By Eugene Devereux
Traditional work practices and environment
Remember when we all used to hop in the car at 6:45am and drive for 2 hours to work?
Traditionally, the concept of the work environment has been a physical space, in a place in a building somewhere on the map. As technology and people’s behaviours have evolved, the concept of “remote work”, that being, work that can be done from anywhere, has slowly moved from a tiny blip on the radar known to a few, to in recent months approaching the “new normal”.
With the COVID19 pandemic, companies and people alike have been forced to work remotely, typically from home or an alternative environment like a coworking hub. A what?
A coworking hub is a professional work environment designed for the remote worker or co-worker. Whether that is a full time employee, a freelancer or a startup founder, the common ground is a required suitable space to effectively work from.
The technology exists. Fast, stable internet. The space is there. Either a professional desk or office space. Meeting rooms or booths for phone calls and many other amenities that were found in the traditional office or work space. In Ireland and beyond, coworking hubs are springing up and is challenging the old way of the corporate office. Besides the social distancing and massive shared space
This time last year, only those who needed to hold video conference calls knew how to do it, usually through a tool like Skype or Zoom. Now, Zoom has become the de facto way of companies to communicate with their teams internally but also for client meetings, besides the family quizzes!
Coworking hubs are ideal for Zoom meetings, with dedicated meeting/conference rooms onsite or a soundproofed booth set up. This ensures that the employee has a private space to carry out their call effectively and professionally.
Benefits of a coworking hub
Reduced travel costs
In Ireland, many coworking hubs are located in rural areas, from islands off the coast to small towns in the midlands to some of the larger towns beyond the pale. The benefits of being able to work in these areas are tenfold! Not just for the employee working in the hub but for their company and the local community. If a company is spying for travel expenses, they can save money here as their employee is not travelling as far if at all, requiring to claim for expenses.
In many cases, the employee saves a lot of commute time, by working somewhere much closer to home. This can also positively impact the company due to improved performance by their employee, and potentially less absenteeism that may have been caused by travel delays on the roads or rail systems.
Reduced carbon footprint
Naturally, with less cars and vehicles travelling long distances every day into the traditionally major work hotspots, like Dublin, Galway, Cork, the reduction in fuel consumption and pollution into the air is a great positive effect of the remote work cause. Co-working hubs are typically found in easily accessible location in or just outside of towns and villages, making it easy for employees to travel to and from.
Coworking hub in Carlow
New Work Junction in Carlow is one such coworking hub. With four hubs now in operation around Ireland; Kilkenny City, Wexford Town, Rathmins in Dublin and Carlow.
With eight private offices, and upto thirty hot desk spaces, it is primed for the “new normal”, embracing the remote work movement. Located just on the outskirts of the town, it is easily accessible and benefits from many local amenities, shops and the Institute of Technology Carlow.
New Work Junction Carlow Member Profile
Name: John Dowling
Employment type: Full-time permanent employee
Position: Software Engineer
Coworking solution: Full-time hot desk space
“I use New Work Junction as my primary work space, it’s only a 10 minute drive from my home just outside of Carlow town. It’s professional and has everything I need to effectively work from, without me having to drive to my company’s HQ. I save time every day. The monthly cost of my space is miniscule when compared to the cost of commuting besides the lost time that I wasn’t being paid for. Coworking spaces are the future. It’s crazy looking back on the old way that so many people used to do without question.”
Thanks to Eugene Devereux of New Work Junction and Grow Remote Carlow for putting this piece together