The Social Protection Minister has defended the price of remote working hubs around the country.
Heather Humphreys is today launching a new mobile app offering users access to 200 remote working hubs around the country.
The Connected Hubs app allows working to search for diskspace in any of the participating hubs around the country.
Minister Humphreys also announced a further €5m in funding to “build capacity and enhance existing Remote Working facilities”.
The prices charged by the hubs vary widely depending on where they are and the facilities on offer – with some hubs charging nearly €500 per month.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Minister Humphreys defended the cost – insisting there isa “good offering available” to workers.
“The cost for the user varies depending on the type of booking they make, whether it is the hot desk or a meeting room.
“Each hub also sets their own charge depending on their location and the services they offer,” she said.
“Some are more expensive than others. We have done a survey on the 200 that we have on Connected Hubs and, based on the survey, the average cost is between €10 and €20 per day.
“Obviously, if they are too expensive, people are not going to use them and that is not what we want but they are top-class facilities.
“If you are working from home, you are going to have to pay for your heating and if you are travelling, you are going to have to pay for the cost of your petrol or your bus journey. So, all in all, I think there is a good offering here.”
She said remote working is about “quality of life” and said the Government could subsidise people struggling to access the hubs.
“We are looking at incentives for remote work and for people to use the hubs,” she said. “We are looking at ways of subsidising those who want to take up this offering
“We think that maybe we could provide a credit for people who want to work in hubs to get it started but again, I think you should have a discussion with the hub owners as well because perhaps, if the facilities are not being used, they are going to have to look at their costs and how they can reduce them so people will take it up.
“So, there is going to be different offerings in different places and as I said, we want people to have that choice.”
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