80% of Irish organisations predict widespread reluctance from workers to return to offices, survey finds 5 months ago

80% of Irish organisations predict widespread reluctance from workers to return to offices, survey finds

Remote working looks like it's here to stay.

80% of financial organisations in Ireland are predicting widespread reluctance from workers regarding returning to the office workplace, according to a survey from the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI).

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The survey of over 300 organisations, answered by ACOI members with responsibility for compliance in financial organisations throughout the country, sought to gain insight into public sentiment towards a return to work as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

Despite the ongoing easing of restrictions, the nationwide survey found that organisations believe that a mix of wariness over public health (37%) and an overall sense of contentment with working from home (43%) are behind workers' reluctance to returning to office life.

When organisations were asked how they expected their employees to continue working in the longer term, only 4% predicted a full return to the office.

81% expected to operate a hybrid model, which would see a blend of remote and office work.

Meanwhile, 86% of the organisations surveyed said long term remote working is currently being considered, with the majority already having plans in place to make this transition.

CEO of ACOI Michael Kavanagh said in a statement: “In an overwhelmingly strong statement from our member survey, as many as 8 in 10 believe the transition back to the office may not be as seamless as one would think.

"While the reasons behind this are varied, it’s clear that there will have to be a departure in part from the more traditional workplace model.

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"Working from home has proved a great success in many organisations and a firm favourite amongst many employees - providing them additional flexibility and perhaps a better work/life balance, which they may now be hesitant to give up.

"Just 20% of respondents felt that employees would be keen to return to the pre-Covid way of working, according to our survey.”

Kavanagh added: “Just 4% supported a full return to the office from our survey, with 81% forecasting that a hybrid model of working will replace the traditional office-based 9 to 5:30.

"One thing is certain - the events of the past year will have ramifications for office life for years to come.”