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By Chamber Press Office, 25 July 2021
Today, the 25th July 2021, marks 500 days since Tánaiste Leo Varadkar gave his speech in Washington and advised businesses to work from home (12th March 2020).
500 days later, as businesses plan their return to the office Dublin Chamber asks; ‘What have we learned about flexible and remote working?’
Dublin Chamber Sustainability Manager and policy lead on hybrid working, Sinéad Healy, commented “Remote working has radically changed the way in which we work, the way we value flexibility, and our perceptions of the where and the when of how we can deliver on productivity, this is the case for both employees and employers. However, as businesses begin planning their return to office working, there are still many unknowns due to the pandemic and to what the acceleration of digitisation will mean for the workplace.
She continued: “500 days in and we are still waiting for the dust to settle and for the long-term impacts of remote and hybrid working to become clearer. We know that the majority of firms are shifting towards hybrid working models(splitting time between the office and working from home) in support of greater flexibility for work-life balance for their staff. We know that remote working is here to stay in some form. What we don’t know and what businesses don’t know, is the broader implications, what days will be busy in the city if most opt for a three day week? What days will be good to meet clients or partner businesses? Will we see a shift away from the traditional peak commuter times on public transport? Will employment districts such as the Docklands, the IFSC and the city centre maintain their prominence?, and importantly, what will the promised Right to Request remote working look like in practice?”
In June Dublin Chamber launched its ‘Future Office – A guide to returning to the office successfully’ to help businesses effectively plan and prepare for the return to office working in the Autumn.
Sinéad Healy commented “Amidst all this uncertainty businesses are now beginning to plan for the return to the office and are adapting with new policies and procedures to make hybrid working work for both the company and the employees. Dublin Chamber is helping them navigate this journey, despite the remaining unknowns and constantly moving pandemic context and evolving policy and legislative backdrop.”