Tomás Ó Síocháin, chief executive of the Western Development Commission and Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon.
Almost one third of workers in Carlow and across Ireland would change jobs and even take a pay cut if it meant securing their remote working preferences.
Researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission carried out the survey on remote working preferences.
The findings are from the third annual National Remote Working Survey, led by Professor Alma McCarthy and Noreen O’Connor at NUI Galway, and Tomás Ó Síocháin and Deirdre Frost at the Western Development Commission.
The survey gathered responses from more than 8,400 employees, in late April and early May, on their current experience of remote working.
* Of those who could work remotely, 52% were currently working hybrid, 40% fully remotely, and only 8% were fully on-site
* If their future remote working preferences were not facilitated, 30% of all respondents indicated that they will change job, with 33% indicating they may change jobs even if it meant a pay cut
* 37% indicated that they will change job and 27% indicated they are open to the possibility of changing jobs, even if it means less promotion opportunities if their future remote working preferences were not facilitated.
* 49% of all respondents clock more hours while remote working, compared to working on-site; 45% work the same hours, and
* 6% reported that they work fewer hours
* 30% of respondents indicated 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
* Almost half, 49%, believe remote working has no impact on opportunities for promotion, with 33% not yet knowing the impact. 9% believe there is a positive impact while 9% believe there is a negative impact on promotion opportunities.
Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Heather Humphreys said:
“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.
“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.”
Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “The third annual NUI Galway/Western Development Commission national remote working survey has, once again, gained huge interest with more than 8,400 responses.
“We added 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.”
Tomás Ó Síocháin, chief executive of the Western Development Commission, said:
“The findings of the latest national survey highlight a further change in the way we view remote working and 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. The ConnectedHubs.ie network now with over 230 hubs onboard across the country can play a key role offering a suitable workplace close to home, a space for offsite meetups and an opportunity for companies to cut down on their carbon footprint.”
Further data from the National Remote Working Survey showed -
While more than half of respondents (58%) had never worked remotely before the pandemic, 76% either agreed or strongly agreed that working remotely makes their job easier, and 95% either agreed or strongly agreed that working remotely makes their life easier.
Some 27% of respondents have changed employer since 2020. Of these, 47% indicated that remote working was a key factor in their decision as their new employer offered better opportunities in this area.
The top five activities for which respondents spent the time saved on commuting are - household duties (e.g. cleaning, shopping, DIY); exercise; working on their main job; relaxation; and caring responsibilities.
When asked about the future of remote working the survey showed:
50% 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 indicated that they will work hybrid; 30% will work completely remotely; and only 9% will work fully on-site.
Of those who will work hybrid into the future, 36% are expected to be on-site a minimum of two days a week; 24% a minimum of three days; 17% a minimum of one day; and 3% are expected to be on-site a minimum of four days a week; 8% are expected to be on-site several days a month; and 12% indicated “other” expectations of their employer about being on-site.
The vast majority of respondents indicated remote working is impacting employee attraction and retention in their organisation.
88% strongly agree and agree with the statement that their organisation needs to offer remote/hybrid working to attract staff and 90% strongly agree and agree with the statement that their organisation needs to offer remote/hybrid working to retain staff.
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