Microsoft Ireland Research: Flexible ways of working are here to stay

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Microsoft Ireland Research: Flexible ways of working are here to stay

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 05:25
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Dublin: 5th November 2020: Microsoft has released new research into remote working in Ireland on 5th November as part of a pan-European piece of research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research.

Some key points of the research:

The hybrid workplace is here to stay:

  • 97% cited the importance of changing their firm’s ways of working to become more innovative and flexible.
  • 71% of employees worked remotely during the first lockdown
  • Leaders expect 45% of employees will continue to work remotely. Employees expect to spend one third of time outside of the office

Explosion in remote working policies:

  • 72% of organisations have implemented remote working policies, (versus 22% last year)

Business benefits:

  • Productivity: Seven in 10 leaders (73%) saw equal or more productivity from remote workers.
    - For people surveyed in Ireland their best time of day to really focus was between 9 and 11am. The ability to do focused work plummets in the afternoon.
  • Retention: Well over half (68%) of business leaders see remote working as key to retaining talented employees, higher than the European average of 56%.
  • Sustainability: Taking a broader societal view, more than half of leaders (61%) see increased sustainability as a key business reason to adopt remote working.

Top benefits for employees:

  • 79% Dressing casually
  • 56% More time for hobbies
  • 46% Personalised workspace
  • 32% Working with pet by my side


  • 41% of leaders thought their companies were innovative around core products and services – The same number agreed with that sentiment in our research in 2019 (42%).

Innovative Culture:

An innovative culture is where employees feel empowered, where there is open communications with managers, and where there is a strong, inclusive vision from the top.

Employees in innovative companies:

  • 72% are equally or more productive when working remotely (vs 60% in less innovative companies)
  • 59% of employees feel empowered to make decisions.
  • 71% feel it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • 93% collaborate with colleagues seamlessly.
  • 94% can focus attention solely on the task at hand.
  • 80% feel that their contribution makes a difference in the company.
  • 90% agree that their team can get a lot done when they work hard.
  • 69% feel happy at work (vs 39% of employees with less innovative company cultures).

Leader’s challenges:

However, for many leaders, this year marked the first time they were responsible for leading people who were working remotely.

  • 58% said they feel they have not yet effectively learned how to delegate and empower virtual teams.
  • 56% of leaders found it harder to create a strong and unified team.
  • 51% feel they have not effectively learned how to be empathetic with their teams.