69% of Business Leaders Say Hybrid Working for Staff Likely Once Restrictions Lifted

working from home

A new survey of its members by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland has found that 69% of business leaders say all staff will work a mix of being in the office/workplace and working remotely (a hybrid model) once the relevant public health restrictions are lifted. Just 8% indicate that all staff will exclusively work in the office/workplace, while just 2% indicate that all staff will exclusively work remotely.

The selected advance findings of the IoD’s quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor for Q2 2021, to be published in late August, also reveal that the largest number (46%) of its respondents sees Q4 2021 as the most likely period when a majority of staff will return to the official workplace. It also finds that 21% of business leaders see a return of tight public health restrictions caused by the Delta and other COVID-19 variants as the biggest risk to their organisations. The IoD’s quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor survey for Q2 2021 also finds that the largest number (46%) of its respondents sees Q4 2021 as the most likely period when a majority of staff will return to the official workplace. It also finds that 21% of business leaders see a return of tight public health restrictions caused by the Delta and other COVID-19 variants as the biggest risk to their organisations.

Commenting on the survey results, Maura QuinnChief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said:

“Our research is further confirmation of the seismic societal change wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift in business leaders’ views in relation to the nature of work or, more precisely, where their organisations’ staff will work once the relevant restrictions are lifted is significant. However, it remains to be seen just how sustainable these findings will be in practice as we all negotiate the coming months.”

Maura Quinn added:

“While Q4 2021 is seen as the most likely period when a majority of staff will return to the official workplace, it is an indicator of the level of continuing uncertainty that over 20% of business leaders still see the biggest risk to their organisations is a return of tight public health restrictions caused by the Delta and other COVID-19 variants. The pace of the national vaccination programme is hugely encouraging, but caution is preceding confidence for many.” 

The key findings of the IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor for Q2 2021 include: 

Return to the Office/Workplace: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, and in view of the phased nationwide vaccine rollout, when do you foresee the majority of staff being in the office/workplace by?’, the respondents replied as follows:

  • Q3 – July to September 2021: 18%
  • Q4 – October to December 2021: 46%
  • Q1 – January to March 2022: 18%
  • Q2 – April to June 2022: 6%
  • Later in 2022: 2%
  • Don’t know: 5%
  • Not applicable: all or most staff will work remotely in future: 6%

Office Workplace vs Remote Working: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, which statement is most relevant with regard to where your staff will be located once the restrictions are lifted under the Government’s ‘Resilience and Recovery: The Path Ahead’ plan?’ the respondents answered as follows:

  • All staff will exclusively work in the office/workspace: 8%
  • All staff will exclusively work remotely: 2%
  • All staff will work a mix of being in the office/workspace and working remotely (hybrid model): 69%
  • A minority of staff will continue to work remotely: 14%
  • An equal mix of staff working in the office and remotely: 5%
  • The majority of staff will work remotely: 3%

Biggest Risk. When asked, ‘At present, what do you believe is the single biggest risk facing your organisation?’ The top eight respondent answers were as follows:

  • A return of tight public health restrictions caused by the Delta and other COVID-19 variants: 21%
  • Labour sourcing/quality/capability/retention: 14%
  • Geopolitical/economic instability: 8%
  • Cyber security attack (e.g. Ransomware attack): 7%
  • Level of regulation: 7%
  • Cash Flow concerns: 6%
  • Global Supply Chain issues: 6%
  • Negative consumer confidence: 5%

The findings in this survey have been rounded up or down to the nearest decimal point.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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