Almost half of Irish workers feel pressure to work outside of office hours

Employment Tallaght

The pressure to work outside of office hours and check emails at home is something that 47% of Irish workers struggle with, according to respondents to the latest Taxpayer Sentiment Survey 2020. The survey, which was rolled out just before the COVID-19 crisis hit the country, looked at the attitudes of Irish people towards work related issues (such as work/life balance, worker satisfaction and workplace priorities) and asked over 2,500 of’s customer database for their views.

Speaking on some of the primary findings on attitudes to pressures in the workplace, Joanna Murphy, CEO of “It seems workers are split in terms of the expectation placed upon them, either by employers, or by themselves, to work out of hours. The survey found that 53% of people feel they can leave work at the front door, while 47% work or check emails outside of office hours. In light of our current situation, I think it’s an interesting insight into what people might be going through now while working from home. The 47% of people who normally
find it difficult to switch off from work could be finding themselves in an even more difficult predicament now that the work is at home with them.

The results definitely prompt some discussion around how many workers are achieving a healthy work/life balance? Striking a healthy work/life balance is the Holy Grail for workers all over the world. In Ireland it seems that the reality is that it can be difficult to step away from the responsibilities and demands of the workplace, and to ‘switch off’ from thinking about it when we do get home. I think now more than ever people need to be able to step away at the end of the day, or even before they
start work, to take some time for themselves and allow the mind to quieten down from the business of the working day.”

ESRI research[1] into job stress and working conditions in 2018 found that job stress in Ireland more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. It was found that just 8% of workers experienced job stress in the same survey conducted in 2010, compared to 17% in the most recent survey in 2015. The strongest predictors of job stress were found to be the emotional demands of dealing
with angry clients and customers, as well as being under time pressure, bullying and poor treatment, and being under-rewarded in relation to work effort.

Ms. Murphy concluded, “Technology has meant that we can now be “switched on” and “plugged in” pretty much 24/7 no matter where we are. And the benefits of technology during this crisis are really coming in to their own. But we must tread carefully, especially now. People cannot be expected to be “on” all of the time and whether the pressures comes from the employer or the worker themselves it’s something that must quelled. Employers can’t expect that workers should be contactable at all times – and workers themselves often have to learn the discipline of putting the phone down, or closing the laptop to give themselves time to relax and recharge. Easier said than done I know!

Our survey shows that although most employers do endeavour to provide a safe & comfortable working environment for their employees, there is certainly another side to the coin where the pressures faced by workers do add up to a negative perspective and experience of work and to a lot of associated stress. There will always be work pressures, and it’s important we all move towards flexible solutions that tackle stress inducing factors at work.”  

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 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



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