Leo Varadkar: Working from home to become 'new normal'

Leo Varadkar: Working from home to become 'new normal'

LEO VARADKAR says that working from home will become "the new normal" in Ireland.

The former Taoiseach announced yesterday that the country would need to adapt quickly to the ongoing coronavirus crisis in order to help businesses and families function to the best of their abilities.

"Covid-19 disrupted our working lives and threw many of us into working from home or remotely for the very first time," the Tánaiste said.

"We learned quickly what was possible by using modern technology.

"It’s been an accelerator of change that was coming and while we all want to be free to return to our workplaces, we don’t want to go back to things exactly as they were.

"The Government wants remote working and home working to become part of the new normal. If done right, the benefits will be huge: reduced business costs, better work-life balance, especially for parents, less traffic, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and time saved on the commute."

Varadkar insisted that these new changes would result in significant benefits for rural Ireland, with many more people able to work for large companies from home and from remote working hubs.

"I encourage employers and employees alike to engage with this consultation and make their views known on the guidance they need to fully embrace remote work," he added.

It appears that this is change the Irish public are happy to abide by.

A study of 7,241 people from different industries and sectors across the nation found that 83% want to remain working remotely in the future, even once the Covid-19 restrictions on travel and social distancing are lifted.

Prior to the pandemic, just 41% of businesses were able to offer remote working to their staff.

The latest indicators now suggest that 60% would offer the option and a further 22% are considering it.