Offices and workplaces gradually becoming busier, EY study finds

For those working in a hybrid manner, one or two days of remote work per week is the most common arrangement

Offices and workplaces around the world are gradually becoming busier, leading to a noticeable increase in public transport usage, according to a study by EY.

The latest EY Mobility Consumer Index, which is a global index of over 15,000 people in over 20 countries, finds more than half (52 per cent) of workers report some form of hybrid work – up significantly from the one in three (33 per cent) reporting hybrid work pre-pandemic.

For those working in a hybrid manner, one or two days of remote work per week is the most common arrangement.

The increase in office-based working has led to a rebound in public transport usage with 62 per cent of workers and students now availing of public transport for work on a monthly basis, up 4 per cent since the 2022 survey.


Public transport usage for non-work activities has also increased, up 3 per cent to 37 per cent.

Reliability and convenience were cited as top concerns in relation to public transport, while issues around safety and hygiene have receded.

EY partner Julia Ann Corkery said the global trends “are similar to what we are seeing play out in Ireland”.

“Latest public transport numbers indicate that the return to office-based work is certainly increasing with many employers and employees seeking more opportunities to bring their teams together to collaborate as well as integrate new colleagues,” she said.

“Ireland is an outlier internationally in that public transport usage is now higher than it was pre-Covid-19.

“This trend is driven by the fact that unlike other countries during the pandemic, Ireland not only maintained but invested in, and substantially grew its public transport network, as well as its walking and cycling infrastructure.

“The introduction of a series of fare reduction schemes have also made an impact, making it a much more cost-effective and efficient transport option for everyone.

“Interestingly the use of public transport has also increased outside of the working week as more people, in particular families, avail of public transport services for leisure travel.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter