A new survey reveals that 74% of medium to large-sized enterprises in Ireland are planning to reduce their office space as they embrace remote working on a more permanent basis due to Covid-19.

The independent study, commissioned by data centre operator Equinix, surveyed 127 senior IT decision-makers in Ireland.

Equinix said the survey results highlighted the sentiment around the challenges posed by the transition to remote work for businesses nationwide. 

It said today's survey also found that 76% of businesses expect to permanently offer more flexibility around remote working for employees.

But despite the many reported benefits of remote working from both an employee and business perspective, the research found that one-third of the country's IT leaders are experiencing heightened stress from enabling and supporting a remote workforce. 

With a view to streamlining support for remote work, 52% of enterprises in Ireland are now planning to increase investment in cloud and data centre services, Equinix said.

The technological impact of Covid-19 has also led to 67% of businesses experiencing an increase in bandwidth requirements.

65% of IT decision-makers said they expect a sustained increase in their bandwidth requirements post-pandemic, the company added.

Maurice Mortell, Managing Director for Equinix in Ireland, said this year has illustrated how employees' physical presence is not a prerequisite to business success across a myriad of industries. 

"In fact, for the majority of employees, remote working boosts productivity and has a positive impact on their health and well-being - and therefore their overall job satisfaction," Mr Mortell said. 

Mr Mortell said that many businesses have assessed the current landscape, collated feedback from their staff, and prioritised the formulation of tailored remote working guidelines. 

"By giving employees the flexibility to choose what environment works best for them, there will inevitably be a significant drop in the number of staff present on-site each week, thus reducing the need for large, expensive office space," he said.