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Ninety-five percent of Irish employees who have telecommuted for the past year prefer to continue working remotely at least part time after the pandemic ends, according to an April 2021 survey by Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission.

That compares with 81 percent of workers who wanted to remain remote a year earlier, the poll found. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they want to work remotely several times a week, and 32 percent said they want to telecommute full time.

A fifth of respondents said they currently work in a hybrid model, with some work in-person and some in-office, the survey revealed. Twenty-four percent said they would relocate based on their experience of remote work since the outbreak of Covid-19, and 9 percent said they had already moved. About half (53 percent) said they would not relocate.

The survey also identified the top three advantages of remote working: greater flexibility, easier lifestyle and increased productivity. Half of the respondents said they log more hours working remotely compared to in-person, while 45 percent said they work the same number of hours.

Forty-four percent of managers reported that working remotely positively impacted their team’s productivity, the survey showed. About three-quarters (78 percent) of organizations surveyed said they will work in a hybrid arrangement.

“The findings of the national survey indicate that there is a clear appetite to continue to work remotely,” Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of the Western Development Commission, said in the report. “This will mean significant change for the way in which people work and the way that organizations support that work.”

“A key challenge for leaders in organizations will be ensuring that people that choose to work remotely are treated equally in terms of development and promotional opportunities,” he added.

The survey polled more than 6,400 employees and 2,100 managers in Ireland.

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