Most Irish workers and employers believe remote working ‘will hurt careers’

About four-fifths of employers believe remote working damages careers. File photograph: PA

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Sixty per cent of Irish workers believe that the careers of people who work remotely will be negatively affected over the long term with the figure rising to 80 per cent among employers, according to a new survey.

International workspace design company Unispace surveyed about 9,500 workers and more than 6,000 business leaders across 17 countries on their evolving attitudes to remote and hybrid working.

Globally, almost exactly half of the respondents said workers in their companies were expected to be on-site for four or more days a week but 42 per cent of the companies who required that level of attendance admitted having higher than normal levels of staff turnover and 29 per cent said they had difficulties hiring.

In Ireland, the survey found 44 per cent were back in the office at least four days each week but only 24 per cent actually liked the arrangement and 28 per cent said they would take a pay cut in order to work more from home.

Lack of privacy and the number of distractions were among the most often cited reasons for a lingering reluctance to return to the communal workplace. But among those still preferring to stay away almost two-thirds, 62 per cent, said they would be more inclined to work in the office if they had an assigned desk rather than having to share with others.

Urban centres
Internationally, 56 per cent of the survey’s respondents were men, 38 per cent were aged 18 to 34 and more than 70 per cent lived and had their workplaces in urban centres. The respondents tended to work in traditionally white-collar sectors including banking, communications, education and financial services.

In Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development estimates half of jobs across the entire economy have to be performed on-site due to their nature.

Among Irish workers surveyed by Unispace, 29 per cent said they could not see any need to be on-site but 44 per cent of those working remotely at least two days a week believe the shift back to the office will continue and 85 per cent of employers said they felt working four days or more in the office will be the norm in time.


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