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13th Jul 2020

Vast majority of Irish workers don’t want to return to pre-Covid working patterns

Conor Heneghan

working from home Ireland

The highest preference for Irish employees is to work two to three days from home when normal life resumes.

More than four in five employees in Ireland wish to avoid a return to pre-Covid-19 working patterns when normal life eventually resumes.

According to a survey conducted by AIB and Amárach Research, the vast majority of respondents who are working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic do not want to go back to working patterns as they were before the lockdown, with implications for living, travel patterns and workplace set-up.

Only 15% of employees surveyed who are working from home said they wished to go back to the office as it was before the pandemic hit, with the highest preference (24%) indicating that they would like to work two to three days at home and the rest in the office.

20% of respondents said that they would like to work three to four days at home, while another 20% indicated a desire to work one to two days at home and the rest of the week in the office.

14% of those surveyed, meanwhile, said they would like to continue working from home and to go into the office if necessary.

An overwhelming number of respondents (88%) said it would be better for the environment for many people to continue to work from home, while 77% said it would be better for employers and 72% said it would be better for family life.

The research on preferred working habits formed part of the AIB Sustainability Index, conducted in June 2020, which found that consumers are making more sustainable decisions in areas such as DIY, reducing food waste and travelling by bike/on foot in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the findings, Gerard O’Neill of Amárach Research said: “The research undertaken – of over 1,000 Irish adults in the last four weeks – is both enlightening and heartening as we find that the issue of sustainability is still as important in people’s lives now as it was six months ago when we previously researched.

“This is especially important given the current crisis the country is facing. The findings show that we as a nation are still committed and taking on the challenge of climate change and its potential impacts.

“The research provides rich insights on how people are adapting their lives in response to the pandemic – and their own commitment to change for the longer-term.”