83% of Irish workers want to continue working from home when crisis eases - survey

83% of Irish workers want to continue working from home when crisis eases - survey
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The vast majority of Irish workers want to continue to work from home once the Covid-19 crisis has eased, a new survey has revealed.

Business organisation Ibec said the "new normal" will see more employees work remotely in the future.

Some 83% of the 7,241 respondents to a new survey want to be able to work at home at least some of the time, with 12% indicating they want to work remotely on a daily basis. Of those who responded, 51% had never worked remotely before.

The survey was conducted by the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission -WDC-

The majority (83%) of the 7,241 respondents indicated they would like to work remotely after the crisis is over. Of these, 12% want to do so daily, 42% said they would like to do so several times per week and 29% said they want to work remotely several times per month.

83% of Irish workers want to continue working from home when crisis eases - survey
(PA)

Among the benefits highlighted by respondents are the absence of a commute, greater flexibility in managing the working day and reduced costs.

The survey found a number of challenges associated with remote work, including respondents who find it hard to switch off and some who have issues communicating and collaborating with colleagues. Poor workspaces, poor broadband and a lack of trust from employers were also identified as issues, as was the challenge of juggling childcare with work commitments.

More than two-thirds of respondents say their productivity is about the same or higher than normal, too. 

Business organisation, Ibec, said the "new normal" for workers will be quite different, with many more people working from home on a regular basis.

Maeve McElwee, director of employer relations with Ibec, said there will be a significant permanent shift into home-working after the crisis.

83% of Irish workers want to continue working from home when crisis eases - survey
(PA)

"It will be considerable time yet before we see a lot of people who are in a position to work from home to actually move back to office work," she told RTÉ radio's Today programme.

“I think our new normal will be quite different. We will see people working remotely on a much more regular basis."

Ms McElwee said some people  miss collaborative work and may not want to work from home but said it "will be up to employees and organisations to find what balance works well".

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