New research has found that 55% of office workers in companies in Dublin now spend two to three days on site each week.
That marks a 7 percentage point increase since Dublin Chamber and Savills last measured the trend during the last three months of last year.
The study found the increase has been driven by a requirement by their employers requiring them to be in the office during certain hours or on particular days of the week.
26% said they now have core days, up from 21% in the last study, and 17% have core days and hours, up from 12% last year.
Just 8% said they require staff in the office five days a week, down from 9% last year, while 6% required workers in four days.
“According to the results, this upward trend in office occupancy has been influenced by a multitude of factors, perhaps not least by the growing concern of productivity,” said Andrew Cunningham, Director of Offices at Savills Ireland.
“While just over a third of Dublin firms report it as a concern, productivity is a growing factor being associated with hybrid and remote working, up from 30% in Q4 2022 to 35% in Q3 2023,” he added.
Just a third of the 320 companies surveyed now give their employees complete flexibility about when they come into the office or not, down from 45% at the last survey.
26% said they have core days, up from 21% in the last study, and 17% have core days and hours.
Higher levels of occupancy have been reported on the core midweek days of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Thursday is now the day of the week when office use is highest, overtaking Wednesday.
Occupancy on Mondays and Friday is generally between 0-10%.
A quarter of firms say their employees now work three days a week, up from 21% last December.
“We must recognise that there is an increase in the number of employees returning to the office,” said Mary Rose Burke, Dublin Chamber CEO.
“However, with less than one in ten businesses (8%) reporting five-day office attendance from staff, the future of hybrid working is clear,” she said.
“The rationale behind this will be different for every employer but what we have found is that like the sentiments expressed in our Q4 report last year, cultivating a positive work culture (74%), onboarding new staff members (64%), and the needs of the business model (55%), are the primary concerns for businesses in Q3 2023 around hybrid and remote working,” she stated.
The research also found that small and medium sized firms seem to be more embracing of remote working, but larger businesses with over 50 staff have increased the number of days they want staff in the office.
15% of businesses said they had decreased the size of their premises in the last year, but 12% said they had increased it.