According to a new Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) survey, 37% of business leaders don’t think that most of their staff will be back in working in person in the office until the second quarter of 2022.
The reasons cited as the biggest risk to businesses was a “return of tight public health restrictions caused by COVID-19 and its variants.”
These are the main findings from the IoD’s latest Director Sentiment Monitor research report for the last quarter of 2021, which was published this month.
However, some business leaders are staying positive. 30% believe that a full return to the workplace will happen in the first quarter of the year.
31% of business leader also believe that this quarter will be better economically than the previous one, but 28% hold the view this quarter will be worse economically, with 41% believing that there will be now change from the past three months.
Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland has stated the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has seen a significant return of working remotely “with many staff returning to the workplace for at least some of the time during autumn 2021.
“While the rollout of the booster vaccine programme has been swift and widespread, it looks like the public health restrictions already in place will remain so for the foreseeable future” she continued.
Our research finds that 37% of business leaders see the second quarter of the year as the period when a majority of staff will likely be in the office/workplace. Furthermore, it should be of note that business leaders now see the biggest business risk as ‘a return of tight public health restrictions caused by COVID-19 and its variants.”
Other risks were listed as the single biggest risk facing their organisation.
These included sourcing quality labour and the capability to retain it(18%), global supply chain issues and rising costs of raw materials both at 7%.
6% cited EU-UK trade, the political relations between the two countries, and geopolitical/economic instability as their biggest concern.
The survey was completed by 281 members of IoD Ireland, who are directors and business leaders. The majority of the survey respondents were directors at 74%.
The majority also held senior executive roles, while 37% held CEO positions. The purpose of the Director Senitment Monitor is to track IoD’s member’s views on key issues such as the economy, business confidence and working life, as well as topical business issues of relevance to its members every business quarter.