A woman is working remotely on a grey couch at a small desk with a laptop on it.
Image: © fizkes/Stock.adobe.com

Report: 95pc of people want to keep working remotely after Covid

18 May 2021

NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission’s latest remote working survey suggests the majority of employees want to keep working remotely to some extent.

The number of people who want to work remotely full-time after Covid-19 has jumped up to 32pc from 12pc this time last year, according to a new remote working survey in Ireland.

NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission published a report today (18 May), based on the responses of more than 6,400 employees and more than 2,100 managers.

Of the employees surveyed who can currently work remotely, 95pc want to continue to do so to some extent going forward. This is an increase from the 83pc who expressed this opinion in the first survey last April.

More than half (53pc) want to work remotely a few times a week, 32pc want to work remotely full-time and 10pc want to do so several times a month. Last year, 16pc said they didn’t want to work remotely at all. That number has dropped to 5pc in the new survey.

When asked about the best parts of working remotely, the top three responses were greater flexibility, that it makes life easier and increased productivity. However, 51pc said they work more hours remotely.

Managers were split when it came to their teams’ productivity; 44pc said their team had been more productive while working remotely and 44pc said it had made no difference. Just 12pc said remote working had made their team less productive.

While many companies like Microsoft and Google have begun to reveal their plans for working life after the pandemic, three-quarters of the organisations surveyed by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission had not decided on theirs.

Of the 25pc who had made a decision, 78pc said they will adopt a hybrid work model with 36pc of companies planning for two days a week in the office and 23pc planning for three days a week.

One of the study’s organisers, Prof Alma McCarthy of 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.

Western Development Commission CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin added: “This will mean significant change for the way in which people work and the way that organisations support that work.

“The roll-out of the National Hubs Network of more than 400 hubs will offer a suitable workplace close to home. 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.”

The survey follows a report last week from the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council, which said remote working opportunities could offer a better quality of life for people in Ireland, as well as benefits for businesses. However, it warned that investments are needed to make sure Ireland remains competitive with attractive places to live and work.

An infographic showing statistics about employee perspectives on remote working.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: NUI Galway

An infographic showing statistics about manager perspectives on remote working.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: NUI Galway

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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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