Vodafone, ESB, eBay, and Liberty Insurance have joined Ireland’s first remote working alliance – the Remote Alliance. The four founding members of the Alliance have committed to working together to find solutions to enable remote and hybrid working to become embedded within their organisations on a long-term basis. Established by social enterprise Grow Remote, the initiative will lead the way for other Irish employers to commit to long-term remote working.
According to Grow Remote, the purpose of the Remote Alliance is to build an Ireland where employment is accessible no matter where people live. Speaking at the launch of the Alliance, Renate Kohlmann, Director of Grow Remote, said: “We are delighted that four of Ireland’s leading employers have come on board with Grow Remote to create the Remote Alliance. To have Vodafone, ESB, eBay and Liberty Insurance as founding members will help encourage more employers around Ireland to join in the long-term remote working journey. Remote working has the power to transform and reinvigorate local communities by giving people access to job opportunities regardless of where they live in Ireland.
“While the impact of Covid-19 was devastating, it brought about some positives. We know now that remote and hybrid working is good for employees, and for businesses. We know more than ever that people value their work/life balance, and want to be connected to their local community. Individuals, employers, and communities have the opportunity now to take some of these positives and embed long-lasting, positive systemic changes that will transform communities around Ireland.
“Companies are navigating the challenges and opportunities of remote and hybrid working, but there is no roadmap or tried-and-tested template for them to follow. Our founding members are demonstrating bravery, forward-thinking and great leadership in committing to remote working and joining the Alliance, and we’re calling on employers around Ireland to follow suit.”
Practical advice to become “remote-first”
The Remote Alliance will establish a forum of some of Ireland’s leading employers who want to make the transition to remote and hybrid working. Alliance members will meet on a monthly basis, facilitated by Grow Remote. The forum will be an opportunity for members to address the challenges and opportunities they have faced in implementing long-term remote working, as well as sharing their solutions and learnings with other Alliance members. Grow Remote will provide practical advice for members on how to move from reactionary remote working as a result of Covid-19 to embedding “remote-first” working policies into their organisations.
In collaboration with Alliance members, Grow Remote will also develop a playbook and other resources to reach a broader range of employers of all sizes and empower them to follow on the remote working journey.
Speaking at the announcement of the Remote Alliance was Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, who said: “Vodafone Ireland is proud to be part of Grow Remote’s Remote Alliance. The impact of Covid-19 gave our organisation an opportunity to test, on a mass scale, what remote working would mean for us, and through extensive internal engagement, we are delighted to be committing to a long-term hybrid model of working. Our model will give our employees the flexibility they want while maintaining the opportunity for social interactions and the collaboration and innovation that comes from being together in the office. As such, we can create a more inclusive environment, where we can challenge ourselves to remove any barriers to inequality for our people and our customers.”
Echoing Ann O’Leary was Paddy Hayes, Chief Executive of ESB, who said: “ESB is committed to nurturing a trust-based and agile environment, where our people have the tools, flexibility and autonomy to deliver a secure, affordable, low-carbon energy future.
“As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to empower our people to work smarter, enjoy the benefits of inclusive, flexible working culture, and significantly reduce carbon emissions through remote and hybrid working. We’re looking forward to working with other like-minded members of the Remote Alliance to develop solutions that will ensure that remote and hybrid working can become a sustainable part of our business.”
Opportunities for employers of all sizes
Grow Remote is encouraging employers of all sizes to consider joining the Remote Alliance journey. Speaking further, Renate Kohlmann said: “Moving to remote working on a long-term basis is a daunting prospect for many companies, particularly those without the large resources of bigger organisations. Many employers have invested a great deal of time and effort into planning their post-pandemic workplaces, but they are still uncertain about how it will all work. Thanks to the leadership of our four founding members, companies of all sizes will be able to learn how to overcome barriers to remote working, and Grow Remote will be on hand to provide support and advice, regardless of company size.”
For more information on the Remote Alliance, visit https://growremote.ie/.