Cork city-based co-working hub Republic of Work is weighing up plans to expand after seeing a surge in companies joining in recent months.
Founded in 2017, the co-working space saw occupancy rates plummet during the pandemic. However, occupancy is near record highs again as more companies look to accommodate employees who want to avail of hybrid working.
Republic of Work chief executive Frank Brennan said the organisation was in early discussions about taking more space at its existing premises following an influx of inquiries from companies interested in basing themselves there.
Mr Brennan said occupancy fell from 96 per cent to around 20 per cent during the pandemic but has since rebounded to over 90 per cent again as companies look to it as being a “third space” between the office and home.
Republic of Work gained eight new companies as members last month, with a further four added in the first two weeks of February. In addition to some organisations taking desks, others are also using Republic of Work for off-site meetings and events.
As well as established names such as Sean O’Sullivan’s SOSV and Digisoft, Republic of Work is home to up-and-coming names such as Vaultree, Vudini, Riley and LegitFit. Overall, some 80 companies are based at the hub with member companies having raised a combined €10 million in funding in recent months.
“There is a fantastic community here and it served as the backbone to the local tech scene, which is thriving,” said Mr Brennan.
Dan and Linda Kiely, the founders of Voxpro, which was acquired by Telus International and subsequently rebranded, are among Republic of Work's backers. Others include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger of Teamwork, whose Catalyst software-as-a-service (Saas) incubator programme is run from there. Republic of Work is also a partner of the NDRC national start-up accelerator programme.
“We’ve huge interest from companies looking at doing off-sites and other events. Overall, organisations are still very much making up their mind about what they want to do in terms of where people work and we are benefiting from this,” said Mr Brennan.
“There is additional space here in the building that we could take and we are looking at our options on that front. There are no immediate plans to expand but it is definitely something we’re considering,” he added.