Almost 80% of business owners have been forced to reduce hours for staff, with two-thirds having to implement pay cuts, a survey has found.
The survey of employers in the Republic of Ireland shines a light on the stark reality of business closures across the country.
According to the Matrix Remote Working Survey, 58% of employers who responded are now working from home as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the 42% who said they are not homeworking, 43% have closed their businesses temporarily, with 19% saying they have had to shut permanently.
However, for those who continue to operate their businesses from home, 70% say they enjoy the new enforced set-up and more than 50% of the employers said they would consider allowing employees to continue working from home for at least one to two days per week once normality resumes.
The findings of this survey really highlight some of the many challenges being faced in all sectors across the countryKieran McKeown, Matrix Recruitment
This is a sentiment echoed by two-thirds of employees in Ireland who say they are enjoying their new workspaces, with 60% of respondents saying they would like the option to continue working from home.
Some 75% of business owners said they feel adequately connected to staff, however 78% of employers admitted to finding it challenging to motivate staff under the new conditions.
Business owners have a more positive view of their employees’ productivity levels with 60% believing staff are more productive in their new work environment, compared with just 25% of employees who believe they are being more productive.
Kieran McKeown, managing director of Matrix Recruitment said: “These are very challenging times for both business owners and employees, and the findings of this survey really highlight some of the many challenges being faced in all sectors across the country.
“Many businesses have had to put the brakes on operations temporarily while others have had to shut their doors permanently.”
The research found that 40% of respondents said the best thing about working from home is not having to commute.
Some 20% said that working from home allows them to have more control over their working day and 15% responded that the best thing was being able to spend more time with family.
The majority of employees who are working from home said they miss the interaction with colleagues, while over a third of respondents say they miss having proper structure on their working day
Video calls are the most popular means of staying in touch among employees, followed by email.
Employers said they prefer the traditional method of picking up the phone to stay in touch and the majority of employers say they are in touch three to four times per week with their staff.
The kitchen and the bedroom prove to be most popular places in the home for business owners to work from, while the living room is the most popular for employees, followed by the kitchen.
The survey included 1,000 people, a quarter of whom were business owners.