An IT Solutions company in the south east is set to double the size of its workforce thanks to the pioneering concept of ‘decommuting’.
Gorey-based company Innovate is literally turning the lives of its employees around as they abandon three-hour daily commutes to work in a tech hub in Wexford.
And some of their employees are even travelling from south Dublin, preferring the stress-free empty roads to the daily grind of slow-moving traffic.
The company hope that their decommuting concept could revolutionise working lives in similar-sized towns around the country.
Previously stressed commuters are rediscovering the joys of family life and being absorbed into the community, spurred by signs outside Gorey which urged them to stop following the daily, dismal tail-light trail.
Decommuting is part of a drive which will see the company, which has one of the most high-tech offices in Ireland, double its 40-strong workforce over the next three years.
The company began its novel recruitment drive to try and get people to join its tech hub in Gorey by advertising on roadsides asking commuters travelling from Dublin to Wexford why they were punishing themselves with hours on the road when they could be working in a growing local company.
Innovate provide managed IT and professional solutions in the areas of networking, security, communications and networking.
They are strategic partners of Cisco, Microsoft and IBM and work with household names such as Lifestyle Sports, Campus Oil, Barnardos, DCC plc and the National Archives of Ireland.
Chief marketing officer with the company Mia O’Loughlin, originally from Gorey, says she never thought when she moved back to her home town she would have the opportunity she has now.
Joining Innovate a year ago, she was struck by the passion of MD Jim Hughes about building a digital hub in the south east.
They came up with the idea to tap into a huge reservoir of talent literally driving up the road every day.
“When you’re commuting you just sleep here and you’re not necessarily hearing about companies like Innovate,” said Mia.
“We put a big sign on a container on the side of the road on the N11 as it was then.
“It said if you’re sick of commuting, come and work for us. As a company we can fulfil people’s career ambitions while also giving them a quality of life.
“I thought about going back up the motorway but I didn’t know how that was going to fit with my family.
“Innovate has allowed me to have a relationship with my children that I don’t think I would have if I was on the road. That bond I have with them now sets the scene for later life.”
Innovate has also allowed Gordon Jones (40) the opportunity to turn his life around after a daily commute which was literally making him sick.
He lived in Gorey, Co Wexford but felt like he was just sleeping there without any real connection to the town.
Now he and his wife Ciara and their three children Aidan (11), Margaret (9) and Fearghal (11) have a more family-oriented life in the Wexford town because Gordon isn’t spending large amounts of time driving to work in Dublin.
After a couple of rounds of interviews, he joined the company just over a year ago as part of the technical support team. In the space of a year his life has been completely transformed.
“I can have breakfast with the kids. In the seven years I was commuting I don’t think the kids ever saw me eat breakfast,” said Gordon.
“I don’t leave home till 8.30 am. After years of staring at people’s brake lights I can walk to work in 20 minutes or if I cycle, I’m there in six minutes.
“I’m getting to know people in the town. I’ll pass them on my way to work most mornings and I can have a bit of a chat with them.”