Bosses say working from home is ‘here to stay’

By: September 24, 2020
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The majority of bosses say the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of their organisation and ways of working will never be the same again.

A new snap poll* by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland shows that 88% of business leaders have sped up the digital transformation of their companies. 38% of business leaders say the majority of their staff will be working remotely by the end of 2020.

Furthermore, 77% of business leaders say their business model has changed either significantly or marginally since the arrival of COVID-19.

Working from home is a change for the better
Interestingly, 42% of business leaders say their work-life balance has improved since the arrival of COVID-19 with the increase in remote working.

A quiet revolution
“The ways and means of working are undergoing a quiet revolution,” says Maura Quinn, chief executive, Institute of Directors in Ireland. “Remote working and the increased use of digital technology is transforming the way we work – it is impacting business models and people’s work-life balance. It is clear that, for many, there will be no return to the old ways of working.”

Digital transformation
When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation has the impact of COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation of your organisation?’, the respondents chose as follows:
Increased marginally: 48%
Increased significantly: 40%
No change: 10%
Interestingly, no respondents noted that this has ‘decreased significantly’ or ‘decreased marginally’.

Remote working vs office working
When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation and in light of the new ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 Plan for Living with COVID-19′ from the Government, which statement is most relevant concerning where your staff will be located by the end of 2020?’, the business leaders chose as follows:
The majority of staff will work remotely: 38% (Interestingly, this number was just 18% when the question was asked in our previous June poll but with the period as ‘once the lockdown restrictions are lifted’.)
An equal mix of staff working in the office and remotely: 19% (As per the previous poll cited above, this was 40% in June.)
All staff will work remotely: 12% (As per the previous poll cited above, this was 5% in June.)
A minority of staff will continue to work remotely: 14% (As per the previous poll cited above, this was 26% in June.)
All staff will be back in the office/workspace: 5% (As per the previous poll cited above, this was 12% in June.)
This issue is still too uncertain to predict: 11%.

Business models
When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, to what extent has your business model changed since the arrival of COVID-19?’
Changed marginally: 52%
Changed significantly: 25%
Too soon to assess: 11%
No change: 11%

Work-life balance
When asked, ‘On a personal level, has your work-life balance been altered due to increased remote working?’, the respondents chose the following:
My work-life balance has improved: 42%
My work-life balance is mostly unchanged: 33%
My work-life balance has reduced: 23%
Unsure: 2%

Office space and the future
When posed the question, ‘Is your organisation planning to downsize its office space?’:
50% said ‘No’ (when this question was asked in our June poll, this figure was 69%)
21% said it is ‘Under consideration’ (in our June poll, this was 19%)
15% replied ‘Not sure’ (in our June poll, an option not included)
14% responded ‘Yes’ (in our June poll, this was 2%).
The findings in this survey have been rounded up or down to the nearest decimal point.

*The IoD Ireland survey was conducted between September 17-21, 2020, amongst the IoD’s 3,000 members, comprising CEOs, managing directors and company directors from all sectors of the economy, private, public and not-for-profit.