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Most firms happy to support remote working – but worry about security

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Kefron’s managing director Paul Kearns

Kefron’s managing director Paul Kearns

Kefron’s managing director Paul Kearns

Only a fifth of firms are planning a full-time return to the office in the coming months, with the vast majority of employers opting for hybrid work.

According to a survey by document management firm Kefron, 79pc of companies will

return to the office only part-time over the next number of months, though a large number of firms are concerned about cyber crime due to the increase in remote working.

“Our survey findings indicate that the Irish business landscape is going through a major

transitional moment, especially with regard to how organisations think about the physical office,” said Kefron’s managing director Paul Kearns.

“With the vast majority of businesses preparing for a partial, rather than full, return to the office, it’s now clear that the office will no longer be confined to just four walls. It is becoming a hybrid space where employees can access information from any location securely so they can do their best work.”

The 2021 Smarter Office Survey also uncovered a number of challenges facing employers as they grapple with new ways of working.

A large majority (78pc) of respondents said they were “more concerned” about the risk of fraud and cyber-crime now more people were working from home, while 12pc said they had been targeted by fraudsters in the last 12 months.

Almost a quarter of company bosses (23pc) expressed fears about outdated work practices, including digital record-keeping, 12pc said they lacked a digital strategy and 8pc said there was little in-house expertise in the area.

On the upside, most firms saw flat or increasing productivity after a year of remote working, while only 26pc said productivity had fallen during the pandemic.

A separate survey by consulting firm PwC found 95pc of global business leaders expect another crisis in the next two years, and say they need to improve their crisis management capabilities.

Of the 2,800 respondents to PwC’s latest Global Crisis Survey, 70pc had seen their business negatively impacted by the pandemic, while 20pc mainly tech and healthcare firms – said it had a positive impact.

And 80pc of bosses had considered the wellness of their employees during the pandemic, and agreed that looking after staff was a priority.

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