A new survey has found that just 12% of business leaders believe all staff will be back in their companies' office/workspace once the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted, while 40% predict an equal mix of staff working in the office and remotely.
31% of bosses are either planning to downsize their office space or having it under consideration, the snap poll survey by the Institute of Directors in Ireland shows.
Nearly 30% of respondents also said that their current office space/working environment is not conducive to implementing Government-approved social distancing measures.
But the survey also reveals that 75% of business leaders believe the Government's phased plan to reopen the economy is either "well judged" or "adequate".
While 71% of business leaders acknowledged that a recession is imminent, they predicted that it will be a short-term one.
Today's survey also showed that 37% of respondents' businesses availed of the Government’s Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, while 54% said they did not, with 9% saying the scheme did not apply to them.
Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said that rumours of the demise of what many people call "the office" have been grossly exaggerated, but opportunities as well as challenges now face business leaders and employees alike.
"The future of workplaces and recruitment is being reconfigured. Business leaders will need to be agile to allow for these new changes, as well as showing clear leadership and guidance to help direct it," Ms Quinn said.
The IoD CEO said the country is exiting the coping stage of Covid-19 in terms of how businesses operate and a substantial majority of business leaders believe a short-term recession is looming.
"There is no avoiding the stark reality of that happening. We are an open economy and our overseas markets have been similarly impacted," she stated.
"For this reason, we call on the Government to ensure continued business support measures are being put in place which, in turn, will help kick-start the economy," Ms Quinn added.