23 September 2021

Our latest 'Return to the Workplace' survey found that while currently 73% of organisations still have more than three-quarters of their staff working from home, that figure is expected to drop to 16% – about one in six – in 12 months’ time. Michael Kavanagh, CEO of the ACOI, said: ‘The survey indicates that while companies in this sector have adapted en masse to remote working, it is not a situation that most see likely to continue as is into next year

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From Independent..ie:

The number of people working from home is set to drop in the next 12 months according to a new return-to-work survey.

While 73pc of organisations still have more than 75pc of their staff working from home, that figure is expected to drop to 16pc in 12 months’ time.

This is according to a new survey from the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland ACOI.

The survey of more than 250 organisations also noted that 79pc of businesses currently have an appointed staff member, or team, to take charge of adherence to the return-to-work protocols as workforces throughout the country transition back to the office.

The findings show that 22pc of organisations currently have 100pc of their staff working from home (down from 27pc in 2020) - just 3pc believe that this will be the case in 12 months’ time.

91pc of organisations currently have more than 50pc of staff working from home – this figure is set to drop to 49pc by this time next year.

Home based working currently accounts for 78pc of staff working practices, compared with 73pc in the same period in 2020.

Amongst firms that have dedicated Covid compliance staff, a large portion have a dedicated team responsible for compliance (63pc) as opposed to having an individual (37pc).

The chief executive of the ACOI, said just 8pc of all organisations surveyed said they had no plan to appoint someone with responsibility for the return-to-work protocols.

Michael Kavanagh said: “It’s evident that this role will have a place in most organisations going forward and for the foreseeable future.”

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“The sense we are getting from many employers is that there’s going to be a lot of work involved to ensure a safe and streamlined return to the traditional place of work, be that on a part-time or full-time basis, and for this to happen someone needs to be leading the way,” he said.

Mr Kavanagh said that more organisations (63pc) are leaning towards engaging a team of Covid-19 return-to-work adherence staff, rather than just an individual.

He said this could perhaps be reflective of the challenging nature of the role, he said: “It’s not necessarily a one-person job, particularly in a larger company.

“Between adherence to the various protocols such as mask wearing, sufficient ventilation, and social distancing - not to mention ensuring the correct roll out of sanitising procedures and increased employee hygiene measures – there is a lot to consider, and to, in turn, communicate to staff members,” he said.

He added: “At this stage of the pandemic, as we emerge from the acute situation that has kept us out of workplaces over the last 18 months, companies and staff face a significant transition back to office-based practices. The survey indicates that while companies in this sector have adapted en masse to remote working, it is not a situation that most see likely to continue ‘as is’ into next year”.