Research finds that 30% of remote workers in the South East wish to Start their Own Business

Press Release for Immediate Release – 27th May 2021

Research finds that 30% of remote workers in the South East wish to Start their own business.

A South East study of 904 remote workers carried out by the South East Local Authorities and their Local Enterprise Offices, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Ireland South East Development Office shows that 30% of people who are currently remote working are interested in developing their own business.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Director in the South and South East, Martin Corkery said: “A strong start-up economy is absolutely vital to the future of Ireland’s regions and we look forward to working with the Local Enterprise Offices to support these individuals in realising their business vision”. Corkery continued to say “The South East has become a prime nurturing environment for start-up activity with many examples of indigenous entrepreneurs inspiring others from across the country that they too can start and scale successfully in the South East”

The Study reveals almost 3 in 4 remote workers surveyed in the South East are saving at least an hour a day, and 24% are saving at least 3 hours a day, by remote working which provides a greater work / life balance and means that commuting is much decreased which helps to support the environment.

Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council on behalf of the South East Local Authorities stated, “The South East provides many unique options for remote workers depending on their needs and tops the poll when it comes to offering work / life balance. The South East region offers lower housing and childcare costs, rural/coastal lifestyles with great transport infrastructure.

She further commented, ‘Most businesses, individuals and households have been affected significantly by a change of working conditions since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we look with hope towards the re-opening of our country and economy this study has given clear insights into the opportunity for remote workers in the South East through the development of a hub network supported by Enterprise Ireland , the South East Local Enterprise Office network and the South East Development Office. It also demonstrated the opportunity to provide start-up supports and training to these individuals that will foster a thriving start-up culture in the region.’

The key findings of the survey include:

  • The South East has an opportunity to be a hub for new innovative start-up supports for the new remote worker community as over 30% of respondents are interested in starting or developing their own business.
  • The South East has an opportunity to work with the current hubs in the various strategic locations and develop new solutions for remote working and enterprise development.
  • The development of hybrid working models will accelerate the achievement of the green agenda for the South East with the potential for significantly less people commuting than in the pre-Covid Era.

Alan Quirke, Director, Ireland South East Development Office commented, ‘The South East region has numerous advantages to offer when it comes to remote working and this study provides a solid foundation to guide future policy development and implementation to the benefit of all remote workers in the South East.

This includes, for example, the benefit remote working provides for the green economy through the reduction of commuting time which can also attract more remote workers by providing an improved work / life balance which in turn would bring a renewed vitality to the region.

Remote working offers employers a wider choice in facilitating the right person to work for their organisation from a location of their choice. This trend presents an opportunity for the South East’s Towns and Villages to market themselves as an attractive place to live.’


Editors Notes:


The South East Remote Working Study – Harnessing Remote Working Opportunities in the South East was conducted over 4 months and surveyed over 900 remote workers in the South East. The goal of this study was to understand remote work habits, and remote workers’ ambition to start-up their own business in the region. The study illustrated the remote working behaviours and start-up ambitions on a regional and individual county level which has provided insight on how the South East Development Office, Enterprise Ireland and network of South East Local Enterprise Offices could best work together to support economic opportunity in the region.


1 in 5 people in Carlow save over 3 hours per day by remote working. There is a particular opportunity for Carlow to accredit, position and promote itself as a remote working hub ‘Centre of Excellence’ given its geographic location relative to Dublin and convenience to the motorways.


Responders were highly educated with over 40% indicating degree qualification, and a further 36% at Master or Post Graduate level. Kilkenny offers a vibrant city life and equally offers the options of rural living, with little commuting time into the city hubs. This can be particularly attractive for remote workers returning from urban cities abroad.


Finance & Banking, Public Service, Sales and Marketing, and Charity and Non-Profit were the top sectors mentioned in surveys received from Tipperary. The Engine Digital Hub and Enterprise Centre in Tipperary Town which is due to open this year is expected to facilitate up to 80 workers within five years and is expected to be especially attractive to local workers who have been remote working during the pandemic.


Over 50% of remote workers in Waterford indicated they would be interested in using a remote working hub if one opened close to them demonstrating the opportunity for the development of a wider hub network in the county.


35% of remote workers saved more than 2 hours commuting time by remote working in Wexford. Given the high percentage of workers with offices based in Dublin Wexford has a unique demographic of workers who wish to and are suited to working remotely.


For further information contact Kieran Comerford on 086/8252037 or e-mail


Attachments - South East Remote Working Study 2021 & South East Remote Working Report



1. There is a clear trend emerging with both employees and owner-managers in remote workable sectors / roles experiencing an increasing desire to move

more towards more hybrid work options and flexible working hours.

2. Employees are strongly anticipating a growing demand for hubs as three out of every five responders who are not currently working in a hub

would consider using one should one open up close by them.

3. This sentiment is backed by industry with the majority of stakeholders interviewed indicating a belief that growth would come from small (1 / 2 person) and larger team (5 / 6 person) office spaces particularly, followed by slower anticipated growth in

open plan co-working desks.

4. Information Technology, Finance and Banking, Public Service, and Education were the most popular remote working sectors with survey responders.

5. The remote workers were highly skilled, with more than one in three educated to Master/ Post-Graduate or Doctorate level, and a further one in three qualified to degree level.

6. Two thirds of workers who expect to return to the office within 12 months expect to do so in a hybrid model between home, and the office or a hub

7. Over 50% of responders could not name or were unaware of any hubs in their area.

8. Remote workers in the South East were mainly attracted to hubs by the provision of high speed broadband, secondly by their employers paying for the hub facility, with factors such as quiet work environment, price, office services such as photocopying, meeting rooms, etc, and good IT facilities all influencing the decision to use a hub rather than home working.

9. While facilities, location and infrastructure will vary hub by hub, the difference between the actual price versus price remote workers who are not currently using hubs would pay if one opened close to them is considerable, €17 versus €14.28 per day.

10. The average commuting time saved per return trip to the office was 1 hr 40 minutes per day which allows more time for leisure and home and reduces transport emissions.


The South East Remote Working Study was funded under Enterprise Ireland’s Local Enterprise Office Competitive Fund