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Majority of Business Leaders Believe Government Has Judged Return to Workplaces Correctly

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“Caution Remains the Watchword”: Majority of Business Leaders Believe Government Has Judged Phased Return to Workplaces Correctly.

62% of business leaders expect that over 51% of staff will return to the office/workplace by 24th December 2021.

While speculation now looms around the scheduled final stage of the Government’s phased lifting of remaining public health restrictions, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, Maura Quinn, has said a cautious approach “has served the Irish people well over the course of the pandemic thus far”. Ms. Quinn made the comments as the latest quarterly IoD survey found that 57% of business leaders believe the Government has judged the phased return to offices/workplaces correctly.

The Q3 2021 survey by the IoD, to be published in November, also finds that 50% of business leaders believe all staff will work a hybrid system of office-based/remote working, while 35% say the majority of staff will work in the office/workplace. Furthermore, 62% of business leaders currently expect that over 51% of staff will return to the office/workplace by 24th December 2021 (Christmas Eve).

The research was conducted by the IoD between the 2nd September 2021 and 29th September 2021.

Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, commented:

Although the expected announcement by the Government of the planned final phase of the lifting of many of the remaining public health restrictions may not be what was expected and hoped for, caution remains the watchword. It is an approach that has served the Irish people well over the course of the pandemic thus far. Our survey has found that nearly 6 out of 10 business leaders believe the Government has judged the phased return to offices/workplaces correctly, so there is confidence that their caution is well judged. Of course, there are some things the Government cannot control, and everyone has a role to play in ensuring that this next phase will see further success in containing and managing COVID-19.

The selected key findings of the IoD’s Director Sentiment Monitor for Q3 2021 include:

Phased Return to Offices/Workplaces: When asked, ‘What is your general view of the Government’s recently announced phased return to offices/workplaces plan?’ the respondents selected as follows:

  • I believe the Government has judged it correctly: 57%
  • It is too fast and ambitious: 12%
  • It is too slow and cautious: 14%
  • Undecided: 12%
  • No opinion: 4%

Percentage of staff returning to the office/workplace: When asked, ‘In your primary organisation, what approximate percentage of staff do you expect to return to the office/workplace by 24th December 2021?’ the respondents selected as follows:

  • Less than 5%: 4%
  • 5%-10%: 3%
  • 11%-20%: 4%
  • 21%-30%: 8%
  • 31%-40%: 8%
  • 41%-50%: 11%
  • 51%-75%: 22%
  • 76%-100%: 40%

Office/Remote/Hybrid 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 recently announced phased return to workplaces is underway?’ the respondents selected as follows:

  • The majority of staff will work in office/workplace: 36%
  • The majority of staff will work remotely: 6%
  • A minority of staff will work in the office/workplace: 3%
  • A minority of staff will continue to work remotely: 4%
  • All staff will work a mix of being in the office/workspace and working remotely (hybrid system): 50%
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