A recent report from Deloitte suggests that one third of workers will permanently work from home even after lockdown ends, with many others operating a hybrid model between home and office.
These changes in work practices offer the potential to reverse the long running brain drain from rural Ireland as generations of talented young people left rural communities to pursue their career with a devastating effect on local business and community life.
We now have the opportunity to reverse that trend by providing the relevant support and structures such as broadband and attractive versatile working spaces that allow people to work from home.
This can breathe new life back into our small town and villages. Equally, those living in the commuter belt can avoid spending 2-3 hours driving to work in Dublin and can invest new-found free time in family and community life.
I will be working to ensure that the EU digital strategy will deliver opportunities for those who want to work from home, thereby enhancing communities and employment outside of Dublin.