Welsh Government asks where would you like to work in the future?

If you could hot-desk in a hub with others closer to home where would you like it to be?

The Welsh Government has launched a new website with interactive maps so people across Wales can help them decide where best to locate flexible co-working hubs so they get maximum use.

The pandemic has completely changed the way in which many businesses and people across the world are working, and the Welsh Government has set a long-term ambition of 30% of the Welsh workforce working from home or much closer to home.

To support its ambition the Welsh Government has now launched an interactive map so members of the public can drop a pin in a location where they would like to see a remote hub created.  The Welsh Government hopes this interactive approach will help ensure that the hubs are designed and developed to get the maximum use.

To enable more people to work closer to home the Welsh Government is also piloting new flexible working spaces in the Valleys Taskforce area.

£500,000 is being invested by the Welsh Government in six flexible working sites in the Valleys including support from its Transforming Towns fund.

This will see the redevelopment of the Llwynypia Courthouse and the creation of a co-working space at Rhondda Housing Association in Tonypandy.

There will also be opportunities for people to work close to local beauty spots and heritage sites with one new flexible working space set to be situated in the Discovery Gateway at Llyn Llech Owain in Carmarthenshire and another at Parc Bryn Bach in Blaenau Gwent.

Discovery Gateways are an important means of telling the stories of the Valleys and encouraging local people and visitors to explore and enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of often overlooked areas.

Other flexible hubs will be located in at the Winding House in New Tredegar, and the ground floor of Caerphilly Council’s main office at Ty Penallta.

Evidence collected from the interactive map and the pilot projects in the Valleys will be important in informing the future roll out of hubs. A small number of other local work pilots will be announced soon.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said:

“This is your opportunity to let us know where you’d like to hot-desk and where you think you’d work best. It’s about creating a choice on where the future Welsh workplace is.

“The pandemic has shown that many people don’t need or don’t want to be in an office environment all week. In recognition that home working isn’t always best for people we want to develop remote working as a viable alternative.

“This type of flexible working can help people and their employers, while also strengthening local communities and bringing benefits for the climate and for wellbeing as we lessen the dependence on the traditional commute.

“We now have a real opportunity to embed remote and flexible working as a cultural norm. This could help us to support and rejuvenate our local businesses and town centres, improve the work-life balance for so many, and reduce the time and environmental damage of daily long commutes.”