One in two businesses plan a future with remote working

CIPD Ireland releases figures gauging industry sentiment after a year of restrictions

New research shows half of businesses (51%) plan to allow remote working on a permanent basis. The research data is being released to mark Ireland’s completion of 12 months of living and working with public health restrictions as a result of the pandemic.

CIPD Ireland conducts this annual research project, in conjunction with the Kemmy Business School at University of Limerick, entitled ‘HR Practices in Ireland’. More than 400 members of the HR profession responded to this year’s survey.

Other findings include:

  • Over three-quarters (78%) agreed workers should have the right to request flexible working
  • A similar number (76%) agreed with the idea of a right to request remote working
  • Over three quarters (77%) plan to adopt a blend of remote and on-site working long-term
  • Almost a fifth (17%) expect a reduction in office space usage in the future
  • Nearly three-quarters say productivity either increased or remained steady once remote working became the norm
  • Over half say teamwork and collaboration are more difficult in a remote setting
  • More than 4 in 10 (41%) of businesses increased their use of online training tools
  • Over a third (37%) increased their use of online mental health programmes

Director of CIPD Ireland Mary Connaughton says 'We firmly believe workers should have the right to request remote working and we look forward to seeing more detail on the government’s planned legislation in this area.  Previous data we released showed most employers (71%) were finding supporting worker well-being the biggest challenge of the remote work environment. It’s really encouraging to see the increased use of programmes promoting mental health and we encourage businesses to maintain that focus in the long-term'.

Mary says the results of the survey reflect what her team has heard from members since March of 2020,'The levels of resourcefulness and agility displayed by Irish business and workers since this time last year could never have been anticipated. The determination to protect jobs and businesses has been truly inspirational and it’s worth reflecting on at this stage.  As we emerge from what we hope has been the worst phase of the pandemic, we see the potential for creating a long-term working environment designed to find an effective balance between well-being and productivity, to the benefit of workers and enterprise'.

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