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80pc of us want a ‘hybrid’ working week between home and the office, survey says

A survey of 1,200 Irish people from Amarach Research on behalf of Virgin Media claims that four out of five of us no longer want to spend five days a week at a company office.

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Paschal Naylor, CEO, Arkphire discussing the remote working survey results with Alison Flynn, Citrix; Gemma Hynes, Dell Technologies; and Anna Zdun and Aisling Bolger of Arkphire. The company’s recent survey of 200 senior directors and 500 office employees captured some viewpoints around remote working effectiveness.

Paschal Naylor, CEO, Arkphire discussing the remote working survey results with Alison Flynn, Citrix; Gemma Hynes, Dell Technologies; and Anna Zdun and Aisling Bolger of Arkphire. The company’s recent survey of 200 senior directors and 500 office employees captured some viewpoints around remote working effectiveness.

Paschal Naylor, CEO, Arkphire discussing the remote working survey results with Alison Flynn, Citrix; Gemma Hynes, Dell Technologies; and Anna Zdun and Aisling Bolger of Arkphire. The company’s recent survey of 200 senior directors and 500 office employees captured some viewpoints around remote working effectiveness.

80pc of Irish workers want a hybrid working model split between their home and their company’s office, according to new findings from Amarach Research.

The survey, taken among 1,200 people around the country by the polling firm on behalf of Virgin Media, claims that 43pc want to work at home three days a week with two days in the office, while 15pc say they’d prefer the reverse situation of three days in the office and two days at home.

“The results of this research reinforces what we’ve seen in everyday life,” said Paul Higgins, commercial vice president for Virgin Media Ireland. “During the pandemic, our homes became our offices, schools, gyms and cinemas. The concept of a hybrid office for work is here to stay for many.”

Mr Higgins declined to say whether Virgin Media would allow hybrid working at the telecoms operator.

The poll comes after Apple CEO Tim Cook told the company’s Cork staff that most would be expected back in the office in September.

Other large tech firms are also planning for a majority of staff to return to their office desks. Google has applied for planning permission to expand its office footprint in Dublin, following a similar move by Microsoft.

Despite the survey results, the latest jobs market data suggests that employers’ actual appetite for ‘work from home’ jobs may have some way to catch up with workers’ aspirations.

Of 38,718 jobs currently advertised on the jobs site Indeed, only 1,057 are permanent positions from home. If a salary of at least €30,000 is sought, the available jobs shrink again to 897, just over 2pc of the current jobs on offer.

Microsoft Ireland, which employs over 3,000 people here, recently adopted a rule that all workers can work up to half the time out of the office without approval from a manager. However, none of the company’s recently-announced 200 additional jobs are advertised as remote positions.

Google Ireland recently announced that 20pc of its 4,000 staff can apply to permanently work from home. Google employs 8,000 people in Dublin, with half being employed by contractor firms.

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Separately, the Amarach research for Virgin Media also reported that Irish homes now have 11 connected devices in their home and that 44pc of people have increased their online movie and TV streaming consumption in the last year, with two in five saying that they spend between two and five hours each day watching online video services.

Virgin Media says that it has experienced a 50pc increase in data usage, on average, among its broadband customers in Ireland.

“Our data shows an almost 50pc increase in usage in May 2021 compared to February last year when, in 2020 as a whole, usage had soared by 80pc from 2019,” said Mr Higgins.

“We’re proud to enable this massive increase in data usage for our customers as they connect to new and different things.”



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