More than 95 per cent of working people in Ireland want to continue with some form of remote employment once the coronavirus pandemic ends, a new survey has found.
The survey also found that employees prefer remote working more than managers and team leaders.
The study, carried out by NUI Galway, revealed that among those who could work remotely, 95 per cent were in favour of working from home on an ongoing basis.
A total of 53 per cent said they would like to work remotely several times a week, 32 per cent said they would like to work fully remotely and one in ten said they would like to work from home several times a month.
This is the second such survey of its kind, and the number of people who said they would like to work fully remotely has increased substantially from the first national survey conducted in April 2020, rising from 12 per cent to 32 per cent.
The number of people wishing to engage in some form of remote working also increased compared to last year’s survey, up from 83 per cent to 95 per cent.
The study also revealed that close to one in 10 people have already relocated or moved house, as working from home gave them more options.
Almost one in five of respondents said they would consider relocating based on their experience of remote working since Covid-19.
A further 9 per cent said they had already moved. The most popular relocation destinations were in the West (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon), the South-west (Cork and Kerry) and the Border region (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo).
Fourteen per cent said they may consider moving, while just over half (53 per cent) said they would not consider relocating.
According to the survey, the top three advantages of working remotely given by respondents were: greater flexibility, the belief that ‘life is made easier’, and an increase in productivity.
However, more than half of respondents said that they work more hours when they work remotely.
The study also revealed that managers felt differently to their employees when it came to remote working.
Forty four per cent of managers said it was more difficult to manage their team remotely, and 12 per cent of managers believe that remote working negatively impacted their team’s productivity.
Forty seven per cent of managers said they found no difference between managing their team remotely compared to onsite.
In relation to worker productivity, 44 per cent of team managers believed that remote working positively impacts the productivity of their team, and the same proportion (44 per cent) believe that remote working makes no difference to the team’s productivity.
Three-quarters of the organisations that were surveyed had not decided how their teams will work once the pandemic ends.
Of the 25 per cent who had decided, 78 per cent will work to a hybrid model.
The study also found that 45 per cent of team managers believed they did not get the training required to manage their team remotely.
The survey was led by the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission, and it is the second annual national remote working survey in Ireland.
The survey gathered responses from more than 6,400 employees and more than 2,100 managers.