The majority of those who work remotely would like it to continue in some form, according to a new survey.
More than a year on from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the second National Remote Working Survey shows that 95% of those who could work remotely were in favour of doing it on an ongoing basis to some extent.
Of those, 53% said they would like to work remotely several times a week, 32% said they would like to work fully remotely, and 10% several times a month.
The number of people who would like to work fully remotely has almost trebled in the last year.
In April 2020, in the immediate aftermath of the first lockdown, 12% said they would like to work fully remotely. That figure is now 32%.
The survey of more than 6,400 employees from NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission, also found that the number of people who want to continue remote working in general has increased.
In 2020, 83% of people wanted to continue to work remotely for some or all of the time, while that figure has just to 95% this year.
Only 5% indicated that they did not wish to work remotely to any extent, a drop from 16% who gave that response a year ago.
Almost one in four (24%) said they would consider relocating based on their experience of remote working since Covid-19.
Some 9% said they had already relocated.
The South-West (Cork and Kerry), the West (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon) and the Border (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo) were the top regions respondents have relocated to.
More than 2,100 team managers were also surveyed this year for the first time in the annual survey. According to researchers, it is "the first national survey to gather information about team manager perspectives".
More than one in 10 of those (12%) believe remote working negatively impacts their team’s productivity.
Some 44% believe that remote working positively impacts the productivity of their team, while the same proportion believe that remote working makes no difference to the team’s productivity.
45% of team managers believed they did not get the training required to manage their team remotely, while 36% indicated they received basic training.
Speaking about the survey, Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway said: “It is interesting to see that the appetite for fully remote or hybrid working is the preference of the vast majority of respondents.” Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of the Western Development Commission added that there is a clear appetite for remote working.
“This will mean significant change for the way in which people work and the way that organisations support that work.”
He added: “A key challenge for leaders in organisations will be ensuring that people that choose to work remotely are treated equally in terms of development and promotional opportunities.”