Our working lives have been changed forever and Caroline Price’s Workspot.ie has developed a flexible solution for remote workers who want to work locally.

Workspot.ie is focused on supporting local Irish business communities and remote workers across Ireland by giving them an opportunity to list their available workspace for free on the WorkSpot.ie website which then remote workers in that area can book a workspace on a flexible pay as you go basis.

Hosts of desk space are restaurants, cafes, offices& hotels, many of whom have been closed, now can increase revenue by listing their available workspace for free on WorkSpot.ie.

“We are bringing business back to local towns and villages by giving cafes, restaurants, hotels, local clubs and offices a place where they can list an unused desk space for free”

A full-time booked desk can make on average €4,200 per year. A WorkSpot.ie workspace ideally is in a quiet area, has Wi-Fi connection, sockets and a comfortable chair. If a host wants to upsell their workspace listing, they can offer coffee, lunch or any additional extras which might make their workspace more appealing to a guest.

Remote workers now have an opportunity to book an alternative workspace in their local town/village either on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Book it and they will work

As Price explains it, it is about changing the Groundhog Day scenario of our home becoming our place of work. It is a simple booking platform that puts the host directly in contact with the guest and handle all payments.

“We are an ‘Airbnb of desk space’ in local Irish towns”

WorkSpot.ie have recently partnered with Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, Co Meath, The Headfort Arms in Kells, Co Meath, and The View in Malahide, Co Dublin, who all have dedicated WorkSpot desks available from €10 per day.

“Remote and flexible working have been gradually becoming the way we work and this trend has only been accelerated by Covid-19 worldwide,” says Price.

“This has brought huge benefits to people working from home throughout Ireland – however, very often the problem we now face is that we do not have access to the environment, resources or space to work effectively – without going back to commuting two hours a day!

“We are ‘getting by’ working at home but we are missing that quiet space to take a call or the brief chat with someone other than the cat! The solution is to ‘work from near home.’”

According to the Central Statistics Office, over a fifth (22pc) of the 35-to-44 age group experience difficulties in working from home with their family around, with difficulties declining as the age groups get older from the 35-44 age group.’

“Indeed, A higher percentage of females find it more difficult to work from home with family around than men,” Price said on the figures.

“Workspot.ie was established prior to Covid-19 to facilitate this new way of working. Workspot.ie does that by providing unused space in small towns and villages throughout Ireland as workspace for you. In doing so Workspot.ie provides an opportunity for existing businesses throughout Ireland to boost their revenue by utilising their unused space,” she said.

Eurofound’s e-survey ‘Living, working and Covid-19’ provides a snapshot of the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives, with the aim of helping policymakers to bring about an equal recovery from the crisis. “Ireland had one of the highest rates of employees working from home during the Covid-19 crisis with 53.4pc of respondents working from Home during the pandemic.

infographic explaining how Workspot works.

“The group’s survey also found that over 43pc of Irish respondents started to work from home as a result of the [Covid-19] situation.

“With approximately 2,445,100 people in the labour force in Ireland, that equates to a market for Workspot.ie of 1.3m people in Ireland who are/have experienced working from home in the past year.

“We are an ‘Airbnb of desk space’ in local Irish towns. We are bringing business back to local towns and villages by giving cafes, restaurants, hotels, local clubs and offices a place where they can list an unused desk space for free.

“It’s a simple booking system that puts hosts in direct contact with guests and all transactions/payments are done safely and securely through Workspot.ie using Stripe payments.

“Remote/flexible workers can book a desk on a pay as you go basis, either hourly, daily, weekly or monthly- its up to the lister to decide when they want to make their Workspot available.”

Connecting the dots

Price, a mother of a toddler and working from home, recognised the need not only for an effective workspace but also a place of interaction with others.

She thoroughly enjoys working from home but some days she needs to take that important call or host a meeting and was left with nowhere to go other than her en suite.

Working with her husband Conor, they setup Workspot.ie and have been proving it in and around their locality over the last number of months.

“There is really great support and encouragement out there for female entrepreneurs in particular, but really you have to be prepared to put in the work yourself and drive your business forward – we understand that and want to partner with other business throughout Ireland who think the same as us and will utilise Workspot.ie to grow their customer base and revenue as we come out of lockdown.”

Her advice to fellow founders is to research the market and be flexible.

“You only think you have an idea/product – in reality the market tells you what it is they want.

“Remain flexible. In the current environment, markets are changing daily and you need to be flexible enough to change your product offering with it.”

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

Published: 30 April 2021