Ireland is leading the charge in terms of how rapidly remote working is taking the place of traditional office-based work, according to analysis of Eurostat data by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Netherlands has the highest percentage of its workforce engaged in remote working (over 50%), while Ireland is adopting remote working at the fastest rate of any other EU country.
In 2019, just 7% of Ireland's workforce said they "usually" work from home – this figure soared to 25% in 2022, the biggest percentage point increase of any EU country.
Ireland was followed by Malta, the Netherlands, Germany and France.
John McCartney, BNPPRE's Director of Research, said, "Ireland’s adaptability throughout the pandemic has been remarkable in many ways, not least the ease with which businesses and employees alike adjusted their working models."
Mr McCartney said this has had knock-on implications for commercial property.
"Over time remote working has enabled employers to adopt hot-desking and rostering systems which reduce the amount of office space they need to carry per employee. In the absence of jobs growth this would subtract from the demand for office accommodation.
"But Ireland is one of the EU’s most service-driven economies and, since the onset of Covid, we have created service sector jobs at more than twice the average rate in the EU," he said.
The impact of remote working on office demand has also been somewhat mitigated by a shift in occupier preferences.
"In line with a wider European trend, Irish organisations are typically now seeking less, but better quality office space. This is driven by sustainability objectives and a need to optimise the employee experience in a tight labour market."
The BNPPRE analysis shows that 27.9% of Ireland’s employees work in desk-based sectors compared with an EU average of 24.6%.
The number of desk based jobs in Ireland has risen by 15% since the onset of Covid-19 in Q1 2020, compared with an EU average of 6.9%.