Fujitsu Work-Life Shift Research: Modern Irish workforce is geographically mobile but technology dependent

  • 50% of all adults would consider relocating for cost or quality of life
  • 38% say the presence of a remote working hub would influence their decision to relocate
  • 64% feel that the lack of interaction with colleagues is biggest challenge while working from home

Dublin , May 27, 2021

Today, Fujitsu Ireland is revealing the findings of research undertaken to better understand the challenges faced by Ireland’s workforce during the extended lockdown enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was carried out as part of Work Life Shift – Fujitsu’s global offering to help businesses create adaptive enterprises and enable agility and resilience through digital innovation.

The findings reveal that the Irish workforce is geographically mobile, but this is dependent on the ability to access affordable housing and essential technology infrastructure (remote working hubs); struggling with the pressures of working in unsuitable spaces while isolated from colleagues and a majority are experiencing no benefit to their monthly net expenditure.

50% of all adults would consider relocating within Ireland for cost or quality of life purposes. Those living in Leinster (outside of Dublin) are the most inclined to relocate with nearly two thirds of all respondents open to this possibility. The cost of housing and its affordability are the primary barriers to making the move. Furthermore, when asked, 1 in 3 respondents nationwide noted that access to a remote working hub would be a factor in their decision on where to relocate.

With the pandemic forcing hundreds of thousands of Irish employees to adapt to new working norms respondents noted that the biggest challenges to working from home are: lack of informal contact with colleagues (64%); physical or mental stress (50%); privacy while working from home (43%); impact on career progression (36%). This paints a picture of a workforce struggling with the lack of direct human contact and suffering from physical or mental stress.

Despite the reduced activity and travel costs associated with the lockdown, the research has shown that only 26% agree that working from home has had a net benefit on their monthly expenditure. The research has also shown that only 22% of all respondents have availed of the tax relief available to them, with 29% completely unaware of reliefs being available.

36% of respondents also cited the potential impact of long-term remote working on career progression/development opportunities as a concern.

The findings of this survey are consistent with the Government’s recently announced ‘Our Rural Future’ plan and Fujitsu welcomes the acknowledgement that digital transformation can help transform not just the future of work, but the future of Ireland’s rural towns and villages to the benefit of everyone.

Tony O’Malley, Fujitsu Ireland CEO commented: “There is no doubt that the future of work has been accelerated by the onset of the pandemic. Our research has shown that many within the workforce are finding it challenging and there is significant appetite within a large proportion of Ireland’s workforce to relocate within Ireland for a variety of reasons. Where appropriate, this must be supported through the right infrastructure, digital connectivity and public policy.

He continued; “Employers need to find smart, sustainable ways to maintain their workplace culture and support the intangibles that built that culture in the first place. Likewise, practical, transparent policies need to be implemented on issues such as working hours, the right to disconnect - even managing communications and contact channels. The right combination of policy, technology, culture and leadership can ensure our shifting work and living patterns work for everybody.”

Notes to Editors
Research was carried out February 18 – 25 2021 by iReach on behalf of Fujitsu Ireland. Sample size of 1,000 Irish adults using proprietary research panels across consumer and business groups, built on a nationally representative model.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 members of the Fujitsu team support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
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Date: May 27, 2021
City: Dublin