CIPD Ireland director Mary Connaughton said HR leaders should leverage technology to help them redefine workplace culture for hybrid working.
New research from the international professional HR body CIPD has found that a significant number of Irish HR staff are struggling to attract and retain talent as a result of hybrid working.
CIPD surveyed 1,456 HR workers based in Ireland and the UK between mid-April and the end of May 2023. Four in ten (41pc) Irish respondents said that attracting, recruiting and retaining talent has become more difficult in a hybrid context. Employee wellbeing and culture were also flagged as challenges stemming from new ways of working.
Mary Connaughton, director of CIPD Ireland, warned that employers must consider the fact hybrid working models require non-traditional approaches. She pointed out that Ireland has seen huge growth in demand for hybrid working, and this is something employers need to realise. Data from LinkedIn from June of this year found that Ireland had one of the highest share of hybrid jobs in Europe.
“The demand for flexible and hybrid working doesn’t seem to be wavering – it was identified in this study as a top trend driving change for businesses. Part of dealing with these management concerns is about updating policies and engaging with the workforce to understand the impact and benefits for workers and the organisation,” said Connaughton.
She added that leaders “will need to think creatively and leverage technology” so they can support flexible working arrangements. Last November, she spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about how organisations can create and maintain a connected culture with a hybrid workforce. Her tips included a renewed focus on wellbeing and designated times for employees to connect with each other.
While employee wellbeing was flagged as a concern by employers in the CIPD survey, there have been some improvements in this area for Irish hybrid workers. More than one-third (34pc) said their job has a positive or very positive impact on their mental health, compared to 31pc in 2022. And 21pc said that their job has had a positive or very positive impact on their physical health compared to 16pc in 2022.
CIPD was not the only organisation to release data on hybrid working today (26 October). IrishJobs’ Q3 jobs index found that flexible working models are particularly popular among employers based in cities.
Employers in the metropolitan areas of Dublin (77pc), Limerick (11pc) and Cork (4pc) are responsible for the majority of working-from-home vacancies this quarter. These figures suggest that hybrid working in Ireland is strongly driven by the pressures of commuting into large metropolitan centres.
While fully-remote and working-from-home vacancies declined 4pc this quarter, the decrease was substantially lower than that of overall vacancies. This suggests that remote working, like hybrid working, is here to stay for Irish workers.
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