Researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission (WDC ) have launched a national survey to gather data on employees’ experiences of remote working in these unprecedented times. This project is being led by Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor Alan Ahearne and Dr Katerina Bohle-Carbonell at NUI Galway and Tomás Ó Síocháin and Deirdre Frost at WDC.
The COVID-19 crisis has catapulted hundreds of thousands of employees and their employers into a work pattern and routine vastly different to their normal daily work experience. This radical change happened suddenly and for the vast majority the change effectively occurred overnight. While some employees have experience of remote working, many find themselves operating remote working without any time to plan, negotiate, organise and set-up remote working in conjunction with their employer and manager.
Speaking about the national survey, Professor Alma McCarthy said that anecdotally, they understand employees are responding in diverse ways to mandatory remote working.
“Some are finding it very difficult to adjust to remote working with no social contact with colleagues and the need to self-structure their work; others have significant challenges managing caring (child and/or elder ) responsibilities with work; and yet others are enjoying the absence of the morning and evening commute, no traffic, and report higher productivity levels. We are undertaking this survey to gather data on employees’ experiences of remote working in these unprecedented times.”
The NUI Galway and WDC COVID-19 Remote Working Survey will gather data about the following questions: how are employees adjusting to remote working, what is going well and what changes would employees suggest?; how are employees responding to remote working from a well-being perspective?; how is remote working impacting employee productivity?; and what lessons can be learned about remote working that could be retained/sustained post-COVID-19?
WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin said the move to remote working has allowed many, but not all, employees to continue to work during the current crisis.
“The WDC has published a significant body of work on how remote work has developed over many years so this anonymous survey will help to shape national policy. As well as improving individuals’ quality of life, working part-time or fulltime from home or from a hub can make a huge difference to rural and regional communities,” he said.
The research team will analyse the findings of the survey and make them publicly available on NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute website and on the WDC website. The data and study findings will be available to inform employers about employee experiences of remote working. The research team will provide recommendations for employers on how to better manage remote working in the current crisis as well as more generally.
To complete the survey visit bit.ly/covid19remoteworking