Almost a third of workers would change jobs to guarantee remote work, according to a survey

NEARLY A THIRD of workers would change jobs, even if it meant a pay cut, if their future remote work preferences weren’t made easy, according to a new survey.

The third annual National Remote Work Survey found that 30% of respondents said they would change jobs, and 33% indicated they might change jobs even if it meant a pay cut, if they were unable to work remotely.

27% said they were open to the possibility of changing jobs, even if it means fewer opportunities for promotion.

The survey, conducted by researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission, collected responses from more than 8,400 employees in late April and early May about their current remote work experience.

Overall, the survey found that 95% of respondents believe that working remotely makes life easier.

Of those able to work remotely, 52% were currently working hybrid, 40% were working fully remote, while only 8% were fully on-site.

Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they log more hours while working remotely compared to working onsite, with 45% saying they work the same hours and 6% working fewer hours.

30% of respondents said they spend 30 minutes to an hour of the time they save commuting to work. 27% spent up to half an hour and 14% spent from 1 to 1.5 hours.

The top five activities that respondents spent their saved commuting time on were household chores (eg, cleaning, shopping, DIY), exercise, main job, relaxation, and caregiving responsibilities.

49% of respondents said they thought remote work had no impact on promotion opportunities, and 33% were not yet aware of the impact. 9% said they believe there is a positive impact, while 9% believe there is a negative impact on promotion opportunities.

Professor Alma McCarthy, Director of the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said this year’s survey contained a new module asking whether remote work was a key factor in changing employment and career decision-making. .

“It is interesting to see that of those who have changed employers since the Covid-19 outbreak, almost half, 47%, indicated that remote work was a key factor in their decision to change employers,” he said.

Half of the respondents said that their organization has confirmed how they will work in the future, while 22% are in a testing phase.

Of the 50% whose organizations have confirmed their future work patterns, 61% of respondents said they will work hybrid, 30% will work entirely remotely, and only 9% will work entirely onsite.

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Tomás Ó Síocháin, executive director of the Western Development Commission, said the findings indicate that Irish workers expect to continue working remotely all the time or find a balance according to their lifestyle.

“Leaders will now be challenged to find ways to support their staff and find that balance to avoid retention issues,” he said.

Community and Rural Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys TD said the government will use the survey results to help inform future decisions about remote working.

“The Government’s Rural Development Policy, Our Rural Future, clearly recognizes the vital role that remote working can play in achieving balanced regional development. At a time when there is a shortage in the labor market, remote work can help companies attract and retain talent,” he said.

“Excellent work has been done in recent years to support remote workers and employers – the results of this survey will build on that work and provide up-to-date information on employees’ remote work experience. I have no doubt that this will help us make the right decisions at this crucial time.”

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