Only one in 10 people would like to return to office work full time 3 months ago

Only one in 10 people would like to return to office work full time

90% of people in Ireland would like to work remotely either full-time or part-time.

Almost one in three people in Ireland would consider relocating to live, now that remote working has become the norm for many.

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The latest survey from protection specialist Royal London and carried out by iReach also revealed that only one in 10 people would like to return to the office full-time, following the news that "all restrictions" in Ireland could be eased by Christmas.

The survey found that 18% of people are in favour of moving to the countryside or a town, meanwhile, 8% would consider moving abroad and 5% would move to a city.

It asked more than 1,000 adults throughout the country for their views on remote working and whether they would consider relocating permanently to live if their work allowed for it.

The majority of respondents (56%) said they would like a mix between office-based and remote working, with 34% of people saying they would like to work remotely exclusively, and just 10% saying that they would prefer to return to the office full-time.

The survey findings also revealed differing views between the genders and age groups as 42% of men would prefer to work remotely full-time compared to 26% of women.

64% of women would rather have an office as a base and be able to work remotely a few days a week as opposed to 48% of men and 22% of men versus 13% of women would consider relocating to a town or the countryside to work remotely.

Meanwhile, the desire to relocate to a town or the countryside to work remotely was highest among 25–34-year-olds and lowest among the over 55s, at 31% and 7% respectively.

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“Since the pandemic hit in 2020, nearly overnight we experienced a remote working revolution," Barry McCutcheon, Propositions Lead at Royal London.

"The ‘working from home experiment’, which has presented both challenges and opportunities, has enabled many people to experience working remotely and consider what it would be like as a full-time arrangement in the future."

McCutcheon added that a similar survey in 2019 found that 83% people in Ireland would embrace having the opportunity to work remotely, a figure which has now increased to 90%.

“Our 2021 survey has revealed an even bigger appetite for remote working among the public with 90% of respondents indicating they would like to work remotely either part-time or full-time," he said.

It comes as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said on Tuesday that "all restrictions" should be lifted by Christmas, including the reopening of offices.

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When asked if he thought all remaining restrictions in place would be lifted before Christmas including the full reopening of live entertainment events, offices, and nightclubs, Donnelly said: “Yes, I do.

“Obviously specific dates are something we will be looking to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for and we’ll be discussing at Cabinet. But certainly yes."