Call for remote work to continue as Ireland records 8,126 Covid cases – Archyde

Ireland has registered a further 8,126 cases of Covid-19 amid a call from unions to continue remote and hybrid work as tomorrow marks the start of the return to the office.

4,731 cases were confirmed by a PCR test while 3,395 positive antigen test results were uploaded to the HSE portal. The Ministry of Health has advised that self-registered test results are not directly comparable to cases confirmed by laboratory PCR.

A phased return to the workplace begins Monday for those who have been working from home during the pandemic.

Amid a sweeping lifting of Covid restrictions this week, Forsa and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are among those urging employers to continue facilitating remote work.

Head of Communications at Forsa, Bernard Harbour, said employers should not ignore the benefits of hybrid working.

“In most employer and union surveys, productivity has either held up or increased, and there are obviously many benefits for workers too, as they can manage their time more productively, see more with their family and spend less time commuting , and so forth.”

Employers need to be strategic about the return to the office, he added.

“One is to ensure that any return to work is over a period of time, is not rushed and is done in an orderly manner.

“Secondly, we want to ensure that the benefits of teleworking and blended working are not lost, so that longer term arrangements are made that people can work remotely for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of employers and of the public sector itself.”

“One-size-fits-all reopening doesn’t fit all”

CIPD Ireland, the professional body for HR teams, has also warned that a “one-size-fits-all reopening will not fit all”.

With many employers preparing notices to employees on how they plan to reopen, CIPD Ireland advised companies to take their time and ensure they are “getting the process right”.

“It is also important to remember that the lifting of these rules may raise some concerns among the workforce, just as any new restriction that has been put in place has had to be accepted,” said Mary Connaughton, Director of CIPD Ireland.

“Companies have the opportunity to make many of their own decisions about this, and it’s important to design a reopening that works for the business and the workforce.”


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Ms Connaughton urged employers to communicate with their staff and listen to what they have to say as they finalize plans to reopen. She also warned employers to anticipate fears and be flexible.

“We are still living in a pandemic situation and workers may have concerns about their health or that of their family members for some time. Be sure to show compassion and listen when they share their concerns, and consider them when planning,” she said.

“Employers don’t need to change existing practices if they work well. CSO figures released just last week underpinned our own CIPD Ireland research on how a majority of people want to work remotely to some extent in the post-pandemic.

“It’s not over yet, but the coming weeks will be the best opportunity to see what that landscape could look like – and it’s in the hands of the company to shape that future.”

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