A survey from the newly rebranded Compliance Institute (formerly the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland) has found that even when employees are free to return, a hybrid model is most likely to be adopted by the majority of employers. Most organisations (67%) say those employees working from home will still need to visit the office at least once a week, with 53% of these saying they’ll have to be there 2 or 3 days a week.
The survey of over 280 organisations, answered by Compliance Institute members with responsibility for compliance in large organisations throughout the country, also found that over a quarter (28%) of employees will need to be near enough to the office so that they can commute every week, while more than 3 in 10 organisations will allow their employees to work remotely from anywhere in the country.
The Compliance Institute survey also asked respondents whether their organisation planned to allow employees to work remotely at offsite locations. The survey revealed that more than 3 in 10 say employees can work anywhere in the country, with 5% saying they could even work outside of Ireland. Twenty eight percent say they are open to people working from home so long as they can commute to the office when needed. Thirty eight percent say that where a person works from has yet to be decided or will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
It has been said that one of the main bonuses of the return to the office is getting back to face-to-face interactions. However, the Compliance Institute survey found that most businesses will continue to utilize online, and video conferencing platforms popularized during the pandemic.
Commenting on the research, CEO of the Compliance Institute, Michael Kavanagh said, "Remote working has the potential to become a contentious issue among workers and employers alike as efforts are made to marry the needs and desires of workers with the goals and best interests of the businesses. The pandemic has changed many people’s live/work situation as well as their goals and ambitions, and so patience and communication will be required by both employers and employees to figure out workable solutions and compromises in the months ahead."
He added, "Questions will need to be asked such as whether it tenable to keep renting office or commercial space when a large portion of your staff are working from home, from an alternative location, or abroad. Will employee retention become an issue if remote working is not allowed? There are many elements to weigh up."