Commuting to work is not the future

Vanessa Tierney’s business Abodoo finds jobs for remote workers and smart workers. Currently, there are three forms of remote working, and it’s quickly becoming ‘the norm’. 


Following a spell in the UK, serial entrepreneur and recruitment specialist, Vanessa Tierney, became aware of a growing gap in the recruitment market. In 2014, she returned home with her husband and two years later co-founded Abodoo. The business makes it easier for people who don’t want to commute long distances to work and to intuitively match them to firms looking for new talent.

It’s a platform for professionals and skilled workers who would like the option to either work from home, hub, office or a hybrid of these. She reveals the inspiration behind starting the business, along with her future ambitions in this blossoming sector. Abodoo launched recently and is located in the Hatch Lab, in Gorey, Co Wexford, with a team of 13 people and growing, spread across the UK and Ireland.

“What was missing was a national database for remote and flexible workers. It has become our mission to work with the IDA and build that database.”

The inspiration came easily

The name Abodoo derives from ‘abode’ meaning home and ‘do’ meaning work. Some years ago, I moved to the UK for medical treatment, and at the time I needed to recuperate from my former home there. Despite the disruption, I was able to work remotely from home, while successfully managing my team in Dublin via Skype. It showed me you could hire people from any location. My team also worked remotely and carried out recruitment globally for the IDA. More and more FDI companies were arriving in Ireland.What was missing was a national database for remote and flexible workers. It has become our mission to work with the IDA and build that database – a database that could prove a potential game-changer for the country.

If a company can be flexible, it can now access fantastic talent. I have two little girls of my own, and I meet many talented parents who would like to go back to work, but the daily costs of commuting and childcare make it financially impractical. Smart working is the solution to this issue. And it’s a big issue.

The customer base is growing 

The primary target sectors are tech, sales, marketing, financial, legal and healthcare. Our target companies would range across the spectrum from US multinationals to SMEs. The jobs advertised on Abodoo are for salaried payroll positions.

“People are 10-20% more productive working from home or a hub as they feel more empowered. ”

What is remote working?

Over the last 30-40 years, remote working has changed. Remote working means you are not required to go to the head office five days per week, 100% of the time. Currently, there are three forms of remote working. For example, a person may set up a home office and work full-time from home; or a person works three days from head office and the other days from home. The final variation is the hybrid model, where a person may work, three days at the head office and the rest of the week from a local hub, such as in the Hatch Lab in Gorey. Remote working is the future of work.

How would you describe Abodoo?

Abodoo is an intuitive platform that matches companies with remote and flexible workers. It’s like a matching site for employers and ‘smart workers’.

What benefits can you offer startups and SMEs?

We can help companies access more talent, as there is a real talent shortage at the moment. Statistically, people will be 10-20% more productive working from home or a hub as they can feel more empowered. It also just provides more flexibility for businesses that are growing, as companies are not restricted by the shortage of office space.

“There are over 4.2 million people working remotely in the UK, which is phenomenal.”

Spreading the word

We were delighted to secure Open eir as our sponsor, which was announced at this year’s Ploughing in Screggan, Co. Offaly. Open eir wish to educate people about the benefits of fibre and their job is to roll out fibre nationally, through the likes of Eir Retail and Imagine, who then resell it to consumers. Countrywide 1.6 million people now have fibre through the Open eir network. When we arrived outside Gorey three years ago, we started with 3mb and now had 140mb – which means you can consider the option of a career at home.

The UK and global trends

Working in the UK seven years ago, opened my eyes to remote working. There are over 4.2 million people working remotely in the UK, which is phenomenal. A Virgin media research report predicts that by 2020, 60% of all workforces globally, will be working from home or a hub, for a percentage of the working week.

Helping companies transition

We have help on hand, to assist companies in transition. Our director of people is Ruth Gawthorpe has 30 years’ experience, helping companies’ transition from 100% office-based to flexible or remote working. We are also just launching, in conjunction with the IDA, a ‘Go remote be flexible’ toolkit, which gives companies the basis to evaluate if this model will work for them.

Vision for the future

The goal of our CEO Sue Marshall, CTO Ben Wainwright and I is to grow Abodoo into the most significant brand globally for remote and flexible workers and if we can achieve that in the next five years – that would be wonderful.

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