Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.11 19 Oct 2020


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Over 90% of people working remotely want to continue doing so at some capacity, a new survey has shown - a significant increase compared to April.

New research from NUI Galway shows 94% were in favour of working remotely on an ongoing basis for some or all of the time, up from 83% at the start of the pandemic.

The survey asked about both working from home and working from another location such as a hub.

More than half of respondents (54%) said they'd like to work remotely several times a week.

The number of people who want to work remotely every day (27%) is more than double the findings in a previous survey from April (12%).

A further 13% would like to work remotely several times a month.

23% of people asked say the would think about relocating due to the ability to work from home, while 7% have already moved.

The study also found that loneliness, isolation and staying motivated were some of the main challenges for remote workers.

In contrast, some of the main difficulties in April were issues around communication with colleagues and being unable to switch off from work.

Six months on

NUI Galway Professor Alma McCarthy spoke to Breakfast Briefing about the findings.

She explained: "The first phase [of the study] was done in April, at that time looking at the immediate reaction to having to work remotely as we were thrust into it at that point.

"At this stage we were interested in looking at the experience employees have six months on, as we've all settled into what has ended up being quite a prolonged period of time for remote working... and it looks like it might prevail for some time to come, unfortunately."

Professor McCarthy said the study focused on the parts of the workforce that can work from home, and there are some key findings for employees and employers alike.

She said: "7% of our survey respondents indicated they have already moved, and we asked them specifically if they had relocated based on their experience of remote working and COVID-19.

"Another 23% said they had considered moving. That does open up the debate about more regional-balanced development.

"We don't expect a mass movement of people either, but at the same time we are seeing trends that people are starting to really consider where they live... and when work is flexible in terms of where you are, of course opportunities open up about where you reside."

She said experts don't foresee a full transition to remote working when the pandemic eases, but that a 'blended model' is likely.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Kira Hofmann/DPA/PA Images

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