Ireland's regions can benefit from the surge in remote working

Ireland's regions could benefit from the greater number of people working from home due to Covid-19, according to an international consultancy firm on foreign direct investment.

OCO Global, an advisor to Enterprise Ireland and the UK’s Department for International Trade, is calling on the regions of Ireland to create 'bespoke offerings' on the back of increased remote working to attract foreign investment and aid the post-pandemic economic bounce back.

“Covid-19 will fundamentally change the nature of foreign direct investment in Ireland with home working and the redistribution of talent providing a generational opportunity to deliver an uplift in regional investment,” said Mark O’Connell CEO, OCO Global.

Ireland’s regional hubs with their cheaper costs, strong logistics, expertise, and skill clusters offer considerable value and opportunity for investors post Covid-19, the company said.

“Unlocking the potential of the regions will not only address the regional imbalance, it will enhance Ireland’s offering, and improve its competitiveness.”

Mr O’Connell went on to say that 65% of Ireland’s professionals live outside of Dublin. “With the expedited shift to remote working this can be leveraged by local authorities with staff reluctant to return to pre-Covid-19 workplace practices,” he continued.

“While the internal regional competition will be fierce, the locations that can quickly pivot their offerings to resilient sectors such as life sciences and technology will ultimately thrive.

OCO Global based its analysis on the disruption caused by Covid-19, and the cultural transformation within the corporate environment that has shifted the emphasis from Dublin to locations that are home to recognised skillset clusters.

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