Employees in an office sitting at desks with black ergonomic chairs and computer monitors.
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38pc of employers will mandate employees’ presence in 2024

15 Jan 2024

Some employees feel their work-life balance is suffering, even with flexible working arrangements, according to Hays Ireland.

Expectations around flexible working and other employment conditions related to it, such as wages and work-life balance are shifting. A survey by Hays Ireland that received more than 1,450 responses revealed that almost two in five (38pc) employers are planning to mandate workers’ presence more in the workplace.

However, flexible working is not going anywhere as 58pc of employers said that their current hybrid working arrangements will stay in place over the next 12 months.

The survey was carried out in August and September of last year. At the time, 44pc of employees worked fully from the office, while 41pc followed a hybrid model.

Employers varied in their expectations, with 27pc mandating three days of physical presence, 20pc requiring a minimum of two days in the office and 23pc offering full flexibility in choosing remote or office work.

The survey was published as part of a larger Hays Salary and Recruiting Guide for 2024. Maureen Lynch, Hays Ireland’s managing director, said the guide “reflects a sense of optimism in the job market”.

“As employees’ preferences shift, we see employers adapting their approaches to workplace setups. The report emphasises the significance of a healthy work-life balance and fostering in-person collaboration within teams.

“Our survey has shown that most employers are actively collaborating with their employees to enhance the workplace experience for everyone, highlighting the commitment by employers to create a better working environment.”

It seems, according to the survey respondents, that even with flexible and hybrid working arrangements, many workers struggle to achieve a positive work-life balance. Almost half (48pc) of employees expressed concern regarding their working hours and said that they hoped for a change to enhance their work-life balance.

This particular finding may disappoint many who had hoped flexible working would be a big success for workers. Certainly, this time last year, many were asking if 2023 would be the year flexible working would succeed. In October, a CIPD report found that many Irish employers were struggling to attract and retain talent with the new way of working. Mary Connaughton, director of CIPD Ireland, said at the time that companies needed to update policies and think of creative waves to support flexible working arrangements.

More than half of Hays Ireland’s respondents (54pc) said they would consider future career opportunities that didn’t offer hybrid working.

After a rough year in terms of cost-of-living, the majority (61pc) of workers said they would not be willing to accept a lower salary for a fully remote role.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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