The Second Annual National Remote Working Survey has revealed an overwhelming level of employee support for remote work options. Over 95% of workers surveyed want remote working to continue in some form following the pandemic.

The second annual NUI Galway/Western Development Commission national remote working survey received over 6,400 responses from employees who have been working remotely during a year of restrictions.

The survey is also notable as it is the first national survey to take the views of managers in relation to how remote work has impacted their team. Over 2,100 managers shared their views on the impact of remote work and their plans post-pandemic.

Key figures

The survey found that among those who could work remotely:

  • 53% would like to work remotely several times a week
  • 32% would like to work fully remotely
  • 10% would like to work remotely several times a month,

The figure of 32% of employees seeking full time remote work has increased from 12% in the previous survey which took place in April 2020.

Relocation trends

24% of employees said they would consider relocating based on their experience of remote working since COVID-19. 9% said they had already moved and the West (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon), the South-west (Cork and Kerry) and the Border (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo) were the top regions respondents have relocated to. 14% said they may consider moving, while just over half (53%) said they would not consider relocating.

Advantages of remote work

The top three advantages of working remotely according to the responses are greater flexibility, makes life easier, and increases productivity. Although work-life balance was cited as a reason for wanting remote work, 51% of respondents reported working more hours when they work remotely compared to working onsite while 45% say they work the same hours.

Manager views

From the management perspective, 44% of team manager respondents believe that remote working positively impacts the productivity of their team and the same proportion believe that remote working makes no difference to the team’s productivity. 12% believe remote working negatively impacts their team’s productivity.

Notably, 75% of organisations had not decided how their teams will work post pandemic. Of the 25% who had decided, 78% will work to a hybrid model. 36% of organisations who have decided to work to a hybrid model expect employees to be onsite for two days a week and 23% said three days a week.

Post pandemic

The national survey has revealed that employees have a clear preference to continue working remotely. This could be a big change for the way in which both employees and organisations work. HR teams will have an influential role to play in supporting this transition to a different work model.