Working remotely has become the new way of life for many employees. The outbreak of COVID-19 pushed many employers into a no option situation of allowing employees to work from home. Given the length of time many employees have been working from home, it is likely that many will not want to return to a long commute or work in an office environment on a permanent basis. Employers are now faced with the decision of how to incorporate home based working while running a smooth operation as it poses challenges in terms of performance management, health and safety, morale, communication and comradery. It is a situation that all employers are now faced with and need to consider.
A Working from Home Bill has been put before the Oireachtas regarding employees working from home and their right to switch off work related electronic communications during out-of-work hours. The Bill seeks to amend the Terms of Employment Act and Organisation of Working Time Act in part. It is currently at Stage 2 of the Oireachtas and is not clear yet if it will pass, however it is a worthwhile Bill for employers to keep an eye on.