure is increasing year on year. 
  • Companies that promote remote working report an increase in staff retention of over 50 per cent; and a reduction in absenteeism of 63%. 
  • 91% of companies that facilitate remote working experience increased productivity. 
  • Companies will save on average of €11,000 per employee that is remote and many start by implementing a hybrid or flexible model.
  • Figures from Census 2016 show the scale of the daily exodus from two out of every three local authority areas due to a lack of local job and educational opportunities. Rates of unemployment in rural areas include: 16% of Cavan; 19% of Longford; over 14% of Mayo and 15% of Wexford.

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