Almost 90 per cent of business leaders in Ireland think Covid-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of their organisation, while nearly 40 per cent say the majority of their staff will be working remotely by the end of 2020.
That’s according to a poll by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland.
Experts believe the pandemic has triggered a permanent shift in working patterns as more companies and employees embrace the concept of remote working.
The IoD’s survey found that 88 per cent of business directors say the impact of the crisis has sped up the digital transformation of their organisation in a significant or marginal way, with 40 per cent saying it had done so in a significant way.
Some 38 per cent said most of their staff would remain out of the office in 2020. This number was just 18 per cent when the question was asked in a similar poll in June, reflecting the resurgence in cases of the virus and the reimposition of restrictions.
Some 12 per cent said they believed all staff would be working remotely by the end of 2020, compared to just 5 per cent in June.
The survey also found that a significant majority (77 per cent) say their business model has changed either significantly or marginally since the arrival of Covid-19, while 42 per cent of business leaders say their work-life balance has improved.
The IoD Ireland survey was conducted earlier this month among the organisation’s 3,000 members.
"The ways and means of working are undergoing a quiet revolution," Maura Quinn, IoD chief executive, said.
“Remote working and the increased use of digital technology is transforming the way we work and how we work and, simultaneously, it is impacting business models and people’s work-life balance,” she said.
“Covid-19 is still very much with us, but it is clear that, for many, there will be no return to the old ways of working,” Ms Quinn said. “Life after Covid will be quite different in many ways to life before Covid, of that there can be no doubt.”
The survey also found that, when posed the question, is your organisation planning to downsize its office space, 50 per cent said no. This figure was 69 per cent in June. Just over fifth of directors said it was “under consideration”.