26 September 2023

NORTHERN IRELAND: Province embraces hybrid working

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Northern Ireland’s Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy has launched the Government’s Connect2 Regional Hubs, describing them as a transformational approach to Public Service working.

The 11 hubs are part of a new hybrid working policy which will offer a blended approach to working from home, remotely or in the office, subject to business need.

They will become operational in line with public health guidance.

Speaking as he visited the hub at Rathkeltair House in Downpatrick, accompanied by Head of the Public Service, Jayne Brady, Mr Murphy said the Connect2 Regional Hubs were one of the most significant developments in relation to how the Public Service operated.

“Working from home as a result of COVID-19 has provided many Civil Servants with an opportunity to achieve a more balanced work-life arrangement with many staff describing this as a positive experience,” Mr Murphy (pictured with Ms Brady) said.

“The hubs will offer a better work-life balance in the future by providing flexibility and reducing travel time. They will also lower carbon emissions while importantly promoting regional economic balance.”

Hubs in Ballykelly, Downpatrick, Ballymena and Craigavon are complete and hubs in Bangor and Omagh are scheduled for completion over the next two months. The remainder are expected to open over the next two years.

Ms Brady said the hubs were an innovative way to give Public Servants a more flexible working environment.

“With so many staff now telling us that being able to avail a range of working arrangements has made a difference to their work life-balance, the hubs will offer staff from across all Departments a local, well-equipped and flexible working environment which also support business needs,” Ms Brady said.

“We will continue to have a significant presence in Belfast. However, this network will make jobs in the Civil Service more accessible to those living further away from Belfast who have, until now, been put off applying due to prospect of lengthy commutes.”

Belfast, 26 March 2022

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