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Most employees want to retain option to work from home

Over 80% of Irish employees want to continue to spend at least part of their week working from home when normal life resumes after the coronavirus pandemic, a survey shows. 

Like much of Europe, most workers here were forced to work from home when the economy went into lockdown in March.

The Government’s advice remains for people to do so where they can as it prepares to lift the last of the restrictions. 

When asked what their ideal working arrangement would be when normal life resumes, the highest preference – 24% – was to work two to three days a week from home, according to the AIB/Amárach Research survey of over 1,000 adults carried out over the last four weeks. 

Another 20% said they would like to work one to two days a week at home and the rest in the office, with the same level expressing a preference to work three to four days a week from home and 14% saying they would go to the office during the week only if needed. 

That left just 15% preferring to go back to the office the way it was before. 

The survey also showed that 88% of people agreed it would be better for the environment if many people continue to work from home.  

77% agreed it would be better for employers if many of their employees continued to work from home, while 72% agreed it would be better for family life if many people continued to work from home. 

One reason many people feel sustainability has become more important post Covid-19 is that it is easier for them to adopt some lifestyle changes that are more sustainable.

Since the start of Covid-19 restrictions 56% of people said they do more home cooking, while 53% said they do more DIY, and another 53% said they are they attempting to reduce food waste.

The survey also showed that 45% of respondents said they go more on bicycle/foot while 24% are growing their own fruit, herbs or vegetables more than before, and 24% are more involved in helping in the community.

The Government has pledged to bring in measures to permanently increase remote working – including potential tax incentives – in a bid to promote better work life balance, higher female participation, greater regional balance and address climate change via less commuting.

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