Digital Nomads and Accommodation in Ireland

Article in partnership with Day Translations. Are you a digital nomad who is planning to work for some time in Ireland? Ireland hosts high profile global companies like Google, Facebook, TikTok and Amazon, attracting a large number of remote workers and freelancers each year. However, while salaries are attractive, especially in the technology sector, there is a distinct lack of housing supply in Ireland which affect the availability of both long term and short term rental properties. On top of that, many Irish employers are actively recruiting on an ongoing basis as they are unable to fill all their vacancies.

How Ireland’s Housing Market Affects International Workers

The housing market in Ireland has been in turmoil for years, resulting in a chronic low supply of flats and houses to rent. This problem affects both Irish citizens and international expats. While this is a complex issue that may take a long time to solve or at least to mitigate its effects on the livelihood of people, it is worth noting that some changes in the way rental properties are supplied to the housing market, particularly short term rentals, have a major impact on digital nomads and other remote workers.

The Golden Age of AirbnB in Ireland Is Fading

Putting properties on AirbnB for short term rentals in Ireland has been a lucrative income earner for landlords and investors for years. So much so that local people have been struggling to find accommodation for their families. This phenomenon is not unique to Ireland: a similar situation has emerged in Portugal for example, as the country had been experiencing a strong influx of visitors from tourists to digital nomads who have been enjoying good quality of life on a budget. Living in Europe, in general, does not come cheap, but for those digital nomads who are not willing to travel overseas to traditionally cheaper remote work destinations such as Thailand, there are still some good options for countries offering a good lifestyle that don’t break the bank.

AirbnB has been a profitable activity for property investors for a number of years in Ireland, with many tenants complaining that, because of the attractive earnings from short term lets, landlords were switching from long term rental contracts to offering their properties on a per day or per week basis, which can generate much higher earnings.

A rush to offer short term rentals due to their profitability over time had the cumulative effect of causing a housing crisis in Ireland and the government had to take notice and take action. Limitations are in place for the total number of nights a place can be rented out per year, with more conditions being added to allow more properties to become available for long term rental.

International Workers in Ireland

According to the Central Statistics Office in Ireland in 2016 about 50,000 non-Irish people immigrated to the country to work or study. The top three EU countries where immigrants came from were Poland, Spain and Romania. Among non-EU citizens, most immigrants were Brazilian and Indian. By 2018 it was calculated that more than 100,000 non-Irish citizens immigrated into Ireland, with more than 60% of them in employment. Ireland has enjoyed a track record of high level of employment. For example, in January 2023 the unemployment rate in Ireland was 4.4%.

Ireland and Spain in particular created a targeted recruitment campaign in 2022 managed by the Irish Tourism Office to attract more Spanish workers to work for Irish companies. The categories of Irish employers seeking foreign workers included the food and restaurant sectors as well as the hospitality sector.

Alongside these sectors, agencies also recruit candidates to work for multinational companies and e-commerce companies.

Accommodation is a challenge when recruiting foreign workers in Ireland; if you are interested in gaining some experience while keeping a low budget one of the best ways to get free accommodation in Ireland is to work for an organic farm.