Population of Irish teleworkers doubles

3 Apr 2007

The numbers of Irish senior executives and owner-managers working from home at least one day a month has doubled from 25pc two years ago to 46pc today, a survey has revealed. However, the survey showed broadband was not available to 48pc of SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) bosses who enquired about it for home or office.

The TNS MBRI report commissioned by O2 found that the numbers working from home more than four days a month have trebled from 8pc two years ago to 24pc today.

Achieving a better work-life balance is an increasing driver for the growth in teleworking among Ireland’s senior business executives, with 23pc citing improved work-life balance as a reason compared with 9pc two years ago.

Two years ago convenience was cited as a significant reason for teleworking. While this is still an important motivation, the number of respondents citing this has fallen from 40pc in 2004 to 24pc today.

The major driver for teleworking today is productivity, with 31pc stating they telework to get more done and concentrate on major items without day-to-day office distractions. Avoiding traffic gridlock is also cited by almost one in 10 (9pc).

The O2 survey reported mixed results on broadband penetration. Almost half of respondents (49pc) have broadband access from home, up from 23pc in 2004.

However, a worrying finding is that broadband was not available to 48pc of SME bosses who enquired about it for home or office.

The study also suggested a widening digital divide between Dublin and the rest of the country. Around 70pc of respondents in Dublin have broadband access from home – up from 31pc in 2004.

But broadband access from home in the rest of the country is much less common amongst SMEs. After Dublin the best performing region is Munster (45pc) followed by Connacht/Ulster (41pc) and the Rest of Leinster (31pc).

O2 said that its mobile broadband services are due to launch in the summer of 2007, with its HSDPA network going live from April.

O2’s current 3G data card, the Sierra Wireless 850, is already HSDPA enabled and will support downlink speeds of up to 1.8Mbps once the network goes live, the company said.

By John Kennedy