The ability to work remotely could offer a better quality of life to those living and working in Ireland, according to the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC).
The NCPC has said opportunities for remote working have the potential "to convey economic, social and environmental benefits."
A new bulletin from the NCPC outlines how more flexible remote working arrangements can help firms gain access to a broader pool of talent, promote retention and improve cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
However, the group said it is important that cost-saving measures for firms looking to introduce and expand upon this way of working be maximised to offset any initial costs.
The NCPC said that while things like strong digital management skills and investment in broadband infrastructure and ICT equipment require additional investment, doing so would be beneficial to both employees and employers.
Chair of the NCPC Dr Francis Ruane said that the pandemic has "profoundly changed the way we work."
“There is a clear appetite to continue some form of remote working when the immediate public health threat has passed," she said.
"It is important that the potential implications of a future blended working environment are fully considered to uphold the competitiveness and productivity of the Irish economy.".
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was the Government’s plan to make remote and blended working a much bigger part of life, post-Covid.
"The benefits are obvious – less commuting, fewer transport emissions, a better quality of life for workers but we are aware that there are challenges to manage too," he said.
"We are currently implementing a strategy on remote working with actions across the board – including a code of practice on the right to disconnect, legislating to provide employees with the right to request remote working and ensuring we have the right tax incentives in place, to make sure the move to a more permanent arrangement is a smooth one."
The NCPC has said it will explore the wider individual and societal aspects of remote working later this year in itsreport.
This report, the NCPC says, will identify areas for improvement, and thereafter the NCPC will make recommendations to Government on the policies required to support competitiveness and productivity.