Vodafone, ESB, eBay and Liberty Insurance have joined the Remote Alliance, the country's first remote working alliance.

The four founding members of the Alliance have committed to embedding remote working within their organisations on a long-term basis.

Established by social enterprise Grow Remote, the new initiative will lead the way for other Irish employers to commit to long-term remote working.

Grow Remote said the purpose of the Remote Alliance is to build an Ireland where employment is accessible no matter where people live.

Renate Kohlmann, Director of Grow Remote, said that remote working has the power to transform and reinvigorate local communities by giving people access to job opportunities regardless of where they live in the country.

Ms Kohlmann said that while the impact of Covid-19 was devastating, it brought about some positives.

"We know now that remote and hybrid working is good for employees, and for businesses," she said.

"We know more than ever that people value their work / life balance, and want to be connected to their local community. Individuals, employers, and communities have the opportunity now to take some of these positives and embed long-lasting, positive systemic changes that will transform communities around Ireland," she added.

Anne O'Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, said the impact of Covid-19 gave the company an opportunity to test, on a mass scale, what remote working would mean for us.

Anne O'Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland

Ms O'Leary said the Vodafone remote working model will give its employees the flexibility they want, while maintaining the opportunity for social interactions and the collaboration and innovation that comes from being together in the office.

"As such, we can create a more inclusive environment, where we can challenge ourselves to remove any barriers to inequality for our people and our customers," she added.

Paddy Hayes, chief executive of ESB, said the company is committed to nurturing a trust-based and agile environment, where its staff people have the tools, flexibility and autonomy to deliver a secure, affordable, low-carbon energy future.

"As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to empower our people to work smarter, enjoy the benefits of an inclusive, flexible working culture and significantly reduce carbon emissions through remote and hybrid working," Mr Hayes said.

"We're looking forward to working with other like-minded members of the Remote Alliance to develop solutions that will ensure that remote and hybrid working can become a sustainable part of our business," he added.