A couple from Wexford have launched a global jobs platform for people who want a career from home.

Vanessa Tierney and Ben Wainwright developed the idea for Abodoo after moving back from the UK with their young family.

The online platform matches people who want to work remotely with suitable roles. It was developed over the past 12 months, and is now accepting registrations from employers and people seeking to work from home.

Abodoo has attracted support from the IDA and open eir. The company plans to launch in the UK in the coming months, and to expand globally next year.

At Abodoo’s launch in Dublin today, co-founder Vanessa Tierney said remote working has grown significantly in recent years.

“I’ve worked remotely for years, and love it,” she said. “In 2011, I ended up in hospital in the UK with a severe virus which took months to recover from. I was unable to commute to the office, but I was still able to work from home. That was my initial ‘light-bulb’ moment when I began imagining the possibilities if people could access strong career opportunities through remote working.

“I’ve been self-employed for a lot of my career, so I’ve had flexibility. I know remote working hasn’t always been an option for people in other roles, but that’s now changing rapidly: 4.2 million people regularly work from home in the UK, and the percentage of businesses allowing staff to work remotely has climbed to 61 per cent.

“The first roles to go remote were freelancing and self-employed. Now, it’s time for permanent careers to become more flexible. There are three main variations of remote working, the first being fully home-based, the second a hybrid model of home and office, or the third working from a hub which is an open office with hot desks as and when you need them. There have been many successful hubs established around Ireland so employees don’t have to drive into traffic to do their jobs. Abodoo caters for all variations of remote jobs that a company will upload.”

Business Case for Remote Working

According to Ms. Tierney, there is a strong business case for remote working.

“Remote working leads to cost-savings, better retention levels, higher rates of employee satisfaction, and greater opportunities for working parents, people with disabilities, and those living outside major urban areas,” she said. “It’s better for the environment because people need to commute less, and it allows people more choice in where they live and the type of homes they buy.

“The trend towards remote working is spearheaded by some of the world’s best-known brands. Dell, for example, has set a goal of having 50 per cent of its workforce working remotely by 2020. Cisco makes $277 million annually in productivity savings by allowing remote working. And, here in Ireland, the likes of Shopify and Amazon all have substantial home-working teams.”

New Technologies

Abodoo’s founders say technological advancements have unlocked the potential for people to establish quality careers while working from home.

“Thanks to high-speed broadband, cloud computing, screen-sharing, video-calling and instant messaging, it’s easy for employees to work effectively from home and to keep in touch with the rest of their team,” said Vanessa Tierney. “This wouldn’t have been possible 10 or 20 years ago.

“Our partnership with open eir and their national rollout is focused on educating people that, with broadband, comes this choice of a remote career. We’re planning a regional roadshow in the coming months, where people will be able to access support and advice on establishing remote careers. However, our first stop will be the National Ploughing Championships where we will be on hand at the open eir stand and interested people can meet the team and seek advice.”

Orlagh Nevin, Director of Sales, Marketing and Service with open eir, was at today’s Abodoo launch. “open eir has invested significantly in our nationwide fibre broadband rollout programme, which means that homes and businesses across Ireland can avail of speeds of up to 1,000Mb/s,” she said. “This kind of future-proofed infrastructure brings opportunities for everyone – from individuals to large enterprises – enabling education, business and social networking.

“We are delighted to support Abodoo and keen to help people take full advantage of the potential that our connectivity brings. We fully support this kind of remote working initiative and encourage companies to take advantage of our technology and to truly make use of the amazing skills of people across the island of Ireland. As Ireland’s largest telecommunications company, any business or initiative supporting this vision of working and living where you want is a company we want to support.”

The Figures Behind Remote Working

During today’s launch, Abodoo highlighted the “figures that prove remote working makes sense”, including:

– Remote workers save, on average, between €2,000 and €7,000 and hundreds of hours of travel time per year – just by removing their daily commute.
– 82% of those who work from home report lower stress levels as a result.
– 58% of companies in Ireland (in a 2016 survey of 540 companies) confirmed they are investing in cloud technology, of which 46% confirmed this would benefit remote working.
– 15% of large multinational companies in Ireland now support home-working, and this figure is increasing year on year.
– Companies that promote remote working report an increase in staff retention of over 50 per cent; and a reduction in absenteeism of 63%.
– 91% of companies that facilitate remote working experience increased productivity.
– Companies will save an average of €11,000 per employee that is remote and many start by implementing a hybrid or flexible model.

How Abodoo works

Currently, remote working job opportunities are difficult to find on standard jobs boards and are typically for temporary or contractor positions. Abodoo is the only free-to-access, dedicated remote working website with intuitive matching technology for careers: the platform has been built with both the employer and employee in mind and uses algorithms to ensure both candidates and businesses only see the best results.

Employers and those seeking remote-working careers can register now at www.abodoo.com.