New Research on the Return to Workplace
This week in PML Group we began the phased return of the team to our base in Dublin 2. It’s a red-letter week for us and thousands of office-based businesses across the country and a real cause for relief and celebration.
There is no doubt that the phased return of workers to offices, which began in earnest on September 20th, is having a positive impact on footfall and audience in city centres, and on public transport and traffic. Transport Infrastructure Ireland reported vehicle journeys up by 600,000 in the week of September 20th, a 9.6% increase on the week before. The first three days of the same week also saw a 6% rise in Dublin city centre pedestrian footfall, according to Visit Dublin. For the first time since Christmas, footfall in the city reached 70% of 2019 levels that week. September 22nd also saw Dublin Bus carry more than 300,000 customers, the highest of any day since the pandemic struck. All those indicators can only have improved further since.
Like PML Group, many businesses are introducing a hybrid working model, with team members working part of the week in the office environment and part of the week in a remote location. Our latest IQ research has investigated how Dubliners anticipate the effect on their working lives. Results indicate that 52% of respondents will be workplace-based for three days or more from now on, rising to 71% among 18-24s. 56% of those aged 25-34 will be working in the office the majority of the week. Although no major difference was recorded between males and females, quite a large difference was evident among social classes, as seen in the chart below. Perhaps a reflection of the nature of work involved among the various social class groupings.
In the main, respondents will be using the same modes of transport they did before March 2020, with percentages for car use, DART and LUAS all virtually unchanged. Cycling and walking have increased marginally. One in five say they will be using the bus, rising to 29% of 35-44s.
Of those surveyed, 38% have worked remotely throughout the pandemic, 40% exclusively in the workplace and 22% have had some sort of mix up to now.