Over 80% of workers want to work remotely, either some or all of the time, according to a new survey from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Its report, published last week, found that 28% would like to work from home all the time, while 60% would prefer a ‘blended’ approach where they spent some time in the workplace and some time working from home.
The CSO findings echo a growing number of opinion polls, including the large Fórsa survey carried out in 2020.
The union is currently in talks aimed at agreeing a framework for blended working in the civil service. The intention is that this will provide a template for expanding and managing remote working – including fair access and worker safeguards – across the public service.
The CSO survey found there was an increase in people’s overall ‘social happiness’ due to the ability to work from home. Almost 50% of first-time home buyers said they would be happy to buy outside of Dublin if working from home became permanent.
And 74% said they had more time on their hands because of their ability to work remotely. This has led to more people taking up new hobbies and spending more quality time with their families.
The survey also showed that remote working has had a positive environmental impact, with three-quarters of respondents saying they made fewer car journeys each day when working from home and almost half saying they tended to walk more often.
Fórsa has led the union campaign for increased remote working since the pandemic experience demonstrated that many roles once deemed essentially office-based can be productively performed from home.
The union conducted Ireland’s largest ever employee opinion survey in 2020. It revealed a huge appetite for working from home, with most favouring a hybrid model. Some 86% of respondents said they were interested in working remotely, with 80% saying they favoured a blended work arrangement.
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