A woman is working at home on her laptop beside her child doing homework in their kitchen.
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IrishJobs.ie survey finds employees are working longer hours at home

28 Apr 2020

A new survey suggests that many people working from home are unable to switch off, are feeling less efficient or have a heavier workload than usual.

A new survey from recruitment platform IrishJobs.ie has looked at the habits of people working from home. Of those surveyed, nine in 10 are now working from home due to Covid-19 restrictions, and more than four in 10 reported working longer hours at home than they would on a typical day in the office.

According to the survey, the main reasons cited for working longer hours included being unable to switch off from work, feeling less efficient and having a heavier workload than usual. However, more than half of respondents said they are trying to keep a regular routine.

‘It is inevitable that we will all experience dips in morale, motivation and productivity’

That routine includes waking up at the same time as they used to or sleeping slightly later but still starting work at the same time. Taking a regular break was seen as a priority among those surveyed, with 94pc saying that they make sure to take a regular break each day.

Of those who take a daily break, 70pc said they use it to make food, 45pc go outside for fresh air and 34pc spend it with others in their household.

Where are people working?

IrishJobs.ie also asked where in the house people are carrying out their work. Nearly half (42pc) said they are using the kitchen table. Just 20pc of those surveyed said they have a dedicated home office space and 14pc are using a spare room.

Almost three-quarters of respondents said that they miss their usual working environment, with the most common reason being the inability to socialise with colleagues. Other reasons included not having access to a proper desk and missing out on the facilities at their workplace.

The biggest distractions at home include being interrupted during the workday by family members, which was mentioned by more than half of those surveyed. Others reported finding balancing their job and home-schooling their children challenging. Daily household chores were also described as disruptive, the top answer being the washing machine.

‘Reasonable steps’ for managers

General manager at IrishJobs.ie, Orla Moran, described the adaptability of both employers and employees to remote working as “remarkable”.

“However, it is inevitable that we will all experience dips in morale, motivation and productivity,” she said. “Employers should look to take reasonable steps to manage this.

“Keeping in touch with employees regularly, offering extra support in managing workloads and encouraging them to put clear boundaries around their work and home life are just some of the ways employers can facilitate this new way of working and ensure that operations remain as normal as possible.”

A survey last week from the National Recruitment Federation suggested that many people are feeling happier while working from home but are also concerned about the future and their finances.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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