A majority of Czechs spend less than 20 minutes getting to work

The wide range of open jobs is making location a deciding factor, as Czechs would rather live close to work

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 10.06.2019 09:08:39 (updated on 10.06.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech people are not fans of long commutes to work. About half of working Czechs spend at most 20 minutes getting to their job. Due to the active job market, which gives job seekers more options than in the past, the number of people making long commutes has been dropping.

The distance between work and home is becoming an increasingly important factor for accepting a job offer, according to an analysis of the Czech labor market by personnel agency Grafton Recruitment.

People are willing to make long commutes only if the salary is significantly higher than with other job offers.

“The long-term over-supply of job offers has led people to choose employers based on other aspects than wages. Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in interest in the employer’s location, especially in the case of office professions,” Jitka Součková, marketing manager at Grafton Recruitment, said in a press release.

“Long travel to work can only be offset by a significant increase in wages. For example, a 60-minute commute will be as attractive to most people as 30 minutes only if the offered salary is at least one-fifth higher,” she added.

The conclusion from the Grafton study is that employers should focus on recruiting candidates who live within the scope of a short commute.

In larger cities such as Prague, people use mainly public transport, in smaller towns people rely more on car. Only 14 percent of respondents said they went to work on foot.

Many of Prague’s centers for office work are located at public transportation hubs, as parking is difficult for commuters due to parking zones.

The Metro C line in particular connects with office developments in Vltavska, Pankrác, Budějovická and Chodov. New office developments are being built or have just opened on the Metro B line near Palmovka and in Karlín, near the Křižíkova and Invalidovna stops. The Metro A line connects to job sites near Dejvická and Nádraží Veleslavín.

Related: View average salaries for all professions in Prague with our Prague Salary Guide

Planned projects for Prague such as Smíchov City include a mix of residential and office space. This new neighborhood will also be connected to a new hub for commuters from the suburbs, with bus and train service plus parking spots.

Even with a commute, some towns just outside Prague are still reasonable. The Central Bohemia region, which covers the towns just beyond Prague’s city limits, has been making efforts to make commuting by train or bus easier by integrating their transit system with Prague’s.

Buses link Roztoky u Prahy to Dejvice within about 15 minutes, and commuter trains are also an option. Other suburbs popular with commuters include Černošice, which is about 20 minutes by train from Smíchovské nádraží, or Průhonice, which is about 20 minutes by bus from Chodov.

The Grafton analysis also focused on how willing Czech people were to move to accommodate work. Only 26 percent of respondents moved during their careers because of their work, with the highest share of this being university students.

“Czechs are historically loyal to the place they come from, and they are not used to moving for work. The wide range of job offers helps them to take root in this respect. They can often choose between employers, and logically prefer to choose one near their place of residence,” Součková said.

Some 56 percent of people who moved during their career moved to another region within the Czech Republic, while another 19 percent moved within the region and 13 percent within the district. Only some 24 percent moved abroad, and for three-quarters of these, a good job offer was the reason.

Součková said there are a combination of reasons for moving. “Approximately a quarter of Czechs move because they need a change in their lives. Another large group moves because of their relationship or family,” Součková.

For moving abroad, some 73 percent of Czechs said they would do so for a good wage. The opportunity to learn a foreign language was a factor for 43 percent, doing a dream job was cited by 33 percent, and living in another country by 24 percent. The people who are most willing to move are men, people under 34 and college students.

The survey for Grafton Recruitment was carried out by Behaviolabs.com on a sample of 1,240 respondents who provided data during February 2019.

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