22 Jun 2023

Cork takes a lead on the future of work with remote hub upgrades in Bantry and Fermoy

County Cork towns Bantry and Fermoy saw expansion and refurbishment of their E-Centre Remote Working Hubs, which offer a modern and comfortable working and study environment for remote workers and students who work in Cork. Grants from the Department of Rural and Community Development allowed for the development, under the Connected Hubs grant scheme.

Bantry E-Centre has been in operation for over 10 years offering hot-desking space, meeting/training rooms, third level study space, office and canteen facilities. As part of the refurbishment, the E-Centre has benefitted from energy and connectivity upgrades, including the installation of air-to-air heat pumps and heat recovery ventilation, upgraded LED lighting and installation of high speed 1GB broadband. Furthermore, the centre now features a newly created 3rd level remote study facility with seven desk spaces connected to the Eduroam system, enabling secure internet access for students, researchers, and staff from participating institutions.

Similarly, Fermoy E-Centre has been in operation for over a decade and has been enhanced to better meet the needs of the new remote working environment. The thriving centre, which previously offered 5 offices for rent, 11 hot-desks, a meeting / training room and canteen facilities, has been reconfigured to create an additional 15 desks which can be used as either hot-desks or offices. Refurbishment also included the installation of 1GB broadband as well as energy efficient panel heaters, a heat recovery ventilation system and upgraded LED lighting.

The upgrades allow for a more energy efficient systems, complete with the ability to manage the heating remotely, allowing for reduced energy usage and a more comfortable working environment for tenants.

Visiting the siters, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins, said

“The upgraded Bantry and Fermoy E-Centre Remote Working Hubs reflect our commitment to supporting the evolving needs of our workforce. These facilities provide a vibrant and efficient space for remote workers and small businesses to collaborate, innovate, and thrive. We are grateful to the Department of Rural and Community Development for their grant funding, which has made these enhancements possible.”

Remote workers can easily book hot-desking spaces through the Connected Hubs website, which facilitates access to remote working facilities throughout the country www.connectedhubs.ie.

Cork is adapting to the future of work as the numbers undertaking some level of remote work continues to increase in 2023, while fully remote working has seen a small decline. Gartner estimates that by the end of 2023, 48% of knowledge workers around the world will work either fully remotely (9%) or in a hybrid arrangement (39%), with the current figure of 71% fully remote or hybrid in the United States expected to increase or remain static in line with European trends.

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