Rebecca Cloono (left) and Siobhan Dunleavey.

Westmeath workers save more time than most with WFH

By Sarah Slevin

A survey has shown that workers in Westmeath save on average 77 minutes a day because of remote working (or work from home WFH), and it comes with other pros and cons too.

The research by Censuswide and Auxilion, has revealed that workers in Westmeath are saving more time on average than most of the country thanks to remote working.

It involved more than 500 office workers and found that remote working is saving Irish office workers, on average, 58 minutes per day. It found that workers in Westmeath save more than most at an average of 77 minutes per day.

The county where people saved the most time was Cavan, at 121 minutes per day on average.

Siobhan Dunleavey from Mullingar works for Employability Midlands Service, and had worked remotely for much of the pandemic.

“For me, working from home certainly had its pros and cons. There were huge learnings to be had when it came to communicating through online platforms and we quickly realised how capable we were at adapting to meet our clients’ needs, the best we could,” Siobhan said.

“There was also the plus of getting to wear woolly pyjama bottoms in the ‘workplace’, not to mention the mini commute – just the length of the hallway!”

Siobhan said that being present in person is hugely important for the work they do, and they missed face-to-face interactions with clients.

“We support people with disabilities to find and maintain mainstream employment, so we massively missed meeting our clients face to face and being able to get out and about in the community to link with local employers,” Siobhan said.

They did the best they could remotely but it “goes without saying” that they are delighted to be back in their office in Mullingar.

Another Westmeath local is Rebecca Cloono, who has been enjoying working from home as a Sky loyalty advisor.

“I really enjoy working from home. It means I don’t have to commute to Dublin every day, an hour and a half each way, and I don’t have to worry about spending a small fortune on trains,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca, from Drumraney, said she hopes to continue working remotely long-term, as it suits her more.

“I am looking forward to working from home for as long as possible as it suits me down to the ground. I can wake up in the morning, stroll to my office to get my laptop set up, and complete my morning routine without hassle and no worries about rushing for a train or bus,” she added.

The Censuswide and Auxilion research also found that more than a third (35pc) of Irish office workers believe working remote has improved their mental health, while 39pc said their physical health had improved.

Also, a large majority of respondents (82pc) said they want their companies to offer hybrid work policies when Covid-19 restrictions end.

People mostly said the benefits of working from home was not having to commute and having a better work/life balance.

Most office workers (89pc) believe they are as productive working from home as they would be in the office.