No ability to work from home a deal-breaker for a third of office staff

Almost 40 per cent said they will be expected to return to the office full-time, with 37 per cent of workers given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long term. Photograph: iStock

Almost 40 per cent said they will be expected to return to the office full-time, with 37 per cent of workers given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long term. Photograph: iStock

 

A third of office staff would quit their jobs if the ability to work from home was not offered in the future, a new survey has found.

With the ongoing pandemic forcing thousands of workers to stay home, the research from Data Solutions found half of workers thought their company’s strategy during the pandemic was effective, with three-quarters claiming productivity levels are on a par with being in the office or better while they are working remotely.

But while the study found 69 per cent of Irish office workers are satisfied with the options being offered for the future, 38 per cent of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of a return to the office.

Almost 40 per cent said they will be expected to return to the office full-time, with 37 per cent of workers given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long term. That includes more than a third of workers who only began working from home as a result of the pandemic.

Although almost 60 per cent of workers felt their company IT strategy was implemented quickly and was adequate, 46 per cent said their company needs to update its IT strategy for the future.

“So far, Irish businesses have done a great job of reacting to the crisis and implementing the makeshift technologies they needed to get by in the here and now. But there is still a huge amount of indecision about the future, as seen by the fact that 38 per cent of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of returning to the office,” said David Keating, group security sales Director, DataSolutions.

“While uncertainty remains in some respects, what is certain is that the normal we once knew is gone for good. Moreover, the new way of working that is being widely discussed needs to be enacted now with a well-thought-out strategy, proper investment and clear communication.”

  

Allocate a budget

Some 71 per cent of respondents said their companies have been preparing the office for a return, but 60 per cent have yet to allocate any budget to allow staff to create a more permanent home-working environment. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of employees in these companies have invested their own money on creating an effective home working environment.

“Companies need to ensure they are empowering people to work well from the office and at home with an effective IT model, underpinned by the right technologies and a robust infrastructure, that facilitates a hybrid approach and supports flexibility in the long-term,” said Mr Keating. “Too many companies are standing still at a time when they need to make decisions and move forward. Times are changing, therefore it’s time for change.”

The study, which was conducted by Censuswide in August, involved more than 500 Irish office workers.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/work

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