Almost 75pc of Irish firms to cut office space

Indications are that Irish businesses are planning to embrace remote working on a more permanent basis, an Equinix study has found.

More than three-quarters (76pc) of Irish businesses expect to permanently offer more flexibility around remote working for employees and a near corresponding number (74pc) are planning to reduce office space.

“For the majority of employees, remote working boosts productivity and has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing – and therefore their overall job satisfaction”

The independent study, commissioned by Equinix, surveyed 127 senior IT decision-makers in Ireland, highlighting sentiments around the challenges posed by the transition to remote work for businesses nationwide. 

Despite the many reported benefits of remote working from an employee and business perspective, Equinix’s research found that one-third of Ireland’s IT leaders are experiencing heightened stress from enabling and supporting a remote workforce.

The digital future of business

Man in blue suit standing in the middle of servers.

Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland, Equinix

With a view to streamlining support for remote work, 52pc of enterprises in Ireland are now planning to increase investment in cloud and data centre services.

“The events of this year have illustrated how employees’ physical presence is not a prerequisite to business success across a myriad of industries,” said Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland at Equinix.

“In fact, for the majority of employees, remote working boosts productivity and has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing – and therefore their overall job satisfaction.

The survey findings demonstrate the growing importance of reliable and seamless connectivity for businesses with their employees, customers and partners, as well as the inherent need for a robust and scalable IT infrastructure to keep up with fluctuations in business demands.

The technological impact of Covid-19 has led to 67pc of businesses experiencing an increase in bandwidth requirements, with 65pc of IT decision-makers expecting a sustained increase in their bandwidth requirements post-pandemic.

“Many businesses have assessed the current landscape, collated feedback from their staff, and prioritised the formulation of tailored remote working guidelines. By giving employees the flexibility to choose what environment works best for them, there will inevitably be a significant drop in the number of staff present on-site each week, thus reducing the need for large, expensive office space.

“The rise in remote working, coupled with the accelerated move to digital commerce, has resulted in a massive increase in data and bandwidth requirements. At Equinix, we have been helping enterprises in Ireland to survive and prosper through the pandemic by increasing their bandwidth capacity.

“The adoption of cloud-first strategies that incorporate hybrid multi-cloud solutions will be essential to future success. As data volumes increase, it is no longer optional for enterprises to use cloud technology – it is essential for managing workloads, staying connected and for the seamless continuity of operations,” said Mortell.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 28 October, 2020