Top-down view of a woman working from home on a wooden desk with a laptop, plant and stationery.
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Survey: Office staff not allowed work from home may consider quitting

9 Oct 2020

One-third of survey respondents said they would think about leaving their job if they were not allowed work from home.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, people across the world have been adjusting to working remotely. Now, as companies are planning for working life moving forward, some employees in Ireland have said they would think about quitting if they are not allowed to continue working from home in some capacity.

That’s according to a study led by DataSolutions, an IT services provider based in Ireland and the UK. In August, it asked 501 Irish office workers who are currently remote to share their thoughts on the future of work.

Of those surveyed, one-third said they would quit their job if working from home wasn’t supported on either a full or part-time basis. The majority (69pc) said they are satisfied with the plans their employers are setting out in preparation for the future, but 38pc said their employers have not communicated whether staff will return to the office or not.

Three-quarters of participants said their productivity has remained level or has improved while working from home. Just below half (46pc) said that their employer will need to improve IT strategy for the future.

What do plans look like?

Respondents also shared information about their companies’ plans for the future. Less than half (39pc) said they will be expected to return to the office full-time, while 37pc are expected to divide their week between working from home and working in the office.

But are offices ready for a return? According to the survey, 71pc said their companies have made efforts to get offices compliant for a post-pandemic world.

However, 60pc said a budget had not been set aside for creating a more permanent working-from-home environment and half of participants said they spent their own money developing an adequate home-working set-up.

DataSolutions group security sales director David Keating said that businesses in Ireland have so far done a “great job” in response to the pandemic.

“But there is still a huge amount of indecision about the future. While uncertainty remains in some respects, what is certain is that the normal we once knew is gone for good. Moreover, the new way of working that is being widely discussed needs to be enacted now with a well-thought-out strategy, proper investment and clear communication.

“Companies need to ensure they are empowering people to work well from the office and at home with an effective IT model, underpinned by the right technologies and a robust infrastructure that facilitates a hybrid approach and supports flexibility in the long term.”

Right to work from home in Germany

Meanwhile, the option to work from home could soon become a right for workers in Germany. The country’s labour minister, Hubertus Heil, is proposing this in a new draft law.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Heil said the draft law would be published in a few weeks’ time. It aims to ensure workers have the option of working from home when possible, as well as to regulate home office work, such as limiting hours.

According to German news site The Local, Heil told Bild Am Sonntag that employees should be able to work from home for at least 24 days a year.

“The virus has taught us that much more mobile working is possible than we thought. Mobile working is not only something for young people from agencies who sit in a café with a laptop and a latte macchiato. As mobile working is already part of the modern working world for some – but not yet made possible for many – it needs a law.”

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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