Tech firms looking to locate outside of Dublin post-Covid

There is a strong appetite for regional investment outside large cities by Irish tech businesses, new research from Sidero reveals.

Seventy-seven percent of Irish tech leaders believe more tech companies will locate outside Dublin post-Covid.

New research from Sidero, in association with Mediateam, indicates that two-thirds of Irish tech companies believe there are sufficient skills and resources available to invest in regional locations.

“As a Midlands-based company, we have experienced first-hand the benefits of regional investment, and it’s heartening to see that so many of our peers also recognise the advantages”

The biggest benefits, they feel, for locating in the regions are easier commutes (77pc), better work-life balance (75pc) and lower cost of living (73pc).

Almost half (48pc) of businesses cited lower setup and running costs as a key reason for locating outside Dublin, while 27pc felt there was less competition for skills and talent in a regional setting.

Re-imagining the workplace

More than one in five Irish businesses believe the majority of their employees will continue to work from home post-Covid, reimagining the concept of the workplace and delivering a further potential boost to the regions.

Other findings revealed that 42pc of Irish businesses are likely to introduce a four-day working week, at least on a trial basis, in the next three years with 62pc believing they could do so without negatively impacting their organisational success.

In relation to Brexit, almost half (48pc) say it will provide them with a competitive edge over UK firms, although 35pc believe it will make the cost of purchasing IT services and products more expensive.

“As a Midlands-based company, we have experienced first-hand the benefits of regional investment, and it’s heartening to see that so many of our peers also recognise the advantages,” said Carmel Owens, CEO of Sidero.

“Easier commutes, less congestion, a lower cost of living and highly-skilled graduates emerging from local third-level institutions are just some of the numerous rewards we reap from a regional base.

“The dramatic changes in work practices over the past year have shown that our industry no longer needs to be Dublin-centric, which in turn, can lead to a better work-life balance and lower costs for businesses.

“Interestingly, due to this shift, businesses are realising that decentralisation doesn’t necessarily mean less productivity, and we could be seeing a remote-working model emerge as the norm, with many employers also considering the idea of a four-day work week.”

Owens said the research indicates Brexit has brought new opportunities for some Irish businesses, as they now have increased their competitive advantage over their UK counterparts. It has already significantly changed the Irish business landscape.

“We are reassured that regional investment will be seen as a viable option for more Irish businesses going forward, which is a win-win as it gives regional locations a chance to flourish, while relieving some of the pressure on services and infrastructure in larger cities.

“We hope that the announcement of a new technological university for the midlands, bordering almost half of Ireland’s 26 counties, with the merging of Athlone and Limerick ITs will further bolster the appeal of a regional base,” Owens said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 27 May 2021

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