Survey: Czechs now consider working from home as part of standard work contract

Illustrative photo

Czechs are getting increasingly used to doing some of their work from home, seeing it as part of a standard contract with their employer rather than an extra benefit. At least according to a survey conducted by recruitment agency Randstad, which showed that roughly a third of companies in Czechia offer their employees a hybrid work model.

Illustrative photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay,  CC0

When Randstad conducted a survey at the beginning of 2021 asking people how many of them are working from home, 40 percent of respondents said they were. The most recent data, since the end of lockdown measures, shows that that number has now declined to around 28 percent.

However, Covid had a massive influence on normalising working from home on the Czech labour market, Randstad Marketing and Communications Manager Petr Douda told Czech Radio.

“The pandemic really moved us forward when it comes to working from home. Before then, the sheer possibility of doing so was a topic of discussion. Now most companies are offering it, so we are almost at the level of Western Europe in this regard.

“Candidates nowadays consider the option to work from home as standard. They no longer ask their prospective employer if it’s on offer. Instead, they go right ahead and ask how many days of the week or month they will be able to work outside of the office.”

If companies try to take away this flexibility from their employees and start forcing them back into the office, Mr Douda said that workers often start looking for a new job which does offer the option to work from home.

Illustrative photo | Photo: Natalija Waitkewitsch,  Pexels,  CC0 1.0 DEED

While most employees currently see the growing trend of “home office” as being to their advantage, Mr Douda said that there are still no substantial studies on how people are affected by working from home. While it can help some people to better focus on that work, he said that home office can also affect one’s work-life balance and sometimes can make it easier to burn out.

The fact that most people working from home use unsecured networks also poses threats to company data leads, said Mr Douda, adding that some companies have already complained about the rising home office trend.

“They say it brings along obstacles that were previously not common in the workplace. With more people working from home it is less common for them to interact at the workplace, in the company kitchen or at the coffee machine for example. This in turn means that you don’t get new ideas or solutions. It can slow down growth in some companies.

“We are used to working together in groups, but now we are isolating ourselves working from home.”

The recruitment firm manager told Czech Radio that some companies are therefore trying to attract their employees back into the office, for example through various benefits ranging from presents, grill parties or breakfasts.

Nevertheless, for now it seems that the introduction of home office into the Czech workspace seems to have been a success, he says, adding that we will have to wait at least a year before accurate evaluations of the pros and cons of the new phenomenon can be produced.

Authors: Tea Veseláková , Thomas McEnchroe
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