The experience of remote working is to be the subject of a second national survey carried out by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission.

The first phase of the survey was carried out in April, in the immediate aftermath of the national lockdown.

It revealed that 83% of the 7,200 employees who responded wanted to continue working from home either fully or part of the time.

Professor Alma McCarthy of NUIG's JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics noted that when the first research was carried out in April, it was an "emergency" situation where many employees still did not have fully equipped work stations at home.

She said they were also struggling to manage children who were home from school.

Despite those obstacles, over four out of five respondents favoured some element of working from home.

The main issues reported included difficulties in switching off from work, challenges in communicating and collaborating with colleagues, poor physical work spaces and juggling childcare.

Professor McCarthy said the researchers expect the second phase of the research to track any changes in trends in remote working in the six months since the initial lockdown, particularly now that schools have reopened. 

They believe the survey will deliver valuable insights on what they call a "prolonged change in work habits" for many employees. 

"The crisis potentially presents a game-changer for how organisations manage their workforce and employee workplace preferences. It is now timely to examine remote working six months on from lockdown," said Professor McCarthy.

Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission Tomás Ó Síocháin said the data collected in the surveys would help to ensure the correct measures were in place to support people working remotely

"Identifying the opportunities and challenges will mean that remote working infrastructure such as broadband and remote working hubs, for example, will allow both individuals and communities to minimise the challenges and to make the most of this fundamental shift in the way we work," he said.

The findings of the second national remote working survey will be published by the end of this month, along with recommendations on how employers can better manage remote working.

To complete the survey visit