A new survey of Irish businesses has found that just over a quarter reported a decline in productivity due to widespread working from home arrangements over the past year.
Following 16 months of remote working, 38% of businesses reported seeing no change in productivity, 36% seeing an increase and 26% seeing a decrease.
In light of the continuing demand for flexible working arrangements post-Covid, almost three-quarters of respondents agreed that accelerating the move to a smarter office, which enables employees to work from home or in-person, will be crucial to their organisation’s future success. The survey was carried out in May by document management firm Kefron.
The survey of 77 companies across multiple sectors in Ireland, found that 79% are planning for only a partial return to the physical office in the recovery phase of the pandemic, with only two in 10 businesses currently seeking to fully return to the office in the coming months.
"The Irish business landscape is going through a major transitional moment, especially with regard to how organisations think about the physical office," Kefron MD Paul Kearns said. "With the vast majority of businesses preparing for a partial, rather than full, return to the office, it’s now clear that the office will no longer confined to just four walls. It is becoming a hybrid space where employees can access information from any location securely so they can do their best work."
Other key findings of the survey include the following:
- 78% of respondents said they were “more concerned” about the risk of fraud and cyber-crime since embracing remote work arrangements. 12% said they were directly affected by fraud incidents in the last 12 months.
- Four in 10 respondents said that their digital documentation and record systems were inadequate at the beginning of the pandemic.
- One in four respondents agreed that “access to documents and information” proved to be a challenge during the pandemic.