Flexi-time could be worth €2.5bn to Irish economy

Survey shows many professionals would be drawn back to work by such arrangements.

Ireland’s knowledge workers could benefit from more flexible working arrangements, saving on transport costs, increasing their productivity and encouraging people to return to the workforce, a new survey has shown.

According to the survey commissioned by Data Solutions, increasing the number of people working under more flexible arrangements would be worth €2.5 billion to the Irish economy.

Knowledge workers include accountants, engineers, architects and doctors.

That figure includes €1.6 billion that could be gained from encouraging those currently unemployed for various reasons – including those who are retired, students or homemakers – to return to work, with 84 per cent of those in that situation saying they would return if they could work from any location.

The full results of the survey will be discussed at the Next Computing Forum in Dublin in October.

Those who work flexible hours two days a week could save up to €250 million on transport costs every year. There are also benefits for work-life balance, while 68 per cent said it made them happier in their job.

The survey was carried out by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Marketing Development Programme in March 2015.

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