Tone deaf Dublin Chamber fumbles return to work tweet

Twitter poll attracted a tsunami of criticism after chamber got the ‘tone wrong’

Dublin Chamber of Commerce: “Would you take a pay cut if you could work from home permanently?”Photograph: iStock

Dublin Chamber of Commerce: “Would you take a pay cut if you could work from home permanently?”Photograph: iStock

 

Dublin Chamber of Commerce learned a sharp lesson in the power of social media this week when it decided to run a quick Twitter poll. It was an unusually clumsy misstep for a group that calls itself the “largest and most influential business-to-business networking and lobbying organisation in Dublin” with a mission to help business succeed in the capital.

Looking forward to the uncertain post-Covid office environment, it noted: “Workers preferences for long-term remote or hybrid working are to the fore as we look to returning to the office in early autumn.”

It is a hot topic right now for sure and the chamber decided to test the water for how that return might look with a quick topical poll. And the question they chose?

“Would you take a pay cut if you could work from home permanently?”

Way to go, chamber. Not surprisingly, the poll attracted a tsunami of criticism and the chamber hastily deleted the tweet.

Most opined, companies were saving money on office space, heat, light etc while workers had additional utility costs at home.

A chastened chamber hastily turned about face with a new poll.

“We hear you Twitter! Tell us what you think so we can let employers know: Would you accept permanent home working in exchange for a pay rise?”

That notion drew the support of 61.4 per cent of respondents. But it will hardly go down too well with the chamber’s 1,300 members as they weigh options for future work arrangements for their 300,000-plus staff. The whole episode certainly showed none of the deft touch members might expect for their subscriptions to a premier lobbying organisation.

In a grovelling apology in relation to the first poll, the Dublin Chamber account acknowledged it had been “poorly worded” and had got the “tone wrong”. True. But it might have considered that more carefully before rushing out the second, ill-judged and nakedly populist poll that will inevitably have antagonised its own members.

Perhaps the chamber should stay away from Twitter polls for a bit.

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