21% of businesses to give up office-based work model for good, reveals new report by eir Business and Evros

12th May 2021: A report published today from eir Business and Evros reveals that more than a fifth of organisations (21%) surveyed will give up the traditional office-based work model in favour of remote working, while a further 39% believe they will adopt a hybrid working model in the future. Yet 79% of respondents confirmed they currently have no hybrid working policy in place and 53% reveal they do not feel prepared for the future of work from an ICT perspective.

Hybrid Working: Future Proofing Irish Business, is the latest report in a series from eir Business and Evros, providing insight into the latest communication technologies and trends among Irish businesses. The report, which is based on a survey of 200 ICT leaders - in conjunction with Behaviours & Attitudes, and interviews with experts in business and digital strategy, telecommunications and HR, reveal that the overwhelming focus of ICT leaders is now on growing revenue and profit (79%) over the next 12 months, which was followed closely by enabling business continuity and resilience (42%).

Martin Wells, Managing Director, eir Business I Evros, says; “After months of uncertainty, it’s become very clear that most people who can work from home want to continue to do so, though not all the time. While for some organisations, a full remote model may work, for most organisations a hybrid model will be brought into place. Without a doubt this is the most significant period of change for businesses in our lifetime and the transformation of traditional working-models, coupled with digital transformation, makes this a very exciting time for those businesses willing to grasp these opportunities. This research has found that only 13% of organisations consider their digital optimisation complete. In order for a hybrid work-model to thrive, businesses need to meet functional needs.

Paul Gilbride, Founder of Evros Labs says; “Digital transformation is powerful but must come with a robust security and governance strategy. With strong governance, you can create agile business processes that provide vital information to remote-working employees. The move to cloud technology has undoubtedly been one of the defining features of the past year when it comes to how businesses operate; 32% of our sample agree that their business has accelerated its move to cloud technologies and almost half of respondents confirm that security and compliance considerations heavily influence their decision-making process.”

While for some organisations the logistics of hybrid-working may seem daunting, the benefits are now clear, with organisations highlighting a reduction in their carbon footprint (51%), reduced expenses and overheads (49%) along with transforming outdated work practices (34%) and access to a widened talent pool not restricted by location (26%) as some of the preferred benefits. With the introduction of carbon budgets, business leaders have been presented with an opportunity to align their hybrid working policy with the fight to reduce emissions. 51% of respondents consider a reduction of carbon footprint as a benefit to a hybrid working environment, and believe hybrid working has a key role in supporting a sustainable future. 

When implementing a hybrid-working model, technology, coupled with people strategies, will need to ensure that remote workers are granted equal access to opportunity and information. Looking ahead to the practicalities of this model, digital exhaustion and mental health (42%), loss of corporate or workplace culture (40%) followed by ensuring all team members have equal access to meetings, networking, opportunities, promotions, input and engagement (36%) are the top concerns for ICT leaders in a hybrid-working environment. Yet in contrast, one in seven ICT leaders surveyed (14%) revealed they have no concerns when it comes to the future hybrid-working model environment at all.

Paul Gilbride, Founder, Evros Labs, says; “IT teams are finally on the right side of the balance sheet. Every company is now a technology company and IT is becoming a differentiator not just an enabler. It's a key part of organisational strategy and hugely important. Technology that's coming in, such as low code and robotic process automation, is looking to reduce the overall cost of driving successful business. This marks a major opportunity for people who are working in technology. The time for true digital innovation has arrived.”

The full report is available at reports.eir.ie.