Waterford virtual reality firm to boost workforce

Waterford virtual reality firm to boost workforce
Sandra Whelan: The firm will trial a four-day working week every fortnight.

A Waterford virtual reality software firm has said it will trial a fortnightly three-day weekend for employees in order to attract developers in a highly competitive market.

Immersive VR Education, which raised €6.75m when it listed on the junior markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges last year, said it plans to grow its 37 staff by “at least 25%” over the next two years, with a particular focus on web and game developers.

The firm uses technology for virtual learning experiences, including Apollo 11 and Titanic.

Co-founder and chief operating officer Sandra Whelan said the firm would trial a four-day working week every fortnight, a practice that has gained popularity among SMEs internationally in recent months.

Employees have been given the option of taking every second Friday off, with the firm making it permanent if successful, she said.

“We have a lot of workers here from the EU mainland and from the UK,” Ms Whelan said.

“When a Flexible Friday syncs up with a public bank holiday, this can provide up to four days for those workers to travel home and see family before returning back to work,” she said.

She said the idea was that a “good work-life balance will lead to better productivity and allow great ideas to flourish” for the firm.

Ms Whelan said the labour market is competitive in terms of attracting skill developers.

“Employers now need to do what they can to foster a favourable environment for their team,” she said.

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