New research shows that demand for jobs that allow employees to engage in remote working has surged during the pandemic with the trend set to continue even after last week's easing of restrictions.
The research, conducted by jobs site Indeed and the OECD, showed that searches for jobs in Ireland which allow for remote work in December were six times higher than before Covid.
Indeed said that employers appear to be looking to cater to this trend with posts for remote roles currently four times higher than pre-pandemic.
12.5% of job adverts in Ireland contained remote terms in the job description, compared to just 2.9% in 2019.
Government restrictions during the pandemic were clearly a catalyst for this change.
But Indeed said that even as restrictions have eased there has not been a commensurate reduction in the level of job ads for remote roles, suggesting this will be a longer-term trend.
Recent CSO figures showed that of those who can work remotely 88% would like to do so when pandemic restrictions are removed.
28% of respondents said they would like to work remotely all of the time while 60% favoured a hybrid arrangement.
Ireland ranked the second highest in terms of its growth in remote postings in the research.
The Indeed/OECD study also found that countries with the stricter restrictions - including Italy, Spain and the U - tended to see the biggest growth relative to those with more limited restrictions - including Japan and New Zealand.
The study found that while remote work job opportunities have increased across all categories, it has been particularly notable in areas like IT and software development.
"This may be one factor that explains why the increase in postings for remote/flexible jobs in Dublin was nearly five times the pre-pandemic level, but closer to two times for the rest of the country," Indeed said.
"Dublin has a high density of large technology companies competing to attract staff and accommodating changing worker preferences is one way companies can appeal to new hires," the jobs website added.
Jack Kennedy, Economist at Indeed, said that Ireland has seen one of the biggest increases in remote work according to this study, and it is a practice likely to persist even as the pandemic threat recedes.
But he said the trend does raise important long-term questions.
"First, real thought needs to be given to welcoming new employees and spreading corporate culture in a hybrid environment where some staff are in the office and some at home. Secondly, management and leadership style will need to evolve to best transmit knowledge and motivate teams," Jack Kennedy said.
"Finally we must accept that whilst increasing employee flexibility was a trend pre-Covid, the process has been massively accelerated, and on this steep learning curve it is likely that there will be teething problems along the way with company policies needing to adapt and evolve," he added.