Ireland Embraces Flexible Working

10th January 2023

Posted In: The Topic

A recent report published by Zoom in collaboration with FRS Recruitment shows Irish job posts offering remote and hybrid work are up 43% over 12 months. Ireland’s hybrid advantage: How flexible working is empowering Irish society and economy indicates growing demand for more flexible work options, with hybrid roles offering rural areas greater access to higher urban-based salaries.  Data supplied by FRS Recruitment provides a snapshot of hybrid and remote work opportunities advertised by the recruitment consultancy between October 2021 and 2022. Key findings reveal:

•33% of all job ads across Ireland offered remote or hybrid work options, up from 23%.
•Remote or hybrid working is primarily concentrated in a few sectors, with 87% of these jobs stemming from the IT, accounting and finance, or commercial sectors.
•More than 50% of companies offering remote and hybrid work are based in Dublin or Cork, with salaries of city-based roles averaging at €60,814 vs €51,648 for roles within rural-based companies.
•Roles offering candidates flexibility are attracting a wider range of responses – especially among job seekers looking to move from their current employment.
•Level of demand for hybrid or remote working roles differs per sector. For example, candidates in IT predominantly look for fully remote while in the commercial sector 80% prefer hybrid work with a mix of remote and in-office each week.

Charlotte Holloway, Zoom Government Relations Director for Ireland

Commenting, Zoom Government Relations Director for Ireland, Charlotte Holloway said: “Zoom’s latest report really 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.

Organisations looking to recruit, whether based in major economic centres or further afield, now recognise the positive impact remote and hybrid working can have on employee productivity and retention, and are increasingly open – as this data shows – to empowering workers with the additional flexibility they want.

This has the potential to close the salary gap that exists between Ireland’s urban and rural economies and to spread prosperity and opportunity more evenly across the whole country, which is obviously welcome.

By adopting a hybrid model of work, organisations and employees are finding a rhythm that best suits their needs, whether that’s a significant proportion of the workforce working remotely, and coming in for in-person collaboration, or being in the office a few days a week.”

General Manager at FRS Recruitment, Lynne McCormack said:

“For the first time we have candidates telling us that salary is less important to them than the ability to do their job remotely.

Lynne McCormack, General Manager at FRS Recruitment

For many people, the pandemic showed they can do their work from anywhere, which is enabling them to move to areas outside of cities where the cost of living and housing pressures aren’t so acute and without the burden of long commutes and high transport costs. In sectors where remote and hybrid options are less available, a greater focus on shifting to a new model of work could potentially help fill key gaps in areas where there are staff shortages.”

While the report highlights an evolving jobs market with respect to hybrid and remote work, more needs to be done to expand this model of work across more sectors according to Ms Holloway. She said: “It’s particularly encouraging to see clear growth in remote working roles originating in Ireland’s main cities. The upshot here is that those living in communities beyond the major urban centres now have greater access to quality employment opportunities, closing the traditional income disparities between rural and urban Ireland.

“However, if regional inequality is to be fully tackled, the availability of more flexible roles from entry level to senior positions across a broader scope of sectors will be important. Focus should be placed on sectors that have been slower to move, especially those that have the capacity to adopt a flexible model of work but choose to require employees to be on-site on a full-time basis. As Ireland’s Remote Working Strategy enters its third year, the Government must be ambitious in accelerating key objectives within this policy.

“There is a huge opportunity to empower certain sectors to embrace the hybrid model of work by highlighting the tools and resources available to them to make the transition.

For example, many business owners may not be aware of Ireland’s world leading National Network of Remote Working Hubs which enable people to work from their community in a professional environment equipped with all the right tools for hybrid working,” Ms Holloway concluded.