Remote working during Covid-19- Ireland’s National Survey: Phase II Report

In conjunction with NUI Galway

The COVID-19 crisis catapulted hundreds of thousands of employees and their employers into a work pattern and routine vastly different to their normal daily work experience. This radical change happened suddenly and for the vast majority the change effectively occurred overnight.

Some key points

  • 68% of respondents are working completely remotely since the outbreak of COVID19 and 24% are working a mix of remotely and onsite.
  • Just under half of respondents (49%) never worked remotely before COVID-19.
  • The vast majority (94%) indicated that they would like to work remotely after the crisis:
    – 27% indicated they would like to work remotely on a daily basis
    – 54% indicated they would like to work remotely several times a week
    – 13% indicated they would like to work remotely several times a month.
    Only 6% indicated that they do not want to work remotely after the crisis is over.
  • The top three challenges of working remotely are:
    1. loneliness/isolation
    2. staying motivated
    3. physical workspace
  • The top three advantages of working remotely are:
    1. no traffic and no commute
    2. greater flexibility as to how to manage the working day
    3. reduced costs of going to work and commuting
  • 52% indicated that they work more hours, on average, when working remotely compared to onsite; 41% indicated that they work the same hours; and 7% reported that they work less hours.
  • 36% indicated that they do not respond to emails and work communications outside of working hours. 64% do respond to emails and communications mainly citing that they choose to or because of workload.
  • 62% either agreed or strongly agreed that working remotely increases their productivity while 14% either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.
  • 78% either agreed or strongly agreed that it is easy to work effectively when working remotely.
  • Respondents were asked if they would consider relocating to another location in Ireland due to their experience of remote working since COVID-19.
    • 23% said they would consider relocating and 16% said they may consider relocating. The top three regions respondents would move to are:

1. West: Galway, Mayo, Roscommon

2. South-West: Cork, Kerry

3. Mid-West: Clare, Limerick, Tipperary

  • 7% indicated that they have already relocated due to their experience of remote working since COVID-19. The top three regions they have relocated to are:

1. West: Galway, Mayo, Roscommon

2. South-West: Cork, Kerry

3. Mid-West: Clare, Limerick, Tipperary

  • Respondents currently living in the Dublin region reported the highest proportion of those saying they would consider relocating compared to the other regions. This is followed by respondents living in the Mid-East region (Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wicklow).
  • In terms of workplace location, for those who would like to work remotely after the crisis is over:
    • 63% would like to work from home
    • 25% would like a mix of home, hub or onsite
    • 10% would like to work in a mix of home and hub
    • 2% would like to work solely in a hub.

This report sets out the findings of Phase II of the Remote Working during COVID-19 National Survey conducted in Ireland in October 2020 during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report presents the experiences of employees across Ireland who are continuing to work remotely six months after the national lockdown.

The report follows on from the first national survey conducted in April-May 2020 immediately after lockdown (McCarthy, Ahearne, Bohle Carbonell, Ó Síocháin and Frost, 2020). The first national remote working during COVID-19 report is available here.