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Microsoft Ireland expects remote working to be permanent

by Anna Simpson, Nov 23
2 minutes read

Microsoft Ireland anticipates that 50% of the country’s professionals will never return to the office full-time, following a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research. 

person in gray hoodie using macbook pro on brown wooden table

Microsoft is one of a number of large companies in Dublin who have told employees they can continue to work from home ‘forever’, subject to managerial approval, reports Ireland’s Independent

So what? 

Companies and organisations have a significant opportunity to use the shift to remote working as a springboard to reinvent their working culture. This is essential to enable the ‘Transform’ trajectory identified as the optimum way forward in Forum for the Future’s report, prioritising building societal resilience through regenerative strategies over profit. 

As Aisling Curtis, commercial director with Microsoft Ireland, told the Irish Times: “Almost every business leader [in the study] cited the importance of changing their organisation’s way of working to become innovative and flexible”, turning a working model that dates back 200 years on its head. 

The potential benefits of an innovation-friendly working culture for businesses and employees are enticing – to name just a few: 

  • higher levels of innovation as fear of failure subsides and experiments take off
  • lower turnover due to greater levels of personal connection with the mission
  • lower rates of stress, anxiety and burnout due to a culture that prioritises long-term wellbeing.

But the greatest prize could be for society as a whole, with increased capacity for systemic transformation.

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by Anna Simpson Spotted 15 signals

Anna leads Flux Compass, a Hong Kong-based innovation agency supporting business and civil society organisations to embrace change for a sustainable future. Recent engagements include a Green Deal visions toolkit for Young Friends of the Earth Europe, a design lab for the UNDP City Experiment Fund and a scenarios process for UNICEF’s Iraq office. Before setting up Flux Compass, Anna worked for Forum for the Future in London as the Editor of its sustainable solutions magazine Green Futures, and then moved to Singapore as Curator of the Futures Centre. Anna is also a certified life coach and the author of two books: The Innovation-Friendly Organization (2017) and The Brand Strategist’s Guide to Desire (2014). She loves being outdoors, writing and running - in any combination!

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