Catch ’22: When will workers return to office?

37% of business leaders don’t see majority of staff being back in the office until Q2 2022.

More than a third (37%) of Irish business leaders don’t foresee the majority of staff returning to the office or workplace until Q2 of 2022, while 30pc think it will be in Q1 2022.

According to a study by the Institute of Directors in Ireland, only 8% of business leaders think it will be in January while only 6% believe it will be in February.

“While the rollout of the booster vaccine programme has been swift and widespread, it looks like the public health restrictions already in place will remain so for the foreseeable future”

These advance findings are from the IoD’s latest Director Sentiment Monitor research report, for Q4 2021, to be published in January 2022.

Optimism for future of economy

Blonde-haired business woman.
Maura Quinn, CEO, Institute of Directors in Ireland

The new research also reveals that business leaders see the biggest risk facing their organisations as ‘a return of tight public health restrictions caused by Covid-19 and its variants’.

There is a note of optimism, however, in the finding that 31% of business leaders are more optimistic about the economy than the previous quarter, with 28% more pessimistic and 41% signifying ‘no change’ from the previous three months.

“With many staff returning to the workplace for at least some of the time during autumn 2021, the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has seen a significant return to remote working,” said Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland.

“While the rollout of the booster vaccine programme has been swift and widespread, it looks like the public health restrictions already in place will remain so for the foreseeable future. Our research finds that 37% of business leaders see the second quarter of the year as the period when a majority of staff will likely be in the office/workplace. Furthermore, it should be of note that business leaders now see the biggest business risk as ‘a return of tight public health restrictions caused by Covid-19 and its variants’.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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