Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.38 11 May 2020


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A new survey suggests 83% people want to continue to work remotely after the coronavirus crisis.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission.

Over half of those surveyed had never worked remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of those who had never worked remotely, 78% would like to work remotely for some or all of the time after the crisis is over.

Of those who would like to work remotely, 12% indicated they would like to do it on a daily basis, 42% said several times a week and 29% opted for several times a month.

More than 7,200 people were surveyed across a wide range of industries and sectors over a one-week week period in April to May.

A woman working at a kitchen table on her laptop. Picture by: Lisa Ducret/DPA/PA Images

The top three challenges of working remotely included not being able to switch off from work, harder to communicate and collaborate with colleagues and poor physical workspace.

The top three benefits of working remotely were cited as no traffic and no commute, reduced costs of going to work and greater flexibility as to how to manage the working day.

The challenge of juggling childcare with work commitments was seen as a key issue in the open-ended comments.

The provision of better ergonomic equipment is one of the key changes suggested by employees to help with their well-being and productivity.

Many also reported the need for more suitable workspace within their home, and just under one-in-five identified internet connectivity as an issue.

In relation to productivity, 37% of respondents indicated that their productivity working remotely during COVID-19 is about the same as normal and 30% reported that their productivity is higher than normal.

While 25% said their productivity is lower than normal and 9% of respondents indicated that it is impossible to compare productivity.

NUIG Professor Alma McCarthy said: "The findings of our survey indicate that employee preferences to continue working remotely will facilitate the opening up phase and aid with social distancing.

"The future of work post-COVID-19 is really interesting.

"The vast majority of respondents want to continue to work remotely when the crisis is over.

"Many roles and jobs can be performed effectively remotely.

"What is the benefit of long commutes to work and sitting in traffic if we can leverage technology at least some of the week to do our work?

"Productivity does not necessarily correlate with presence in the workplace.

"What we do is more important than where we do it for many roles. A mind-set change is needed by managers and employers in terms of managing work remotely.

"The current crisis provides an opportunity for organisations and managers to re-think how we work."

Main image: A woman sits on her couch working on a laptop in Rattelsdorf, Germany. Picture by: Nicolas Armer/DPA/PA Images

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