We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

ireland thinks

New poll shows most office workers want to work from home 2 to 3 days per week post-pandemic

The Ireland Thinks poll found 20% of those working from home do so in their bedrooms.

THE RESULTS OF a year-long experiment of a new way of working are in.

With a large proportion of the population working from home it begs the question: Will it be the ‘new normal’?

The Journal‘s The Good Information Project and Ireland Thinks teamed up to ask the public about how they are currently feeling about working from home. Do they want to work from home in the future? And to understand in greater detail what working from home really means to people.

It’s worth acknowledging firstly, however, the large sections of the population for which this is either not relevant or impossible – 43% of the public that are either retired, a homemaker, unemployed, on the PUP, or are unable to work. Of those that are working, 44% currently work outside of the home with 37% (including students) currently working from home all of the time, and 20% working sometimes inside and sometimes outside of the home.

Working from home preferences

The Ireland Thinks poll reveals a fairly strong endorsement of working from home: 40% rating the experience as 6 out of 10 or higher and 45% of the population rating the experience at 4 out of 10 or lower.

The first chart looks at how people who had to work from home rated that experience compared to previously. 

It is worth exploring how exactly to reconcile these views. A prediction made by Dr Ashley Whillans at the Harvard Business School claims that the “3-2-2” week, that is three days in the office, two days at home and two days with friends and family, is a natural compromise between those that want to work from home and those that prefer the office environment.

Our data on this suggests that indeed the most popular perspective involves working from home 2 to 3 days per week.

At the launch of the government’s strategy on remote working earlier this year, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar asserted that “small towns and villages will see new investment, greater footfall and spend” as a consequence.

Certainly, in the current housing crisis it would ease some of the pressure on Dublin.

So, we asked the public directly to score the likelihood that they would move if they could work from home. The vast majority seem unlikely to do so but 21% offered a score of 6 out of 10 or higher.

Depending on what is considered a success in this regard there are clearly some people that state that they would move if they could work from home.

There are variations here where some demographics are clearer indicators of a likelihood to move: younger people, those living in Dublin, living in rented accommodation, and those without children are all most likely to move.

Our final question looked at where people tended to work from within their home. This shines a light into the different levels of comfort in working from home. 37% of workers working from home work in a study or home office.

The next most common is those that work from their bedroom. There is quite a difference between study-workers and bedroom-workers in terms of their level of income.

When we explore these two groups we observe that the average income of those that work in a study is over €50,000 per annum whereas those that work in their bedroom or the kitchen tend to be closer to €35,000 per annum.

This also reflects the type of housing people are living in, those that tend to own their own home are more likely to have a study while those in rented accommodation or indeed those in council housing and far less likely to do so.

Dr Kevin Cunningham is a lecturer at TU Dublin and managing director of Ireland Thinks.

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work is the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel