95% of people say working remotely makes life easier

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Researchers at NUI Galway have revealed that nearly one third of workers are willing to move to a new job to secure their remote working preferences.

The findings are from the third annual National Remote Working Survey, led by Professor Alma McCarthy and Noreen O’Connor at NUI Galway, and Tomás Ó Síocháin and Deirdre Frost at the Western Development Commission.

The survey gathered responses from more than 8,400 employees in late April and early May on their current experience of remote working.

Of those who could work remotely, 52% were currently working hybrid, 40% fully remotely, and only 8% were fully on-site.

If their future remote working preferences were not facilitated, 30% of all respondents indicated that they will change job, with 33% indicating they may change jobs even if it meant a pay cut.

Thirty-seven percent of people indicated that they will change job and 27% indicated they are open to the possibility of changing jobs, even if it means less promotion opportunities if their future remote working preferences were not facilitated.

The survey also found that 49% of all respondents clock more hours while remote working, compared to working on-site; 45% work the same hours, and 6% reported that they work fewer hours.

Nearly one third of respondents indicated they spent 30 minutes to an hour of the time they saved commuting working; 27% spent up to half an hour; and 14% spent 1 to 1.5 hours.

Almost half – 49% – believe remote working has no impact on opportunities for promotion, with 33% not yet knowing the impact. 9% believe there is a positive impact while 9% believe there is a negative impact on promotion opportunities.

Minister Heather Humphreys said that at a time when there are labour market shortages, remote working can help companies attract and retain talent.

“So much excellent work has been done in the last few years to support remote workers and employers – these survey results will build on that work, providing up-to-date information on remote working experience of employees,” she said.

“I have no doubt that this will help enable us to make the right decisions at this crucial time.”

Professor Alma McCarthy said that the survey once again gained huge interest with more than 8,400 responses.

“We added a new module asking if remote working was a key factor in changing employer and career decision making,” said Prof McCarthy.

“It is interesting to see that of those who changed employer since the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly half – 47% – indicated that remote working was a key factor in their decision to change employer.”

The reports from the 2020 and 2021 Remote Working Surveys are available from NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute, https://bit.ly/3lyVAk1, and the Western Development Commission, https://bit.ly/3wKx30z.