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Aug 062009
 
Baltimore west cork

Image via Wikipedia

Like it or not, we live in a world where work dominates our lives. In Ireland today many of us suffer long working hours and tortuous daily commutes that lock us into a seemingly endless cycle. We get up early, we go to work, we come home late, we go to bed. Then we repeat the saga, day in, day out. The irony is that in a desperate attempt to maintain our standard of living, a growing number of us are willing to sacrifice our quality of life.

Surely there has to be a better way.

All over Europe a small but growing number of people are realising that, for them at least, there is. Slowly but surely these enterprising souls are turning their backs on the frantic corporate culture of our cities and instead choosing a new life – a life where they can dictate the pace.

Rural Ireland, and the South West region in particular – with its rugged natural beauty,  scenic coastline and eclectic social mix – is proving an attractive proposition for many of these enterprising exiles.

“The region has always had an open attitude, very much welcoming of visitors and outside influences,” explains Michael Hanley, Chief Executive of the West Cork Enterprise board. “Historically important harbours like Baltimore and Schull meant that there was always an outside influence from the continent,” he said, “and I think people, particularly along the coast, were always welcoming of new influences and different ways of doing business.”

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Jun 252009
 
Home Work

Image by fras1977 via Flickr

Imagine waking up in the morning and not facing the horror of the daily commute. Imagine sauntering into work after a leisurely breakfast at home with your family. Imagine at the end of the working day simply shutting down your PC and being home in no time at all.

No road rage, no traffic gridlock, no hassle….

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But according to estimates it’s already a reality for more than 60,000 Irish people around the country – at least for part of their working week. Every year more Irish employers are realising the productivity, cost and lifestyle benefits associated with letting their employees work from home.

Information and communications technology today makes the option of e-working from home more affordable and accessible than ever. With a computer and a broadband Internet connection you can often work from home just as effectively as you could at the office – sometimes even more so, because you avoid the myriad distractions typical of an office environment. A lot of work can even be done off-line, then e-mailed to clients or colleagues over a standard dial-up connection, and you’d be amazed at how many jobs are suitable for home working, at least for part of the time.

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