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Irish Times :Return to the office allows new models of working

Irish Times -

Blended. Hybrid. Balanced. These are the buzzwords used by employers and managers to describe the kind of working arrangements envisaged from next Monday as the restriction on office-based work is eased.

In Galway, PorterShed is looking forward to people returning. With offices based near Eyre Square in the city centre, it offers “hot desk” facilities, co-working spaces, project spaces and services for tech-based companies.

“We have been gradually opening up,” its chief executive, Mary Rodgers, says. “We’ve been open for essential services so we’ve seen the return to the office happen already with tech companies, and we’re seeing at least five of our member companies returning on Monday.”

Before the pandemic, about 130 people availed of the office facilities. Between 25 and 40 people are currently working at the offices, with a further 30 expected to return next week, bringing the co-working space back to half capacity.

PorterShed has been receiving Connected Hub grants from the Department of Rural and Community Development, as well as assistance from Enterprise Ireland through the Department of Enterprise during the pandemic. The grants have been “essential” in helping the company reopen, according to Rodgers.

With the additional money, phone booths and podcast studios have been installed in the offices. “When people come back to the office, others will still be operating remotely. Typically, two people are at home and two people are here, so they will go into the phone booths for these meetings.”