Is remote working in Ireland here to stay?
During the pandemic, millions of Irish people stayed away from their offices and worked from home. Many don’t want to go back and this week the Government has published a Right to Request Remote Work Bill.
If passed by the Oireachtas, the law would give every employee the right to work at home with employers able to refuse only on a number of specific grounds.
“The work from home genie is out of the bottle and she is not going back in,” business coach and columnist Gina London told Down to Business.
“What we’ve seen from all this - and the research backs it - is that performance is not dependent on physical presence and work from home hasn’t deterred it.
“Did the Government need to put in a right for everyone to ask? I like to think that everybody felt comfortable in their place of employment that they could have that conversation but I think the idea is a good one.
“But what we’re going to see played out is going to be a reality of how you keep and attract that talent, is by offering them flexibility.
“I was just this morning, before I came on with you, talking to a global HR leader and her company is offering a variety [of options]; flexible, - one or two days in the office, all in the office or all remote, depending of course on the job and the position.”
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That said, there will inevitable certain times when an individual will be expected to show their face in the office:
“But you also have research that is still indicating very clearly that nothing beats an in person [meeting],” Ms London continued.
“There’s going to still be, I think, if we can [organise opportunities] to bring our teams together once a quarter; bring them together regularly so they can have that in person connection.
“I did my first half day in person workshop on Friday and I can tell you… I was a little bit like, ‘Oooh, how do I feel about this?’
“Some people were wearing masks inside but once we were there together, there was nothing like humans face to face!”
Main image: Franky the dog lies on a fur on the couch while a woman is working on her laptop. Picture by: Nicolas Armer/dpa.