Half of Irish workers would refuse job offers with no option to work from home, research finds

Study suggests hybrid working is more important to employees in Republic than their global counterparts

Almost half of the more than 1,700 Irish survey respondents said they would turn down a job offer if there were no remote working options compared with a global average of 29 per cent. Photograph: iStock

Irish workers are increasingly willing to turn down job offers that do not include the option to work remotely or in a hybrid arrangement, a new global survey has found.

Published by Stepstone Group, the global recruitment company behind IrishJobs, it found that almost half of the more than 1,700 Irish survey respondents said they would refuse a job offer if there were no remote working options compared with a global average of 29 per cent.

The research, conducted in partnership with Boston Consulting Group and a global alliance of more than 70 recruitment sites, is the first instalment of the Decoding Global Talent study to be published since 2021.

It suggests that work-life balance is the top priority for jobseekers in the Republic, unchanged since the last survey. Financial compensation, meanwhile, has moved up six places within the list of priorities since the last survey, Stepstone said, highlighting the impact of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.


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The study, based on a survey of more than 150,000 employees across 188 countries, also indicates a strong preference for remote and hybrid working arrangements among employees in the Republic.

“With nearly half of jobseekers willing to turn down opportunities that do not provide hybrid or fully remote working options, employers should ensure they’re evolving their policies to address these needs and comply with new government guidelines on the right to request remote work,” said Sam Dooley, country director of Stepstone Group Ireland.

A study published in 2023 by the University of Galway and the Western Development Commission indicated that 59 per cent of respondents were working in a hybrid arrangement last year while 38 per cent worked fully remotely. Only 3 per cent worked fully on-site.

The prevalence of hybrid working appears to be changing other habits and priorities within the labour force. Nearly a quarter of all first-time homebuyers borrowed against a property in a different county than the one they were living in last year, according to a Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland report from last week.

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Property hunters were increasingly willing to look further afield, aided by the geographic flexibility afforded to them by remote working.

The Stepstone research also highlights how work preferences shift across different age groups in the Republic. “While a good work-life balance is the most important job element for professionals aged 21 and above, interesting job content is the top component for workers under the age of 21,” according to the report.

Financial compensation is the second most important work preference for professionals aged 21-50. Good relationships with colleagues overtake monetary considerations as the second most important job preference among workers aged 51 and above.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times