Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Challenges to Ireland's Competitiveness: Discussion

Ms Linda Kane:

We also released another bulletin in May on remote working. We had the opportunity there to delve into much more of the academic evidence. There is very positive evidence that there is a productivity boost by remote working. There are many studies internationally and serving evidence from within Ireland. Obviously, it is a little early to get the hard data for Ireland yet, but we will be monitoring that very carefully. The Western Development Commission has been responsible for doing the national survey on remote working and it is seeing that self-reported productivity has increased by 68%. There definitely are benefits for both the employer and the employee. It is about bridging those two groups so both can see the benefits of this future arrangement.

One of the issues we pointed out in the challenge was equipping those managers with the skills to manage the teams remotely. A slightly different set of skills will be required to be able to communicate more effectively with one's team, to have possibly difficult conversations remotely as opposed to face-to-face and to motivate a team when one does not see its members every day. There is definitely great potential in Ireland to reap the benefits of this. We will do it the right way by making sure that people have the right skills, both digital and managerial, and making sure they have the right equipment and access to good quality broadband. Those are the things we can put in place to ensure that there is the most productive outcome from the move towards remote working and blended working.