In the last blog, my colleague Aoife Hanlon spoke about the Right to Disconnect and the code of practice which was introduced on 1st April 2021. We are due to see some further updates on legislating the Right to Request Remote Working. This is part of the governments National Remote Work Strategy which you can view here. Contrary to how it has been reported, the Government is not creating a right to work remotely. It is to give the right to request remote working for which have seen pros and cons over the last 18 months.

Currently in Ireland there is nothing stopping employees from the asking if they can work remotely. However there is no legal framework on how a request can be made and how it should be dealt with. The new law will set our clearly how these requests should be made, and handled.

What are the cons involved with Remote Working?

For the most part, we have all heard the positives around remote working. But when every employer had no other choice, we soon found out the negatives:

  • The growing sense of isolation
  • The tendency for lack of structure
  • The feeling of career stagnancy
  • The ever-shifting work-life balance

For workers who are fully remote, the biggest danger is burnout and not knowing how to separate work and living. The key for remote working is to have good communication and a strong policy in place.

Managers will need to consciously invest times into their teams to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Back to the Office

Every employee in Ireland is just waiting for the message – ‘Return to Work Plan’. Unfortunately, companies are crying out for some clear guidance on what they will be allowed to do with vaccinations and social distancing measures.

Google made headlines stating employees will need to be vaccinated before returning to the offices. However, on some further reading they are yet to confirm their plans for the Dublin office as they are waiting on government guidance.

What employers need to be mindful of here is that being in an office five days a week may become a thing of the past.

Remote Working Is In Demand

With remote working jobs seeing a 400% increase in demand in Ireland since March 2020, many Irish employees seek remote working in their job description.

With the Irish Times reporting that over 95% of people favor some form of remote working post-pandemic, one can see why remote working has become so topical for employers.

  • Some of the Pros mentioned by those surveyed include:
  • Greater Flexibility
  • The perception of life being made easier
  • Increase In Productivity

Another product of remote working being facilitated is the ability of the workforce to be spread across the country, and not limited to the local area. This can increase the number of prospect employees for the employer.

What is Hybrid Working and How Does it Work?

Hybrid working allows for a flexible future of work and also grants more autonomy to employees during their working week. Retaining employees will become the next big challenge that employers face as everyone has seen that remote working is not just for the highest performing employees, it can work for everyone.

One of the common procedures for hybrid working is to designate certain days for in-office meetings and collaboration and remote days for work involving individual focus.

Will This Work for My Company?

While the above may not work for every company, now is the time to decide on what approach will work for your business model.

The government are still advising to work from home where possible so this would be a good time for businesses to discuss with employees and keep them included in the end goal. You can view the latest re-opening advice here

Corporate HR Ireland can support you on these matters so please do not hesitate on getting in touch.

If you’d like to hear about our Return To Work Package please contact Douglas Higgins

Following on from the Government announcement, businesses can now start planning a phased return to work as soon as 20th September. It is now as important than ever to take a look to see what works best for both employers and employees.

When Can Employees Return to Work?

The Government is aiming for a return to the workplace on the 20th of September.

What Should You do as an Employer?

The Governments Covid 19 National Protocol for Employers and Workers will be the key document to reference for employers. This document will assist employers in the phased return to work.

You can schedule a call with one of our HR Executives by clicking here to learn more about returning to the workplace safely.

Alternatively, you can click here to read our recent blog on returning to the workplace.

This blog was brought to you by Sarah Quirke, HR Executive with Corporate HR Ireland. Sarah can be reached by Email: sarah@corporatehrireland.com

 

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