One reason to move your tech career to Ireland is to benefit from the great work-life balance you can find here. And one town in Ireland that has the whole work/life balance thing down is Tralee. Situated on the South-West of Ireland, Tralee is located in one of most beautiful parts of the country. Think postcard-perfect beaches and rolling hills right on your doorstep.
This County Kerry town is also home to one of Ireland’s most progressive co-working spaces. HQTralee was set up in September 2016 and is now home to 37 businesses ranging from scrappy start-ups to established FinTech companies.
A Working Environment that Works
Established by Ken Tobin and Tom O’Leary, HQTralee now encompasses two buildings and there are plans afoot for a third. “In our two buildings on the campus we’ve got everything from individual hot desks right up to corporate suites for 25-30 people and everything in between,” Tom explains.
The variety of companies in the two buildings makes for an environment that’s particularly suitable for networking. “Because people are coming from such a variety of different backgrounds, you’ve everything from freelance consultants to CEOs and they’re all intermingling,” he says. “We’ve got coffee docks, so every day of the week there’s someone different that you’re networking with. It provides huge opportunities for people because there’s always somebody who’s got a skill that you need. It’s very informal networking but it’s very effective.”
Building a Tech Community
So, why Tralee? Tom believes there are a number of factors that make the town so attractive for tech workers. “I think because it has all the convenience of a city but it’s so close to nature,” he says. “We’ve got Blue Flag beaches 10 minutes away from the office. Door to door the average commute time is less than 15 minutes and the HQ is in the town centre, so we’re surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops. It is the whole work/life balance thing wrapped up in a nice little package – you get all the positives and none of the negatives.”
And it’s not all work and no play. HQTralee also hold a number of events to encourage networking in more informal settings. We run a lot of talks and workshops here,” Tom says, “but we like to take it out into the bars in the town here too. We also have a rooftop balcony in the HQ so we have summer BBQs and things like that. And every Monday we have yoga inside one of our buildings. It’s everything and anything really, but in the end it’s all about that community we have here.”
Looking to the Future
Tom is really positive about the future of the HQ and Tralee in general. “It’s a very strong town for business,” he notes. “Since January, we’ve had 9 remote workers relocate here because it’s that type of place where you’ve got the best of both worlds. You have a good work environment but what’s more important is what’s outside of work and you have that too.”
And he expects even more companies to take note of the advantages available to tech companies outside the capital in the years to come. “Tralee is the administrative hub of the county and because of that, we’re surrounded by some serious international companies, he says. “And for startups, the town is an affordable location because they’re able to expand their operations and access the skills they need locally without having the danger of bigger companies luring away their staff as they might have in Dublin. It doesn’t hurt that it’s stunning here too!”