Over one in five Irish employees would consider relocating and a little under one in 10 employees have already moved due to their ability to work remotely.
23% of employees with the ability to work remotely would consider relocating and 7% have already moved, according to an expansive NUIG survey on remote working in Ireland.
Data from the second phase of the survey, which gathered responses from more than 5,600 employees, found that, among those who can work remotely, 94% of employees would like to continue to do so some of the time or all of the time on an ongoing basis.
Of that 94%, the majority (54%) said they would like to work remotely several times a week, with 27% saying they would like to do so five days a week and 13% saying several times a month.
The figures have increased significantly since Phase 1 of the study in April, shortly after restrictions were introduced to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing thousands of employees throughout the country to work from home.
In April, 83% of employees said they wanted to work remotely some or all of the time on an ongoing basis, while only 12% said they would like to work remotely five days a week.
The authors of the report pointed out that questions about remote working in the survey related to both working from home and working from another location, for example, a hub.
The West of the country (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon), the South-West (Cork and Kerry) and the Mid-West (Clare, Limerick, Tipperary) were the top regions where respondents to the survey have relocated to so far because of their remote working experience.
In terms of the benefits of working remotely, the top three identified by respondents to the survey were:
- No traffic and no commute
- Greater flexibility in how to manage the working day
- Reduced costs of going to work and commuting
The main challenges identified when working remotely were:
- Loneliness and isolation
- Staying motivated
- Difficulties with the physical workspace
The challenges identified above had changed since April, when not being able to switch off from work, collaborating and communicating with colleagues and again, poor physical workspace, were the main issues identified.
Commenting on the survey, Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor of Public Sector Management, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “There is a resounding demand from employees to continue to work remotely post-crisis.
“The remote working experience presents a game-changer for how many organisations will manage their workforce into the future. For those who can work remotely, they seem to have settled into it quite effectively six months on from lockdown.”
You can see the survey in full here.