Irish employers have, by and large, been given a thumbs up from workers for how they responded to the Covid-19 crisis. But they need to up their tech game.

More than two-thirds (69pc) of Irish workers say they are satisfied with the options their organisations are offering in terms of working going forward.

However, one-third say they would quit their jobs if home working was not supported.

“Too many companies are standing still at a time when they need to make decisions and move forward. Times are changing, therefore it’s time for change”

According to a new study by DataSolutions, 39pc of respondents will be expected to return to the office full-time, although less than a fifth (19pc) have done so at the moment.

Thirty-seven per cent of workers will be given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long-term, including 34pc of those workers who only recently started working from home as a result of the pandemic.

The post-Covid workplace

Smiling man in plaid shirt.

David Keating, group security director, DataSolutions

The majority of workers believe their company IT strategy was implemented quickly (59pc), was adequate (58pc) and has been effective (50pc) throughout the pandemic. However, 46pc of those say their company needs to update its IT strategy for the future.

Furthermore, 38pc of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of a return to the office in the future. While 71pc of respondents say their companies have invested in getting the office ready and compliant following the pandemic, more than half of organisations (60pc) have not allocated budget to allowing workers to create a more permanent working from home environment.

This is despite the fact that 50pc of the employees in these companies have spent their own money on same and three-quarters of workers say their productivity levels are either the same or better when working from home than in the office.

“So far, Irish businesses have done a great job of reacting to the crisis and implementing the makeshift technologies they needed to get by in the here and now,” said David Keating, Group Security Sales director, DataSolutions.

“But there is still a huge amount of indecision about the future, as seen by the fact that 38pc of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of returning to the office.

“While uncertainty remains in some respects, what is certain is that the normal we once knew is gone for good. Moreover, the new way of working that is being widely discussed needs to be enacted now with a well-thought-out strategy, proper investment and clear communication.

“Companies need to ensure they are empowering people to work well from the office and at home with an effective IT model, underpinned by the right technologies and a robust infrastructure, that facilitates a hybrid approach and supports flexibility in the long-term. Too many companies are standing still at a time when they need to make decisions and move forward. Times are changing, therefore it’s time for change.”

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

Published: 8 October, 2020

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