Irish pubs could be transformed into remote work hubs as part of the country’s plans for rural villages after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The idea is part of the Irish government’s five-year rural development policy Our Rural Future, which was released on Monday.
The goal is ‘for a thriving rural Ireland which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development.’
Irish pubs could be transformed into remote work hubs as part of the country’s plans for rural villages after the Covid-19 pandemic (File image)
The Our Rural Future strategy is aiming to give such rural villages a new lease of life and provide locals with a better quality of life.
As part of the proposal, a fifth of public servants would shift to remote or home working by the end of 2021.
A national network of 400 remote working hubs would be established, with some designated specifically for public sector workers.
‘As we emerge from Covid-19, the new policy is about maximising a recovery for all parts of the country and giving a better quality of life to people who live and work in rural areas,’ Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys said.
Ireland is the first country to make such a suggestion as part of its post-pandemic vision.
The Our Rural Future strategy is aiming to give such rural villages a new lease of life and provide locals with a better quality of life
Concerns have been raised about the need for fast broadband in such areas. Irish MP Michael Collins said there were ‘huge issues’ with the plan.
‘Many people have come back from the cities to work in rural communities and the broadband is shocking,’ he said.
‘I have hundreds and hundreds of people in west Cork pulling their hair out of their heads because they can’t get broadband in their homes.’
The Irish government included a tax review for remote workers and employers as part of the strategy.
The proposals come after some pubs in the UK offered ‘pub desks’ last year to workers tired of working from home every day amid the pandemic.
The Famers Arms in Goldcliffe, near Newport, South Wales, offered staff working from home the chance to rent a table at their pub last year
The Famers Arms in Goldcliffe, near Newport, South Wales, offered workers the chance to book a three-hour time slot and work from its pub for the price of £10 in October last year.
The slot included a pub table to work on, Wifi, a power socket, unlimited tea or coffee and a sandwich, will also give workers the chance to have a socially distanced conversation with other pub-goers.
The pub’s co-owner Craig Leith said: ‘It makes sense. People are stuck at home day-in day-out in the same routine and their mental health is suffering.’