Employers will need to offer remote working to attract the necessary talent, regardless of legislation being progressed by the Government, the CEO of Enterprise Ireland has said.
“From what I am hearing from companies across the country, there is no one I’ve spoken to that hasn’t said there is a strong expectation among the workforce for a continued hybrid experience as a minimum requirement,” Leo Clancy told a virtual meeting hosted by Cork Chamber yesterday.
The legislation is currently being progressed that will give workers the right to request remote working. However, Mr Clancy said it is no longer about legislation, “The demand is there for it and employers will need to offer it to attract more talent,” he said.
“In particular, in areas like software development, we’re hearing that in order to access talent, people are being incredibly flexible to bring those workers onto the workforce and keep them,” added Mr Clancy.
The implementation of remote working has benefits for regional areas outside of Dublin as well because “people are saying that they can leave the company and stay in the town”, said Mr Clancy.
His comments were backed up by a recent Cork Chamber survey of businesses which found that most firms will keep some measures that were put in place to soften the impact of Covid-19.
Many companies used remote working opportunities to hire staff outside the Cork region and continue to offer flexible working conditions as the country loosens pandemic restrictions, according to an economic trend report by Cork Chamber.
President of Cork Chamber Paula Cogan said that 30% of Cork Chamber member businesses have hired a fully remote role in the last 12 months, with over 60% of those roles hired outside the Cork region.
In addition, 70% of these businesses have offered hybrid working options to any of their new hires and 67% of them have implemented a digital transformation programme to facilitate remote working in the past 12 months.
Going into the new year, Cork enterprises are optimistic about their futures as 92% of respondents to the report stated they had confidence in their businesses.
During the virtual meeting, Mr Clancy added that Enterprise Ireland aims to increase its support for SMEs across Ireland. Last month, he stated Enterprise Ireland is targeting a combined export value of €30bn for its client companies by the end of 2024.
He is also anticipating that the state body will hold its title as the largest VC investor in Europe during 2021, in relation to deal value. These VC ratings will be published in the coming weeks by PitchBook, a leading Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity Investment Platform.