Ireland leads the way in embracing remote work
Around the world, work has evolved into a thing that we do, rather than a place we go, with communication and collaboration increasingly moving online through the use of technologies like our platform.
Like many other countries, Ireland was already experiencing a shift in working patterns, which was only turbocharged by the pandemic. When millions of employers and employees had no choice but to embrace and adapt to remote working, both groups realised many benefits in the process. Fast forward a couple of years and Ireland is leading when it comes to adopting hybrid and remote working styles that can drive productivity and empower workers with the trust and flexibility they now desire.
Organisations looking to broaden their pool of applicants for recruitment now recognise the positive impact remote and hybrid working can have on employee productivity and retention. Our latest report, developed in partnership with Dublin-based FRS Recruitment, underlines how employee expectations of how, when, and where they want to work have drastically changed — and that employers have changed their hiring practices in response.
How work in Ireland is changing
Using anonymised data provided by FRS Recruitment on job adverts listed between October 2021 and 2022, our team analysed how employers’ needs have evolved and adapted to the new world of work over the course of the last year. Key findings revealed:
- Job adverts offering remote or hybrid work receive significantly more applicants.
- Job adverts offering hybrid or remote work increased by 43% in the last year, and now account for 1 in 3 adverts.
- Such roles are concentrated primarily in just three sectors: IT, accounting/finance, or the commercial/business sector.
- More than 50% of such roles are offered by employers based in Ireland’s two largest cities, Dublin and Cork, where average salaries are 17% higher.
Bridging Ireland’s urban-rural divide
City-based roles in Ireland per annum average €60,814 vs. €51,648 for roles within rural-based companies, and closing this gap has long been a public policy priority in Ireland. Of the roles posted by FRS Recruitment in the past 12 months offering a remote working option, 41% originated in Dublin, with another 22% from employers based in Cork, Limerick, and Galway — Ireland’s next biggest cities. This accounts for a significant portion in the growth of remote roles Ireland has seen and indicates employers have recognised the many benefits flexible roles can offer them in terms of being able to attract and retain the talent they need to grow and thrive. For example, by having a more flexible working structure and not requiring workers to be in the office every day, employers can recruit from a wider talent pool less constrained by proximity to a city office — giving them more candidates to choose from for any given role.
As remote working in Ireland continues to grow, it is local and rural communities that will be among the biggest beneficiaries. Our report suggests that as more workers feel empowered to move out of crowded city centres and back to the communities where they grew up or can afford to buy a home, they will take their salaries with them, which can be spent locally and reverse the brain drain that has blighted Ireland’s rural areas. This has potential to provide a significant pathway to close traditional income disparities between rural and urban Ireland.
Realising Ireland’s full hybrid potential
The number of remote and hybrid jobs available across Ireland has grown significantly and the trend looks here to stay, with people unprepared to give up the benefits of flexible work, like more time at home with family and less commuting. It is also supported by Ireland’s flagship National Remote Work strategy, which aims to embed remote working as a key part of the economy for the long term. But there is still more than can be done to make sure the benefits are felt equally across the country and different sectors.
For example, tackling regional inequality will require more roles in every sector to be made available on a flexible basis, from entry-level through to senior positions. To help advance Ireland’s remote working ambitions, our report recommends several steps Irish employers and public sector leaders can take to build on the progress seen over the last year:
- Champion the economic and social benefits of remote working. Offering flexibility has been shown to improve productivity and help organisations attract and retain talent at a time of high competition for workers across Europe.
- Highlight the link between jobs advertised as being “fully on site” and the lower number of applications employers can expect to receive in response. The FRS Recruitment data revealed that employers requiring full-time on-site work are seeing higher turnover and receive fewer applications than those that accommodate remote or hybrid work.
- Make sure the jobseekers of tomorrow have the skills they need to thrive in today’s job market. To collaborate and communicate effectively with teams based in different places and time zones, employees need the right tools and training to set them up for success. Digital skills, such as how to schedule and deliver an impactful meeting with virtual participants, should be taught in schools and form a key part of the onboarding process for new hires.
- Promote co-working spaces to employees so they don’t miss out on the benefits of remote work if they can’t work from home. Ireland already benefits from a brilliant initiative that has seen the creation of more than 300 “connected hub” accessible co-working spaces across Ireland, which Zoom continues to be a proud partner of. Employers should make clear to their employees that they can use these facilities, which provide a professional “third space” (beyond someone’s home and place of work) closer to people’s home, to enable them to transition to remote work.
Setting your organisation up to thrive in a hybrid world
At Zoom, our products are designed to help you embrace this new flexible future. In addition to virtual meetings and events, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Team Chat, Zoom Phone, and more are all designed with this modern, hybrid workforce in mind.
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