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Remote working stats January 19, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Some fascinating statistics in relation to remote working in the Republic released by the CSO yesterday. Two particularly striking ones.

A new survey from the Central Statistics Office reveals that 90% of those aged between 35 and 44 years who could work remotely would like to do so when Covid-19 pandemic restrictions end.

The CSO’s ‘Our Lives Online Pulse Survey’ also shows that 80% of those in employment have worked remotely at some point since the start of the pandemic.

That last statistic is surprising to me. Are there that many jobs in the economy that allow up to 80% of workers to work remotely? I’d have thought it was fewer, but if even close to that 80% that’s an enormous number of people who have the facility to work in that context. I’m guessing, though I could well be wrong, that some of these would be companies who turned from public facing to delivery? But is that it? Or is the figure overstated?

As for the appetite for working from home I’m very intrigued by the demographic – 35 – 44. That’s younger than I’d have expected for that sort of sentiment. Any explanations there for that?

And this rings true:

This [80%] compares to just 23% having worked remotely at some point before the outbreak of Covid.

Predictably for those who want the option of WFH there’s a distinction in the figures:

Of the 90% of those workers who would like to work remotely, 28% said they would like to do so all the time, while 60% said they would like to work remotely some of the time.

Just 12% said they would not like to work remotely in the future.

 

This following makes perfect sense:

The CSO said that respondents who could work remotely and living in the Mid-East Region – Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow – as well as those who used public transport and those whose travel time to work before the pandemic was more than one hour were more likely to say they would like to work remotely after all pandemic restrictions are removed.

As does this:

74% of those who work remotely said they felt they had more time on their hands, because of remote work, to do things they never got the chance to do before the pandemic.

For those fortunate in short commutes that hour or more sounds daunting. But a lot of people have to contend with that day in day out. Where I work I know people who come in from Waterford on a regular basis.

 

It’s all very interesting but I would like to see some information on how work life intrudes in the WFH scenario to home life. I know for myself and I’m far from a Stakhanovite, that there’s a tendency to check work emails over the weekend to see what is coming in on a Monday morning, or to check them in an evening, and I’m fortunate in not having to field calls after working hours. That’s a sort of mission creep and one can view it as a good thing – psychologically being prepared for the ebbs and flows of work, or a bad thing – letting work intrude into time periods where it never did before. And for those who have to field a lot of calls during and often after working hours, well that’s a whole different ballgame.

Also there’s the question, as raised by many people in comments here under other articles on this topic, about the suitability of domestic spaces for work. Two years in, more or less, and that’s something I don’t even think about – but it is a very real element of all this and I should, as should anyone working from home.

 

 



Comments»

1. EWI - January 19, 2022

As for the appetite for working from home I’m very intrigued by the demographic – 35 – 44. That’s younger than I’d have expected for that sort of sentiment. Any explanations there for that?

Children? More equal division of duties in the home/both working? Not as into car culture as the boomers?

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2. alanmyler - January 19, 2022

“As for the appetite for working from home I’m very intrigued by the demographic – 35 – 44. That’s younger than I’d have expected for that sort of sentiment. Any explanations there for that?”

Kids for sure. Perhaps some small element of people having relocated to avail of more affordable housing outside of Dublin.

“Just 12% said they would not like to work remotely in the future. ”

As I mentioned elsewhere a few weeks ago our son falls into this category. 23, finished college in the summer of 2020, moved to a WFH job in London, absolutely hated the social isolation of WFH in a strange city (echoes of the Jam’s “Strange Town”) and is now busy looking for an in-office job in Dublin. He was offered one in Cork, and had a very encouraging talk (from his perspective) with the CEO who made what I think is a pretty valid point that unless people get back into offices again soon that company cultures will disappear down the toilet and the future of work will be a very sterile and impersonal world for workers. Of course in many areas of the economy that is and has been true for decades, if not forever, but we’re talking here about that alienation also extending in future into the TED-talk type world of hi-tech where company culture has been a very strong aspect of the working life for those involved in that sector.

“74% of those who work remotely said they felt they had more time on their hands, because of remote work, to do things they never got the chance to do before the pandemic.”

My commute was 90 mins each way, which is why I started doing WFH 20 years ago. It’s not that I used the extra time to join the local GAA team or joined ceoltas to start playing accordian or whatever, but the small things like doing house work, being home at dinner time to do either the cooking or the clean up, interact with the kids, giving baths and changing nappies, reading stories, do the laundry, do the shopping, all the little jobs of social reproduction that otherwise fall on the shoulders of the parent that isn’t stuck in traffic on the M50 / N3. I mean some people will also find time after doing all of that to coach the local underage football team and so on, and fair play to them for that.

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3. sonofstan - January 19, 2022

“Kids for sure. Perhaps some small element of people having relocated to avail of more affordable housing outside of Dublin”

Definitely.
I’ve been going into the office more frequently recently, even when I don’t really need to, or staying here, when I could go home for the day, because I get more done. Noticeable that, of the very few that are here, it’s the older and much younger ones – the middle layer, who are also the ones more likely to live in Huddersfield or the like, have disappeared.

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EWI - January 19, 2022

The Croke Park II/Haddington Road austerity measures here threw on about an extra 45 minutes in the day. That’s the difference between being there to get kids fed and out (or being able to make dinner for them in the evening).

Note that in a sleight of hand, both unions and management talked up a seemingly generous public sector working day to get these punitive measures through… but without adding in lunch, like everyone else does.

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WorldbyStorm - January 19, 2022

Yeah – that’s one of the most iniquitous aspects of it . Always thought the PS unions were crazy to accept cuts in conditions.

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EWI - January 19, 2022

They not only accepted but sought CP II from the employers, and ahead of the expiry date of CP I. Many at my location suspected that there was no coincidence in Labour Party members facing the prospect of having to go door-to-door in local elections at the same time as the original end of the CP I agreement.

This, and the lying about the hours worked, and the lying about only ‘new members’ being affected, and the advocating by union types of not just one but many different tiers of T&Cs which mean that we remain weak, divided and easy prey for management.

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WorldbyStorm - January 19, 2022

That point re the tiers, entirely agree. The leaderships allowed this to occur and in the one place where unionisation was strong. Now, don’t get me started on the other side of this, the lack of effort in private sector workplaces because that was an open goal missed by many of the unions in the early 2010s. But to screw up the one area where they had excellent numbers.

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4. telescoper - January 19, 2022

Reblogged this on In the Dark and commented:
Here are some very interesting – and perhaps surprising – stats about working from home in Ireland. It would be interesting to see an attitudes survey of this type for staff and student in Third Level institutions. Even if staff have to deliver lectures in person, I can imagine university managing eyeing the immense savings they could make by depriving staff of offices and instead requiring them to prepare lectures at home.

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sonofstan - January 19, 2022

Just saying to someone that, just pre-Covid, my university was moving towards ‘expecting’ staff to be on campus 9-5, M-F. Haven’t heard a word about it recently. But actually, while we’ve all kept our offices, professional/ support staff have been told to expect to work from home for the foreseeable and lots of offices have been re-purposed. Which means students can generally find an academic, but not someone to help with registration/ visas/ accommodation etc. or at least not in person.

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benmadigan - January 19, 2022

“university managing eyeing the immense savings they could make by depriving staff of offices and instead requiring them to prepare lectures at home”

University researchers and professors have long prepared lectures at home. Delivering them is another thing.

If universities want to insist lectures are delivered online from the lecturer’s home they are going to have to provide each lecturer with state-of-the-art IT equipment to do the job.

Remember: nobody, under any University job contract I’ve seen, is required to supply the means and equipment to do their work out of their salary.

Furthermore, given the increased fragmentation of University contracts and lack of tenure – only 1 or 2 courses in 1 semester per lecturer is common enough, I doubt if any University is going to supply these part-time lecturers with a good enough IT set-up to deliver lectures just to take it all back 6 months later.

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telescoper - January 19, 2022

Well, I have been doing lectures from home for the last two years. I was not allowed any reimbursement for Internet services, the digital camera I bought, or indeed the chalkboard I supplied for my study. Lecturers have been paying for their own equipment since the start of the pandemic.

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benmadigan - January 19, 2022

If you didn’t have all the equipment you needed, didn’t your University give you the option to come in and “lecture” to an empty room with the students on Zoom?

Mine did. Like yourself I didn’t have, (and still don’t have), a digital camera, chalkboard etc and didn’t intend buying them for University use. I was not the only lecturer who raised the point.

I was told I didn’t have to, couldn’t be compelled to and the administration were duty-bound and indeed happy to provide a means for delivering lectures online.

Which they did – For every lecturer who needed/ requested it

I’m working in an EU University

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telescoper - January 19, 2022

The campus was closed. No Amaccess to lecture rooms were open. You may work in an EU University but they’re not all equivalent. I work in an Irish University.

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Michael Carley - January 19, 2022

The equipment in question is effectively the equipment of a call centre and there are plenty of English-speaking PhDs in lower-paid areas of the world. I’m not worried about having to teach from home.

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sonofstan - January 20, 2022

I don’t like teaching online, but I can do it, and any issues have been more to do with the platforms than any lack of equipment at my end. The university has given me a laptop and a second monitor, which is good, since I can compartmentalised work away from my personal computer.

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5. benmadigan - January 19, 2022

Telescoper – I work in an Italian university.With the emergency shutdown in March 2020 the Govt gave the universities 2 weeks to set up a system.
We had our temperature taken, hands were sanitized at the entrance and we used protected access and exit routes -in 1 door, out another etc so we didn’t come into contact with anyone.
Skeleton admin and tech staff (they took turns working from home) who could be contacted by phone if there were any techie problems.

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6. irishelectionliterature - January 20, 2022

When I finish my day that’s it. Don’t have work email on my phone either. I’m lucky in that I am working for an Irish company and all the workers are based here. So there’s nobody in the US or elsewhere that would be contacting me out of usual office hours.
Naturally I like the lack of commute, the ability to throw the dinner on when I finish at 5 not be in a rush going to a match or training etc.
That said, especially on these short winter days, you do miss company. If it does come to it, I might start going in a day a week, if others on the team are doing it.

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