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Rural hubs for remote workers... €60 per week to use!

  • 22-02-2022 4:24pm
    Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    I'm a rural dweller and I think I'll be a long-term remote worker, so I had been looking forward to the introduction of these rural hubs. Health wise I think it would be great to get out of the house a little more and socialize, and I think if done right this kind of scheme could really breath life back into small villages.

    I was so disappointed then to see what this scheme, which if I recall correctly, was one of the central pillars of the program for Government, looks like after we got a first peek yesterday.

    Aside from the website not really working, the real disappointment was the price quoted by my local hub for a desk.... €12.50 per day. Who can afford that? I can't realistically see anybody much using this service at these prices, so why are we pumping so much money into it?

    If you look through the article they talk about the transformative effect this is going to have, allowing for tens of thousands of workers to work from the countryside. Not a hope! As dark and dank as my spare room/office year there's no way I could afford €60 a week for a decent office, effectively I'd be paying to work!

    I don't have much faith in this government but I naively believed they would get this somewhat right. It would have been such an easy win for them. How difficult could it be to provide basic offices at a minimal cost, given the state's resources and the related costs they already have towards climate, transport, rural development, dublin congestion and competitiveness, mental health and so on.

    For me this just feeds into the narrative that this lot are utterly incompetent, Dublin centric and elitist. I mean €12.50 a day is nothing if you're on a CEO's or TD's salary.



  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    I'll be saving nothing on travel costs. I'll be staying in my dank little spare room.

    I can see though that if you had a very long commute and no home space this might be attractive. But do we need to provide tens of thousands of these spaces for what must be quite a small number then of potential users.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,022 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly

    36.90 a day for 9 to 5.30 so not much good.

  • Edit: Never mind. I had a look at the connecting site for it. Wasn't impressed. In my midlands area, there's only a meeting room costing 65 euro per hour...

    That's just wonderful for something gaining so much State support. And yes, they're operated by businesses, so it's not really a service provided by the govt. More of a initiative to link existing centres.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    I can't see that there'd be tens of thousands of people having work done at home at the same time.

    A good few of these facilities already in place, I don't think we need more unless there's mass appeal. I think the one near me is empty most of the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    What's an internet cafe? Haven't seen one of those in years!

    I know there will be a cost to running these, especially if they have to be staffed. But do we need to build them then if they won't be used? Are they just a rural internet cafe? What's the point in that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,684 ✭✭✭✭ road_high

    I think these kind of defeat the purpose of wfh- no company that is sanctioning wfh will be bothered whether you do it from a hone office or these hubs- but will be far more reticent to stump up a weekly fee plus pay for a central office that you aren’t in already.

    Unless you have no at home office facilities then these serve little purpose in my opinion. They are almost obsolete with the likes of Microsoft teams etc now

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ whippet

    the one near me is really busy, it has a mix of hot desks and small full time offices. Great kitchen, coffee facilities, meeting rooms and small pods for making calls etc. Open 24/7 as well.

    Another great use for it was booking meeting rooms - a few times I'd have customers or colleagues meet me there rather than having to go to the head office in Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    Did you pay for it from your own pocket, or your employer?

    Where people do use the one near me I think they're mostly funded training courses.

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  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 23,428 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Clareman

    That's brilliant, there's 1 near me that's €10 a day or €40 a week, I'll definitely be going there some days during the holidays when the children are off.

  • Have a look at the main site:

    Honestly, the original article is kinda misleading.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ whippet

    A bit of both. When I am meeting clients I'd expense the cost of the meeting room. I had a month of building work going on in my house a couple of years back and spent the month working there as the noise would have been mental in the house and the other option was to go to the head office.

    These do not replace offices or home offices - they are another option for smart / remote working. Days on end in a pokey spare room office isn't good for anyone and even a day or two of mixing with others in a hub is very enjoyable.

    My wife has no interest in going in to the hub - she has been WFH for over a decade and has a purpose built office in the house so is happy out there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    It's great for you personally. I just don't think then it warrants being such a cost and priority if this is the use case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,115 ✭✭✭ nudain

    This falls into the "pack of smokes" index for me. If something is cheaper than a pack of smokes, then it's a fairly trivial daily amount for a lot of people in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ whippet

    that isn't the only use case. These hubs will develop in to small communities of small / micro businesses and remote workers. Sharing ideas, splitting infrastructure costs and more importantly keeping people living and working in regional towns.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 62,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    If there's even vague demand in an area, 12.50 a day is not going to stop it being booked solid. Fraction of the commuting cost for most people.

    Plenty of employers will pay that, or even twice that (125/week was the limit in a job I worked in before, pre COVID too) for the saving on paying for an actual desk space in a city.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,718 ✭✭✭ thomasj

    Looks promising what you're getting for your money 😀

    Photo taken from an article on that booking site about the minister launch yesterday

  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 23,428 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Clareman

    Considering I wouldn't have to heat the house or use as much power (laptop, chargers, coffee machine) I'd imagine the €10 isn't that much really.

    It's not something I'll probably use that often but it's a brilliant service to have available, the 1 here is ran by the Council.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,290 ✭✭✭ Brussels Sprout

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ whippet

    that is the Mill in Drogheda - and those pods are really good - single person, two person and 4 person pods.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    It's not a private service so I don't think that really applies, and before you accuse me of looking for a freebie, bear in mind my tax dollars are funding it anyway. For me personally though I wouldn't pay more than a euro or two above the cost of ESB and heating the spare room for the work hours*. I'll be paying for broadband anyway.

    Maybe I've grossly misjudged how much disposable income people have, but I just can't see the uptake unless it's a nominal fee.

    And if it doesn't have considerable uptake I don't see the point of it, not at this cost and priority. Sure it's a nice to have for people already remote working, and I can see that and I might even use it myself the odd time, if say we had visitors using the spare room or what not.

    As a public expenditure though I can't see the benefit unless it has a transformative effect and that's what this has been sold as (see article). I don't see that it would really help convince somebody to stop commuting. I don't that think it would really make somebody think about opening a shop, garage or creche in a small town or village unless it draws a mass of people in. If there's people working remotely already, it's not going to bring them to a shared space to save on the c02 of otherwise heating individual homes.

    So another waste really especially given that some those derelict buildings might have gone towards housing.

    *I see Clareman has already given a figure of €10 for this. I'd put it at €2 or so. He really needs to look at his energy usage, Eamon Ryan might want a word.

  • This could be game changing, especially if you were working with a company willing to pay a portion or all of the costs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    People could just be blocked from using it if they misuse it, doesn't justify making it unaffordable for the majority.

    Comparing it to hotel lobbies doesn't stand up either, they're not going to scale up if a lot of people start working from home. And I haven't heard anyone from a rural businesses saying please don't take away our trade in people having a cup of coffee and hanging around for a days free WiFi

    I can't take seriously your argument on cost, considering I calculate you spend about 10k per year on energy bills.

    I will allow that not everyone has a spare room, but I don't think this is attractive enough to keep you out of the office in that case. And it doesn't support this being transformative enough to bring tens of thousands of people to these hubs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭ MegamanBoo

    I'd be delighted if my company were willing to meet some or all of the costs. I can't see it happening considering how reluctant they've been to cough up substantially for office equipment/heating.

    And it's quite a risk if that's the success factor on something as costly and high priority as this has been.

  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭ Doasisaynotwhatido

    Free considering we the tax payers are paying for these hubs already.

  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 23,428 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Clareman

    If people don't want to pay it, they they don't pay it. I work from home full time and will do for the foreseeable future, on a couple of occasions I've had to call to family to take a call, people have used my place as well, stuff happens, having a facility like this is a great asset. In Clare for example people might want to come on holidays here, broadband or office facilities mightn't be in place where people are going, now there's an option. This is a service for those that need it, bit like libraries, not for everyone but it's a service for all.

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