80% of Irish businesses believe career progression opportunities are limited for hybrid workers

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Workers across Ireland are missing out on career progression opportunities, promotions and pay rises by working from home, but the majority remain reluctant to return to the office.

That is according to a new report by global workplace creation experts Unispace.
A Unispace Global Workplace Insights report – which combined the results of an in-depth survey of 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders from 17 countries worldwide – found that 80% of Irish businesses stated that pay rises, bonuses and promotions would be limited for those who do not return to the office. The perceived impact is much lower according to employees, with 60% stating that the career prospects for those not in the office would be limited. 

Currently, 57% of Irish workers remain reluctant to return to the office, with 32% stating they were not happy with the lack of privacy in the workplace, while 29% simply do not see the need to be in the office. 


Burnout is also a clear challenge for Irish employees—cited by 67% of workers, joint second highest globally and above the international average of 59%. According to the study, workplaces in Ireland are not set up to support productive working. More than half (55%) of employees struggle to work effectively due to distractions in the office. The vast majority (70%) also indicated that good WiFi – which was considered the most important element of a workplace globally – was not available in the office, perhaps also making workers less inclined to be there.

Commenting on the findings, Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO, EMEA at Unispace, said: “The findings highlight that Irish workers remain reluctant to return to the office, having also been the most reticent workforce in Europe in our 2021 study. However, it is clear that the workplace itself does not provide workers with everything they need to do their job productively. The fact that employees are seemingly able to access better WiFi at home demonstrates that there is currently little incentive for people to head back into the office. 

“If employees are happy to miss out on progression opportunities and pay rises in order to work outside of the office more regularly, it does suggest that change is needed beyond mandated returns, and Irish employers will need to put in considerable work to design more appealing spaces in the coming years with the needs of their employees’ front of mind.”