Aisapari

Irlannin etätyöpolitiikkaa

Etätyö vahvistaa kansallista kilpalukykyä. Tätä tavoitellaan Irlannin hallitusohjelmassa.

Rural Working Hub - maaseudun yhteisölliset etätyötilat -hanke on kansainvälinen yhteistyöhanke etätyötilojen kehittämiseksi Aisaparin alueella ja irlantilaisessa Longfordin seutukunnassa. Hankkeen avulla olemme päässet tutustumaan myös mitä eri politiikkatoimia etätyön edistämiseksi tehdään muissa maissa. 

Tässä on hankkeen irlantilaisen projektipäällikön Lorraine O’Connorin kirjoitus etätyöpolitiikasta Irlannissa.  Alkuun on tiivistetty kirjoituksesta muutamia otteita suomeksi.

Irlannin hallitus on ottanut etätyön tukemisen tavoitteekseen jo ennen koronavirusepidemiaa. Etätöiden tekeminen nähdään yhdeksi keinoksi vahvistaa Irlannin taloutta. Joustavammat työn tekemisen mahdollisuudet tuovat maalle kilpailukykyä tuovat joustavuutta muuttuviin tilanteisiin sekä lisäävät työn tekijöiden mahdollisuutta vaikuttaa omaan työhönsä.

Etätyöhubien perustamista Irlannissa on tukenut Enterprise Ireland. Myös Irlannissa etätyö nähdään myös mahdollisuutena tukea maaseudun elinvoimaisuutta. Lisäksi etätyöllä voidaan vähentää liikkumisen ja uusien toimitilojen rakentamisen tarvetta ja tukea näin muutosta kohti vihreämpää taloutta.

Etätyön tekemisen ja etätyöpisteiden ympärille on perustettu oma verkosto ”Grow Remote”.

Etätöiden tekeminen lisääntyy

Longfordiin ollaan parhaillaan perustamassa kahta etätyöpistettä Edgeworthstowniin and Abbeyshrulen kylään. Parempien laajakaista yhteyksien rakentaminen on osa tätä prosessia. Yhteistyössä Midlands Network of Co-Working Facilitiesin kanssa, jolla on jo 20 etätyöskentelypistettä, Longfordin seutukunta tavoittelee 600 työpöytäpaikan tarjoamista seutukuntien 24 000 pendelöivälle työntekijälle.

Lorraine esittelee kirjoituksessaan myös termin ”Smart Working - Älykäs työnteko”. Niin, tehdäänkö  töitä aina niin kuin ennenkin vai tehdäänkö sitä parhaimmalla mahdol

lisella tavalla?


Heli Talvitie, Leader Aisapari


Remote working in Ireland

As with many places internationally, the working landscape in Ireland has changed significantly as a result of Covid-19, with many people hurtled into remote working almost overnight. Ireland had been moving towards an increased flexibility in terms of how we work. This is reflective of Government policy change, in particular Future Jobs Ireland 2019 which sought to put the Irish economy in a better place to withstand shocks when they come. Pillar 4 of this document aims to increase participation in the labour force. Among the means to achieve this is exploring more flexible working options, including remote working.

Policy approaches

Policy on remote working has been developed in Ireland in recent years. The Regional Enterprise Plans contain actions aimed at facilitating and promoting the uptake of remote work in hubs across a number of regions. Enterprise Ireland’s regional plan ‘Powering the Regions’ also emphasises the importance of smart working and commits to the creation of co-working spaces across the region. The Department of Rural and Community Development is also undertaking extensive work around remote working to support rural regeneration. Education bodies are now offering courses and training on managing and working in remote teams. Grow Remote, a volunteer-based community of remote workers, promotes remote work in Ireland, including through a remote jobs portal and community and rural regeneration initiatives.

Statistics

Clear data on the current prevalence of remote work in Ireland is currently unavailable. In 2018, the Central Statistics Office undertook a pilot survey to inform the 2021 Census. The results of this pilot found that 18% of respondents worked from home, mostly one or two days per week. (Remote work in Ireland: Future Jobs 2019 Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation). A recent survey by researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission showed that 87% of respondents are now working remotely because of Covid-19. Over half of those surveyed (51%) had never worked remotely before the Covid-19 pandemic. Of those who had never worked remotely, 78% would like to work remotely for some or all of the time after the crisis is over. Therefore, we must now consider the culture, technology and policy to facilitate that change. The challenges brought by Covid-19 now also offers us an opportunity to rethink how we work and embrace the change in perception towards remote working, which is increasingly viewed as an intervention with the potential to widen the talent pool across Ireland, stimulate regional growth, lessen accommodation pressures in cities and support the transition to a greener economy.

Situation in Longford

Longford is currently not well served with infrastructure to facilitate remote working, both home working and hub working, due to poor broadband infrastructure in parts of the county and the lack of hub facilities throughout the County. Work is underway in the development of two remote working hubs, one in a rural town and one in a village. Longford County Council, working with the national Government is also building on the broadband infrastructure within the towns and villages with the installation of Broadband Connection Points which will allow greater opportunities within the communities to develop remote working facilities. It is expected that this Broadband Connection Points will be in place by the end of 2020 and the two remote working facilities currently in development will be operational by early 2021.

The Regeneration Department are working on a co-operation project funded by LEADER on Rural Working Hubs with LEADER Aisapari, which is a local development organisation for six rural communities in western Finland. Our involvement in this project aims to allow us to take a strategic approach to the provision of remote working facilities within our county. We are currently working closely with the local communities in Edgeworthstown and Abbeyshrule in the delivery of remote working hubs in those towns and identification of further suitable locations for such facilities. We are also engaged with the Midlands Network of Co-Working Facilities, which comprises over 20 facilities in the Midlands region, with the aim of providing 600 desk spaces giving an opportunity to the 24,000 workers currently commuting out of the region to work locally and create an opportunity for second landing spaces to be developed for large companies in the region.

There is a need for continued collaboration across all sectors on the development of remote working policy and facilities to encourage greater numbers of people to live and work locally. Longford County Council are excited to be part of this conversation and our learnings from our co-operation with LEADER Aisapari will feed into how rural working hubs develop across our county.

Lorraine O’Connor, Longford County Council