End of year before staff return to workplace, say directors

It will most likely be the end of the year before the Irish economy fully reopens and staff return to the company workplace, members of the Institute of Directors believe.

The majority of Irish business leaders (53pc) believe the national Covid-19 vaccination programme will allow the economy to fully reopen in the final quarter of 2021.

48pc predict most staff will return to the company workplace in Q4, but 19pc don’t believe this will happen until early 2022.

“Patience and compliance will serve everyone best over the coming weeks and months”

A new survey of members of the Institute of Directors found that while adjustments are made to the current Level 5 public health restrictions, 67pc of business leaders also think employers should continue to follow the Government’s advice on remote working for non-essential staff.

Interestingly, over 1 in 5 (22pc) respondents also noted that the Government’s advice should be further refined.

Concerns over vaccine roll-out

Blonde-haired business woman.

Maura Quinn, CEO of the Institute of Directors in Ireland

The research also found that a continuing slow roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is seen as the biggest risk to their organisations by 30pc of business leaders, with an extension of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions beyond Q2 2021 as the second biggest risk by 21pc of the survey’s respondents.

“The reopening of much of the economy and the return of the majority of staff to company workplaces hinges significantly on the pace of the vaccination programme, with a slow rollout still seen by business leaders as the biggest risk to their organisations,” said Maura Quinn, CEO of the Institute of Directors.

“That said, it is reassuring that a clear majority of them are of the belief that employers should continue to follow the Government’s advice with regard to working from home for all non-essential staff. Patience and compliance will serve everyone best over the coming weeks and months.”

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

Published: 23 April 2021

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