County Carlow – Your Seat is Ready

Your Seat is Ready - Deirdre O'Shea 

County Carlow – An eco-system where the remote, hybrid and resident workforce blooms.

Carlow County is known for many things from its magical Garden Trail to the breath taking South Carlow vistas of the Blackstairs Mountains; traditional villages like Borris, Leighlinbridge and Clonegal; the River Barrow where you can wander off the track; celebrities such as Kathryn Thomas and Saoirse Ronan who hail from there to global enterprises such as MSD and Unum and an array of indigenous businesses with a global reach from Netwatch, engineering giants such as Burnside Group, Tanco and Magma to food and drink companies such as O’Haras, Seerys and Codd Mushrooms. Over 2,700 companies are embedded in County Carlow and over 60,000 people call Carlow Home.

“Carlow provides an ideal location for companies and individuals who want to go remote or be hybrid” says Rowena Dooley, President of County Carlow Chamber. “Carlow has an array of public and private remote working facilities which are there for the working population to use and a variety of tourism establishments who offer an excellent base for the nomadic type of employee who passes through Carlow”. 

Hybrid working is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, as more businesses adopt this flexible working arrangement. According to LinkedIn, Ireland has one of the highest shares of hybrid job postings in Europe, second only to the UK.

Rownea says “There are many benefits to hybrid working for both employers and employees. For employers, hybrid working can help to reduce office space costs, increase employee productivity, and improve employee satisfaction. For employees, hybrid working can offer increased flexibility, reduced commuting costs, and improved work-life balance.” She added “County Carlow is the ideal place for hybrid companies and remote employees”. 

Carlow County Council is at the forefront of leading and supporting the business community and resident population by facilitating the hybrid and remote working agenda. Cllr Andrea Dalton, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council said “As a Council we want to ensure that Carlow is an ideal place to live, learn and play. Supporting our working population and business community is an essential part of that”.

“Remote and hybrid working is having a positive impact on the rural economy of County Carlow. Given its proximity to the capital, remote and hybrid solutions are allowing Carlow to retain talent, create jobs, boost the local economy, reduce commuting costs, improve quality of life, reduce infrastructure costs, and improve environmental sustainability”.

The Cathaoirleach commented that “remote and hybrid working is helping to attract and retain talent in rural areas of County Carlow because people who want to work remotely can choose to live in rural communities, where the cost of living is often lower. This has a knock-on effect of boosting the local economy by increasing spending in rural areas. Remote and hybrid working can also reduce commuting costs for employees, which improves their quality of life.

Cllr Dalton concluded “remote working is also providing a significant and positive environmental impact in Carlow given that over 6,000 people from the county commuted to Dublin on a daily basis prior to the pandemic”.

Speaking about the Council’s ambition when it comes to the development of infrastructure to support remote and hybrid working, Kieran Comerford, Head of Economic Development and Enterprise in Carlow County Council’s Local Enterprise Office said “as a Council we are delighted to have supported both public and private hubs across the County. Our own economic development unit is based in the County’s flagship hub in Enterprise House on O’Brien Road in Carlow Town. This hub alone is home to over 28 companies with 146 staff located on-site and hybrid”. Comerford commented that Carlow County Council has ambitious plans for the future to develop further hubs and enterprise facilities that are designed to help business grow while also providing facilities for hybrid and remote workers.

Comerford outlined five main reasons why people should consider locating their business in Carlow or working from a hub in Carlow.

Firstly hubs in Carlow provide a central location for people to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and attract talent. Carlow offers a variety of hubs from private, social and educational facilities.

Secondly hubs are a place for people to connect, whether they are from the same organisation, the same industry, or the same geographic community. This can help to facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation and this is particularly evident in Carlow through local links to the two local third level institutions, Carlow College and South East Technical University.

Thirdly, as a rural county Carlow is a cheaper location than the capital and Carlow’s hubs can reduce costs for businesses and organisations by providing shared resources, such as office space, equipment, and technology. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses and startups that may not have the resources to acquire these things on their own.

Fourthly hubs in Carlow encourage a sense of community by bringing people together from different backgrounds and with different interests. This can help to foster community belonging and support, which can be especially important for people who are new to an area or who are working remotely.

Fifth and finally hubs can attract talent by providing a stimulating and collaborative environment. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that are looking to attract top talent in a competitive market.

Comerford concluding by saying that “hubs in Carlow can be a valuable resource for businesses, organisations, and individuals. They can help to improve efficiency, reduce costs, create a sense of community, and attract talent”.

Carlow County Your Seat is Ready - Remote Working Supplement- 27th August 2023 .pdf (size 4.5 MB)

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