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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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66 per cent of Irish commuters work overtime - impacting their personal lives, says survey

Mircosoft assembled to survey to highlight the role that cloud computing could play in helping people to enjoy the personal and professional benefits of a more flexible way of working.

Rosanna Davidson pictured with tightrope walker Paul Quate at the launch of Microsoft’s Work from Wherever Wednesday
Rosanna Davidson pictured with tightrope walker Paul Quate at the launch of Microsoft’s Work from Wherever Wednesday
Image: Microsoft

THE MAJORITY OF Irish commuters work overtime, with 66 per cent saying they spend extra hours in the office – and more than half of that number saying their commute had forced them to do so.

Some 64 per cent of Irish commuters said they travelled between 1-3 hours to work, and that they would like to reclaim those hours in sleep if possible. On average, commuters say they would like at least another hour in bed.

Some 39 per cent travel further than 10 kilometres to work daily, or 2,600 kilometres in a year, according to the survey, carried out by Microsoft. The survey also revealed that 55 per cent of Irish commuters believe they are most productive between 8-11am.

Apart from working overtime, the daily commute also has an impact on workers’ relationships – with 50 per cent saying their partners had been annoyed with them for returning home late.

Microsoft has partnered with O2, Bank of Ireland, HP, Nokia, Insomnia and the Microsoft Partner Community to join Work Wherever Wednesday – an initiative they say would offer employees a better balance between work and personal lives.

The scheme will see employers encourage workers to leave the office on Wednesday, 23 May, and work at home or another place of their choosing – saying that the team can enjoy a full and productive day using email, web conferencing, documents and calendars, as if in the office.

The group says that cloud computing technology could offer employees flexibility in the way they work – saying the average commuter €2,080 on travel tickets, allow them to reclaim 260 hours in lost sleep based on 5 day working week, and cut down on the average .68 tonnes of carbon that that each commuter produces annually.

“While everyone is aware of the mobile working concept, there is a big gap between understanding and practice,” said Martin Cullen, Small, Medium and Partner Business Director, Microsoft Ireland. “Being present equals being productive is no longer the default golden rule in business. To capitalise on Ireland’s current and future industry and jobs potential, we must understand that work is what you do, not where you go.”

Microsoft says that flexible working arrangements offer benefits to both employees and employers.

Benefits to employees:

  • Less frustration related to traffic or commuting Microsoft says “happier employees are more productive employees” – and that removing the burden of commuting allows employees to get work done on their own schedules, improving morale
  • Happier customers: more time out of the office means more time one-on-one with customers, signing deals and driving results for the business
  • Better work-life balance: employees benefit from freedom and ease of communication in a setting that allows for remote opportunities, both when they are in the office and away from the office

Benefits for employers:

  • Fewer office costs:  organisations who have already adopted this style of working are seeing a 30 per cent reduction in space requirements and a subsequent 30 per cent reduction in cost of office space
  • Better collaboration: using collaboration solutions such as Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange, Office 2010 and  Office 365 make it easier for teams to work together
  • Business continuity: By embracing a more flexible approach to work, employers can maintain continuity in the event employees can’t come into the office.  (For example the millions lost in productivity and revenue because of last year’s snowfall and natural disasters such as the Icelandic volcano eruption which crippled business and travel throughout Europe)
  • Capturing the best talent:  Policies, practices and technology that support a more flexible work ethos enables companies to access a larger talent pool
  • Adjusting for millennials:  employees, customers and clients – particularly younger millennials who expect flexible work environments

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