‘The future of work is flexible’

Are you tired of the long commute? The Hatch Lab in Gorey is to host an event to discuss the future of work and why remote working benefits businesses and their people.

Event in Hatch Lab on 1st of February to explore the future of work
Remote working benefits businesses, people and local economies
78% of businesses have implemented some form of remote working policy
Over 200,000 remote workers in Ireland
Roughly 2,500 people commute out of Wexford every day for work
Access to talent is the biggest challenge for Irish SMEs

 
On February 1, Gorey will host a major flexible working event at the HatchLab. The event, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, will help businesses, big and small, understand how they can implement flexible working policies to benefit them and their staff, and thus support talent acquisition and retention.
Long and stressful daily commutes affect not just workers but also their employers. Business owners are increasingly willing to encourage remote working as it has a positive impact on productivity, profitability, staff morale, recruitment and talent retention.
“By 2025, remote working will rival fixed office locations.”
“Flexible working also benefits the wider society and local communities,” says Emer Cooney, event organiser. “There are 200,000 remote workers in Ireland, and this number is growing rapidly. In Wexford alone, almost 2,500 people commute out of the county every day. Allowing even a proportion of these commuters to work within the county would reduce work-related stress, and benefit the local economy by redirecting spending towards local retailers and businesses. It would also alleviate traffic congestion on major routes, and reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, which are key state priorities.”
“Organisations that don’t offer flexibility will lose talent.”
Isolation doesn’t have to be an issue
For remote workers, the key challenge of working from home can be isolation. This has driven the emergence of a multitude

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/working-from-home-the-future-of-work-is-flexible/ on
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Scholarship desks available for 2019

Are you working on a business idea? Are you looking for a work space in Cork or Waterford?
Bank of Ireland is offering scholarship desks in the much sought-after coworking spaces the Republic of Work in Cork, and Boxworks in Waterford. Apply here by 12 pm on Wednesday, January 23 and best of luck.
“The aim of the scholarships is simple – to give those in need a desk in a vibrant coworking space.”
See the video of Boxworks below where previous Scholarship Desk users relate their experiences.

 
“The Bank of Ireland scholarship programme really has been one of the big success stories at Republic of Work. BOI’s support has seen most of Cork’s breakthrough startup success stories of the last two years get access to free space,” says DC Cahalane, CEO, Republic of Work.
The scholarship desks will house startups, researchers, and NGOs as well as people from multinationals looking to set up operations in the region.
The aim of the scholarships is simple – to give those in need a desk in a vibrant coworking space while they tackle a specific business goal, over a six month period commencing on 1st February 2019.
To apply for the scholarship, you should state your “time-bound goal”, and you must follow the rules of the coworking space.
Apply here by 12 pm on Wednesday 23rd January and best of luck.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/scholarship-desks-available-for-2019-boxworks-republic-of-work/ on
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FutureScope returns to Dublin in 2019

FutureScope 2019 is a conference aimed at promoting collaboration between entrepreneurs and multinationals.

FutureScope, Ireland’s only conference that promotes collaboration between the entrepreneurial community and multinationals, will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin on Thursday, 28th March 2019.

FutureScope brings together leaders from the technology ecosystem to share perspectives on emerging technologies and how they will shape our future world, providing crucial insights to developing businesses, innovators and investors.

Run by Dublin BIC, the event has become a must-attend event for those most active in Ireland’s vibrant technology ecosystem.

Through panel discussions, tech demonstrations, innovative showcases, and structured networking, FutureScope offers the perfect setting for collaboration.

FutureScope will feature approximately 100 speakers and panellists, with 40 exhibitors. Tickets are currently available here from €89 and are limited to 1200 people.

A special emphasis is placed on purposeful networking and the creation of collaboration opportunities for start-ups, scale-ups, multinational companies, innovative Irish enterprise, SME’s, the research community, investors, academia and state agencies.

FutureScope 2019 promises to be the biggest and best year yet with founders, CEOs and leaders from high-profile companies giving inspiring talks across four stages at the event.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/futurescope-returns-to-dublin-in-2019-technology-conference/ on
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How to master the 5/55 email strategy

If you can master email rather than letting it master you, you’ll have more time to grow your business.
Email can be great for serving customers and listening to their needs. However, it can also drain time and energy and distract business owners and entrepreneurs.
Email is generally the source of most customer queries. How can you stay on top of things without email distracting you from the other work that needs to get done?
Reactive mode
Mobile phones allow us to respond to any message anytime, anywhere. But increasingly our mobile phone notifications are driving our agenda for the day. How many days have you set out a plan, then worked non-stop all day only to finish with none of your intended tasks done?
Constant notifications from email and other social media apps cause constant distractions from the work we plan to do.
Deep thinking
Tasks like writing quotes or proposals require a deep level of concentration. To get this level of focus, we need to work uninterrupted.
The statistics on our ability to focus are alarming. If we are distracted by a notification, it can take up to 23 minutes to get back to the same level of focus (Ref1). And this occurs even if we only switch away for 30 seconds.
Business owners are great multitaskers and get lots of things done. But this research shows that the quality of decision-making and creativity is really diminished. It can be viewed as skimming rather than genuinely working.
Try something new
Email is generally the biggest distracter so let’s look at a strategy to take control.
There is no point in telling business owners to work with their notifications switched off. How about a strategy that allows you to stay in touch throughout the day while gaining uninterrupted time every hour for deep-thinking productive work?
“Think of what you can achieve in

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/how-to-take-control-of-email-use-and-make-it-work-for-you/ on
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Demand for ‘off-grid’ holidays is growing

Off-grid holidays in natural settings are becoming very popular with stressed out, ‘always on’ professionals. Zoobox sees the opportunity in this space. 

Irish startup Zoobox sees an opportunity in the world of ‘off-grid’ holidays. The business builds bespoke lodges and then places them in amazing natural landscapes away from the hustle and stress of the ‘always on’ digital world. 

The company burst onto the tourism scene some years ago in Canada, a country with deep forests, incredible vistas and bulging mountains. Zoobox says its experience gives customers ‘an open window to the natural world’. The concept is that humans are in ‘boxes’ looking out at nature. These homes are off-grid and self-sufficient.

The lodgings are eco-friendly, and ‘respect their environment’. Each site is specifically chosen and designs are created to merge with the natural landscape.

We spoke with Zoobox’s head of business development, Laure Hantz-Burnet, who gave us more insight into the idea.

“High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price of luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run.”

How was Zoobox born?

We started as a real estate development company based in Canada beside a national park. We were the first to design platinum certified passive homes in Canada. 

We realised there was a strong demand to reconnect with nature in a comfortable setting. It makes sense – we spend more and more of time indoors (90% if you are American according to the national human activity pattern survey), we also spend most of the time sitting in front of a screen. We believe people are feeling an urge to unplug and recharge in a natural environment. High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price of luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run. Seeing this demand, our company designed a prototype in 2007 that would be the ultimate outdoor lodging experience.

We called it the Zoobox and it immediately got a lot of attention from the media and potential customers. Since we already had contacts in North America and had global ambitions, we decided to launch the Zoobox project in Ireland to help us connect to the European market. We design and produce the units here in Ireland and are preparing to ship them worldwide.

Where will they be placed in Ireland?

The goal is to create a network of five Zoobox sites in Ireland. Today we have sites in progress on the west coast (Galway, Clare and Kerry) and also Wicklow. We also have many interested parties in Donegal and west Cork.

“Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners.”

How much they will cost?

For the moment, we don’t plan to sell the units individually. Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners. Our sites size will vary between five and 15 units, depending on the local market study.

“In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad.”

How successful has it been?

It has been very successful so far. We have confirmed our first order for Canada for 15 homes. We had plans to secure five partnerships in Ireland before 2020, and so far we already have three active partnerships. We are getting loads of demand from abroad from countries such as Iceland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madagascar and Jamaica.

What are the future plans?

In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad. As we push forward with our research and development, and our design, we are finding out that some of our cost-effective solutions to install the Zoobox in remote areas could drastically decrease the construction price of off the grid houses or any houses for that matter.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/zoobox-to-offer-off-grid-digital-detox-holidays-nature-holidays/ on
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Experience the wonderful Irish countryside like never before

Zoobox has been very successful in Canada but now plans to build lodges in the Irish countryside.

Irish startup Zoobox has announced their intention to set up five sites in Ireland over the next few years with the west coast the company’s preferred location.

The company burst onto the tourism scene some years ago in Canada, a country surrounded with deep forests, incredible greenery and mountains. The experience provides visitors with an open window to the most beautiful sceneries and gives visitors an unparalleled view of the natural world.

Zoobox takes the natural beauty in nature and makes it entirely accessible and enjoyable by creating comfortable outdoor lodging experiences. The concept is that humans are in ‘boxes’ looking out at nature. These homes are off-grid and self-sufficient.

The lodgings are suitably eco-friendly, and they respect every aspect of their environment. Each site is specifically chosen and designs are precisely created to merge the local and natural landscape while providing an unadulterated and unique experience for visitors and the local community.

We spoke with Zoobox’s head of business development Laure Hantz-Burnet, who gave us more insight into the idea.

Where did the idea for the company come from?

We started as a real estate development company based in Canada beside a national park. We were the first to design a LEED platinum certified building in Canada. Since our passive houses were more expensive than normal ones, our customers asked us if we could rent them out to help them pay the mortgage.

We realised there was a strong demand to reconnect with nature in a comfortable setting. It makes sense – we spend more and more of time indoor (90% if you are American according to the national human activity pattern survey), we also spend most of time sitting in front of a screen. We believe people are feeling an urge to unplug and recharge in a natural environment. High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price than luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run. Seeing this demand, our company designed a prototype in 2007 that would be the ultimate outdoor lodging experience.

We called it the Zoobox and it immediately got a lot of attention from the media and customers. Since we already had contacts in North America and had global ambitions, we decided to launch the Zoobox project in Ireland to help us connect to the European market. We design and produce the unit here in Ireland and are preparing to ship worldwide.

Where will they be placed in Ireland?

The goal is to create a network of five Zoobox sites in Ireland. Today we have sites in progress on the west coast (Galway, Clare and Kerry) and also Wicklow. We also have many interested parties in Donegal and west Cork as well so we’ll see how they play out.

How much they will cost?

For the moment, we don’t plan to sell the units individually. Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners. Our sites size will vary between five and 15 units, depending on the local market study.

How successful has it been to date?

It has been very successful so far. We have confirmed our first order for Canada for 15 homes. We had plans to secure five partnerships in Ireland before 2020, and so far we already have three active partnerships. We are getting loads of demand from abroad from countries such as Iceland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madagascar and Jamaica.

What are the future plans?

In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad. As we push forward with our research and development, and our design, we are finding out that some of our cost effective solutions to install the Zoobox in remote areas could drastically decrease the construction price of off the grid houses, or any houses for that matter.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/experience-the-irish-countryside-like-never-before-zoobox/ on
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New Bank of Ireland community hub in Wexford Town

Bank of Ireland has officially opened the doors to its new community hub in Wexford Town.
The branch underwent a major refurbishment. As part of this, a new events room has been added and will be available to local clubs, charities, societies and business organisations to host meetings or events free of charge. The space can cater for up to 50 people and has state of the art technology facilities that can be used for presentations.
“The people of Wexford Town have a new facility to host meetings and events free of charge.”
How people want to bank
“Serving customers brilliantly is a key priority for Bank of Ireland. We want to offer services and products in line with how people want to bank – both now and into the future,” says JJ Keyes, Head of Bank of Ireland, Wexford.
“With more than 250 branches nationwide, we are proud to have the largest branch network of any bank in Ireland. We are delighted to be able to provide the people of Wexford Town with this new facility to enable them to host meetings and events free of charge.”
Make contact
For more details on how to book an event or meeting in the space, please contact:
Andrew Owen (branch manager) Wexford Town, andrew.owen@boi.com .
Karen Edwards (customer service manager) Wexford Town, karen.edwards@boi.com.
 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/new-bank-of-ireland-community-hub-in-wexford-town/ on
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What’s it like moving from Moscow to Dublin?

Ekaterina Voznesenskaia was an English teacher in Moscow until one day she decided to change career and move to Dublin. This is her story of spontaneous change and how she experienced Ireland for the first time.
Nothing can be more natural and spontaneous than changing your life in just three months.
After working as a children’s teacher of English and German and as a lecturer of English at the University in Moscow, I suddenly realised that I really want to do something different.
I decided to study marketing and wanted to get an international education in an English-speaking country.
“Moving to Ireland is the most significant and spontaneous decision I have ever made in my life.”
Having visited Ireland as a tourist, before moving here, I was impressed by Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university and one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. And this was my choice – the Trinity College, MSc in Marketing.
In September 2017 I moved to Ireland to begin my studies.
My year at the university was exhilarating and challenging. I was in a minority of students who did not have a business background. For me everything was new. This, however, made it even more exciting, and the whole year of study was a huge challenge.
Even though it was difficult at first, I now realise how important every step of your life is. Every small step leads to more significant results.
Currently, I am working as a consulting analyst at Accenture, conducting research and analysis of customer services and providing recommendations for our high tech software client.
“Life here is not as hectic as in Moscow.”
What was your experience like moving from Russia to Ireland?
Moving to Ireland is the most significant and spontaneous decision I have ever made in my life.
I have never regretted this decision, despite the challenges it brings. I

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/i-moved-from-moscow-to-dublin-to-start-a-new-life/ on
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What is GirlCrew?

Having started out as a journalist with The Irish Times, Paula Newenham created GirlCrew, a support and advice platform for women all over the world. 
I studied law in Ireland and the United States, before completing a master’s degree in journalism. I began my career as a general news reporter with The Irish Times mostly covering the courts but it got depressing after a while as there were never really any positive stories. When I made the move to business reporting, I wanted to write about more positive things, so I focussed on technology, startups, innovation and entrepreneurship. Interviewing entrepreneurs every day made me realise I wanted to start my own business. GirlCrew was the perfect opportunity to do so.
“We are not truly global yet, but we plan to be.”
We’re all about supporting women. Our principle guideline as a company is one of respect, and that feeds into our community and the support we offer each other. This can be something small like people just chatting through problems online. Or something bigger like helping each other find suitable housing, find a job that’s good for them, or helping them to settle into a new city. We’d like to build on this principle and become a community for women all over the world. We want no woman to ever feel alone. No matter where they are, they can join us and chat to other women for support. Even if we haven’t launched in their city, they can do this.
“Interviewing entrepreneurs every day made me realise I wanted to get back to that.”
Unlike other social networking sites, GirlCrew immediately connects women with others in their city for nights out, hikes, brunches, holidays and more. It also has in-built careers, entrepreneurship, and personal interest groups, where women can share knowledge and advice on everything from getting

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/what-is-girlcrew/ on thinkbusiness

The product solving the shower crisis

The ShowerGem might just be the perfect present this Christmas. We caught up with the company founder Sean McGarry to discuss the product.
I believe you had trouble naming the company?
Choosing the name ShowerGem was a pretty laboursome task. Originally, the product was to be called The ShowerBoss Shower Caddy but when we applied for a trademark we ran into difficulty from Hugo Boss, who in their cease and desist letters stated that they “are a company with a turnover of four billion dollars annuall”, not exactly someone a startup wants to be messing with. After seven months arguing with their German legal team, an agreement was reached where we could use ShowerBoss, but it left some red tape over the company which was less than ideal if we were to begin selling internationally in the future. So we parked ShowerBoss and began looking for something different. I met with Graham Clarke from Bank of Ireland and after a few cups of coffee I found myself staring at a bag of ‘GEM’ sugar. I looked up the domain www.ShowerGem.com, it was available so hey presto, The ShowerGem Shower Caddy was born.  
Why was the company started?
ShowerGem was created pretty much by accident back in 2015. I have two teenage sisters which meant razors were left on the shower floor, soaps thrown everywhere and bottles were balanced on top of the Mira shower unit. I tried using the metal caddies but the suction always failed leading to everything crashing to the ground. My dad thought there must be a better way so he went out to his workshop and created the ShowerGem. He made it just for our own shower but when I saw it I thought it was genius so I began turning it into a proper business.

What need is your

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-product-solving-the-shower-crisis/ on thinkbusiness