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Workplace initiatives could suffer amid economic downturn, say leaders

1 Nov 2022

While there are concerns about undoing pandemic progress in some areas, 75pc of bosses said that working from home, flexible and hybrid working are here for the long term.

According to a survey of Irish C-suite leaders by LinkedIn, many bosses are concerned that progress made on workplace initiatives during the pandemic could be undone by an economic downturn.

LinkedIn polled 100 Irish C-suite leaders between September and October. The majority of respondents (86pc) said companies will be forced to wind back progress in important areas of working life such as learning and development and employee wellbeing.

At the same time, leaders said they are prioritising things like career development and supports for hybrid working to ensure workplaces survive an economic slowdown.

Almost a third (30pc) of leaders said they would be working on improving employee retention to avoid new hire costs over the next six months.

Flexible working is one area that will not suffer, according to the leaders polled. Three-quarters said that working from home, flexible and hybrid working are here for the long term.

LinkedIn’s analysis of the Irish jobs market revealed that the share of remote jobs increased to 20pc in April 2022. Ireland has more remote positions available than most markets – ahead of the UK, Germany and France.

As of September 2022, 14pc of jobs in Ireland are listed as remote. These roles are in demand, LinkedIn said, receiving 20pc of applications.

In terms of skills featured on job adverts, soft skills such as problem solving and communication featured in 78pc of jobs posted globally on LinkedIn over the last three months.

Irish business leaders agreed that these are the most important soft skills to get workers and leaders alike through the post-pandemic slump. Problem solving (33pc), communication (32pc), empathy (30pc) and adaptability (26pc) were cited as the top soft skills by Irish bosses.

“A motivated workforce is key to gaining a competitive advantage and, at a time of uncertainty, impacting this is counterintuitive to what a business needs to survive and succeed,” said Sharon McCooey, head of LinkedIn Ireland.

“Leaders who think to the future and prepare to invest in their people during these times will be the ones that come out on top. It will be the businesses that are positioning their employees to thrive in the long term who will outperform competitors and succeed.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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