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remote working

Almost one-third of workers would change jobs to guarantee working remotely, survey finds

The third annual National Remote Working Survey found that 95% of respondents believe working remotely makes life easier.

NEARLY ONE-THIRD of workers would change jobs, even if it meant taking a pay cut, if their future remote working preferences were not facilitated, a new survey has found. 

The third annual National Remote Working Survey found that 30% of respondents said that they would change jobs, with 33% indicating they may change jobs even if it meant a pay cut, if they couldn’t work remotely.

27% said they were open to the possibility of changing jobs, even if it means less promotion opportunities 

The survey, conducted by researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission, gathered responses from more than 8,400 employees in late April and early May, on their current experience of remote working. 

Overall, the survey found that 95% of respondents believe working remotely makes life easier. 

Of those who could work remotely, 52% were currently working hybrid, 40% were working fully remotely while only 8% were fully on-site.

Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they clock more hours while working remotely, compared to working on-site, with 45% saying they work the same hours, and 6% saying they work fewer hours.

30% of respondents said they spent 30 minutes to an hour of the time they saved commuting working. 27% spent up to half an hour, and 14% spent 1 to 1.5 hours.

The top five activities on which respondents spent the time saved on commuting were household duties (e.g. cleaning, shopping, DIY), exercise, working on their main job, relaxing and caring responsibilities.

49% of respondents said they thought remote working had no impact on promotion opportunities, with 33% not yet knowing the impact. 9% said they believe there is a positive impact, while 9% believe there is a negative impact on promotion opportunities.

Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said this year’s survey contained a new module asking if remote working was a key factor in changing employer and career decision making.

“It is interesting to see that of those who changed employer since the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly half – 47% – indicated that remote working was a key factor in their decision to change employer,” she said.

Half of respondents said their organisation has confirmed how they will work in the future, while 22% are in a trial phase.

Of the 50% whose organisations have confirmed their future working patterns, 61% of respondents said that they will work hybrid, 30% will work completely remotely and only 9% will work fully on-site.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, chief executive of the Western Development Commission, said the findings indicate that Irish workers expect to continue working remotely either all of the time or to find a balance in line with their lifestyle.

“Leaders will now be challenged to look at ways of supporting their staff and find that balance to avoid retention issues,” he said.

Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Heather Humphreys TD said the survey results will be used by the Government to help inform future decisions on remote working.

“The Government’s Rural Development Policy, Our Rural Future, clearly recognises the vital role that remote working can play in achieving balanced regional development. At a time when there are labour market shortages, remote working can help companies attract and retain talent,” she said.

“So much excellent work has been done in the last few years to support remote workers and employers – these survey results will build on that work, providing up-to-date information on remote working experience of employees. I have no doubt that this will help enable us to make the right decisions at this crucial time.”

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