Irish employers lag behind UK when it comes to flexible working options for staff
Irish business leaders need better technology and an agile approach if they want to retain talented employees, new research has warned.
The survey shows that more than half of Irish office workers believe a four day week will become a reality, while two-in-five believe their roles will be automated in the next five years.
The results are contained in research commissioned by Ricoh Europe and conducted by Coleman Parkes across 4,580 workers in 24 across 24 countries, including 150 in Ireland.
The survey also revealed that salary (54pc), flexible working hours (39%), learning opportunities (38pc) and a work-life balance (37pc) are the top priorities for people when looking for a job.
In terms of flexible working, more than a third of those surveyed said they believed it would increase productivity in the workplace, with 35pc of those surveyed saying remote working would also boost output.
The findings showed that Irish employers are lagging behind their counterparts in the UK in facilitating flexible working options for employees. Only 41pc of Irish workers feel their employer frequently adapts its working practices to their needs, in comparison to 54pc of their UK counterparts.
Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland & UK, said: “There is no doubt that the concept of the traditional workplace has changed significantly in recent years. Interest in and appetite for a four-day work week is growing – people want to work less hours but be more effective and productive with the time they spend working.
“Therefore, it’s very disappointing that Irish business leaders are not recognising this trend and adopting more flexible ways of working to motivate, encourage and retain staff. After all, a happier workforce often equates to increased employee productivity, business performance and company growth.
“Understandably, it is more complex nowadays for employers as they have to meet the expectations of four different generations in the workplace. However, it is crucial that they do so and it’s clear from our research that every generation wants to work smarter.
“If Irish business leaders are to succeed and make the concept of the four-day work week a reality, they need to enable individual workstyles with the right technologies and agile approaches. Otherwise, they could find themselves struggling to attract, keep and empower people.”