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Conference hears plans for 22,000 remote working spaces

A conference in Mayo has heard how plans for over 22,000 remote working spaces around the country will be realised by the end of the year.

The event in Westport is part of a broader effort to promote the use of shared working spaces at 400 locations nationwide.

Today’s gathering showcased the 45 hubs now operating in Co Mayo. They offer a range of services to individuals and businesses.

The facility in Westport opened in 2017 and has developed steadily since.

Its manager, and CEO of the town’s Chamber of Commerce, says that the success is a testament to what can be achieved with the right mix of support and innovation.

Geraldine Horkan is the CEO of Westport Chamber of Commerce

Geraldine Horkan said that in the six years of operation, the Lesson Enterprise Centre had facilitated a range of businesses operating in local, national and international markets.

Many were start up operations that needed a space to develop ideas, before bringing them to fruition.

Others then benefited from the sharing of information and simple human interaction at the multi purpose work space.

Offices can be rented for as little €15 a day, with longer term rental opportunities also available.

Aneta Dobrowolska told today’s gathering about the difference the facility had made to her personal life and her career.

She swapped a weekly commute to and from Dublin for an altogether more manageable 9am to 5pm work environment in Westport.

Aneta Dobrowolska no longer has a weekly commute to and from Dublin

Since then, the Wei Lab business she co-founded has taken on additional staff, extended its reach internationally and helped other firms to develop new products and IT solutions.

She said the advantages of being able to live and work locally were plentiful but that eliminating commuting times of seven to ten hours a week between Westport and Dublin had effectively given her back the equivalent of a working day.

With heat, electricity and high speed broadband all included as standard, there are plans to have 400 hubs up and running nationwide by the end of the year.

Stephen Carolan, who is overseeing the rollout for the National Hub Network, said that by December there will be in the region of 22,000 desk spaces available for rent.

It is envisaged that these will haver a regular occupation rate of around 75% with the aim of extending the take up even further by attracting existing businesses and start up operations to the hubs.

Central to the initiative is an effort to make the booking process as straightforward and user friendly as possible.

To that end, a dedicated site, has been developed to allow people check the location of each hub and book a slot at a time that suits their requirements.

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