Working from home can invade into your family life, says Minister

The Government has announced a new initiative offering 10,000 new free hot desk sessions
Working from home can invade into your family life, says Minister

Olivia Kelleher

Working from home can lead to your professional activities invading your home life, according to Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, who is encouraging the use of remote working hubs under an initiative offering 10,000 new free hot-desk sessions.

Ms Humphreys said her main aim in announcing the initiative was to increase registered users on the connectedhubs.ie website. As it stands the website has 1,800 registered users in about 240 hubs nationally.

In an interview on RTÉ News at One, Ms Humphreys described Covid as a "game changer" for remote working.

"I want more people to take up the use of the remote working hubs. We have been investing in remote working hubs right across the country. And I think it is a better quality of life for people who can live and work in their own communities.

She added: "I personally think working from home means your work life invades into your family life. So when you go into these remote working hubs you find that they are safe and secure places from which to work. You start, you finish and then you go home."

Ms Humphreys said the hubs have "top class facilities" and are available in a host of towns nationwide.

"The level of occupancy is actually increasing. They [hubs] did have difficulties during Covid because obviously they had to have certain spacing requirements. I want to encourage more people to take up this option. To create an awareness around it.

"It is currently 1,800 registered users. That has gone up over the recent period. And I want to get more people involved and more people taking up this offer."

Tax relief

Asked about possible tax relief for people using the remote working hubs, Ms Humphreys said she wanted "to keep things simple initially."

"I am certainly happy to look at how we can improve upon it. The issue around tax is a matter for the Department of Finance".

Ms Humpheys said the Government would give consideration to the anomaly that sees people working from hubs unable to claim for costs although they can do so when working from home.

"[Costs are] something we can look at down the road. This is a taster. This is for people who are working at home today and they haven't taken up the offer to use the local remote working hub. All I am saying to them is try it out and see what they think of it. Have a conversation with your employer because there are a lot of cases where employers will cover costs."

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