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Home-working here to stay after coronavirus, say business leaders


IoD chief executive Maura Quinn. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

IoD chief executive Maura Quinn. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

©INPHO/James Crombie

IoD chief executive Maura Quinn. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

Some 90pc of businesses expect some or all staff to continue to work remotely after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, and almost a third are reconsidering their office needs.

A new snap survey of its 3,000 members by the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) found that fewer than one in eight business leaders believe all staff will be back in their companies' workspaces once the lockdown ends.

The wide-ranging survey found that 75pc of companies have not cut pay during the crisis, and just over half of businesses have not tapped the Government's wage subsidy scheme.

However, 23pc of business leaders say they are making redundancies (12pc) or reducing hours (11pc).

The IoD Ireland survey was conducted between Friday, June 12, and Tuesday, June 16, among the IoD's 3,000 members, comprising CEOs and company directors.

With working from home now moving into the mainstream, 31pc of business leaders are either planning to downsize their office or commercial space or have it under consideration.

The findings have potentially far-reaching implications for the commercial property market, transport infrastructure and for how work is organised within companies.

"The future of workplaces is being reconfigured," said IoD CEO Maura Quinn. She also called on the Government for continued business support measures in the period after the lockdown.

That will include support to repurpose work areas. The survey found nearly 30pc of respondents don't think their existing working areas are conducive to implementing social distancing measures.

Business leaders also overwhelmingly believe that a recession is imminent but that it will be short-term.

Irish Independent