Drew leads government relations for the UK and Ireland at Zoom.
Successive Irish governments have struggled to address concerns that opportunities in Ireland are overly concentrated in its capital, Dublin, at the expense of rural and regional communities. However, the widespread adoption of video communication platforms like Zoom since March 2020 has energized efforts to redress this imbalance and has helped Ireland begin to emerge as a world leader in remote working.
Through its landmark National Remote Working Strategy, Ireland is now working to capitalise on the widespread adoption of hybrid working practices to extend opportunity beyond Dublin and a handful of traditional urban centres. At the heart of this mission is a new network of co-working spaces called Connected Hubs.
With over 200 Connected Hubs established in under a year, Ireland is on track to achieve its target of establishing 400 across Ireland by 2025. Each hub provides a space where anyone can source and book desks and meeting rooms so they can work remotely without needing to commute or move from their community. Irish workers who work from home also benefit from tax breaks, and a forthcoming law will introduce a new right to request flexible working arrangements from day one of employment - developments Zoom has been proud to support.
Powering Ireland’s hybrid working vision
It has been incredible to see how Ireland has led from the front in embracing new ways of working, and since the middle of last year Zoom has been working with stakeholders across Ireland to help make this vision a reality.
As a leading peer-to-peer unified communications platform in Ireland, it is important to Zoom that Connected Hub users have the tools they need to deliver their best work from anywhere. That is why we entered into a partnership with the Connected Hubs network to ensure that anybody who wants to work from any of the hubs, or works with someone who chooses to work from a hub, can access our suite of unified communications solutions, which have been designed to enable teams to work seamlessly and productively together from multiple locations.
Today, as Zoom Meetings, Chat, Webinars, and Rooms are being rolled out across the Connected Hub network, this partnership positions Zoom as a key enabler of Ireland’s hybrid working vision, one which our solutions are helping turn into a reality.
This is only the beginning
The pandemic showed that work no longer need be defined by being present in a certain location at a certain time, but rather by the outcomes and objectives an employee achieves. For Irish workers who previously felt compelled to move to a major urban setting to pursue or develop a career, the opening of a Connected Hub in their community offers real opportunity for prosperity and progress while living wherever they choose - which in turn will breathe life back into the social and economic fabric of Ireland’s regions.
As more national, regional, and municipal governments around the world make it easier for people to adopt and thrive while working hybrid, and with initiatives underway across the EU and in cities in the UK and US, it is local economies that have traditionally lost out to big urban areas that stand to prosper. Zoom is proud of the role we have played in kick-starting this transition, and we are excited about the changing nature of work and the myriad social, economic, and cultural benefits it stands to bring.