Remote working here to stay

Laois and Offaly ETB (LOETB) developed two training programmes, ‘Remote Work Ready’ and ‘Leading Remote Teams’, in collaboration with SOLAS, IDA Ireland and Grow Remote, to support employers and employees in the transition to remote working. Even before Covid-19 hit, remote working was an area that was gaining traction. Covid-19 accelerated interest in remote and hybrid models of working.

These Skills to Advance programmes were launched as a national pilot and as a result LOETB had the opportunity to work with companies across all of Ireland. Since then, it has adapted the programmes to focus on implementing remote working as a long-term plan for organisations and to assist employers and employees to work towards a hybrid model or a fully remote model.

There are many benefits for organisations to offering remote working such as access to a wider talent pool, reduction in rent and office costs, increases in productivity and a more flexible working culture.

In Laois alone, there were 12,000 commuters, pre Covid-19, leaving the county borders for work each day. Remote working can have huge benefits for commuters with significant reductions in commuting time. It provides them with the opportunity to work, live and contribute to their local communities. LOETB will continue to support employees and employers eager to continue with remote working through upskilling in the area and providing learners with access to experts in the field.

To date in 2021, 11 ‘Leading Remote Teams’ programmes commenced with 232 participants. More recently, LOETB has been engaging with the not-for-profit sector in the roll out of ‘Leading Remote Teams’.

Course participant Stephan Bueck stated: “The course gives very useful insight into remote leadership and project management skills and broadens understanding of the subject. It provides an opportunity to connect to other people outside your own organisation and learn from their experience. The tutors and speakers were very engaged, and I can highly recommend participation.”

“This programme offered challenges, solutions and a wealth of information delivered in an accessible interactive manner. From the peer learning perspective, the quality of the materials used and the engagement of excellent speakers, overall, the course exceeded my expectations. Thank you so much for putting this together at such an appropriate time. Well done to all”, added participant Shauna McClenaghan.

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