Czech companies among EU's most respectful of employee personal time

Only 7.7% of Czech employers repeatedly contacted their employees outside of working hours in 2019, compared to the EU average of 17%

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 01.10.2020 13:05 (updated on 01.10.2020)

Czech employers contacted their employees outside of working hours significantly less often than the EU average last year, according to new statistics released by Eurostat this week.

A 2019 survey asked employees if they had been "contacted several times in the last two months." Across the EU, about 17% of employees reported being often contacted by their employers during leisure time. More than half of those, about 10% of all employees, were contacted with direct action required within one working day.

Key insights: men (20%) were contacted while away from work more often than women (14%), and the those in the real estate (18%), information and communication (15%), and professional, scientific and technical (14%) fields were the most-often contacted while away from work.

via Eurostat
via Eurostat

In the Czech Republic, however, only 7.7% of employees reported that they were contacted during leisure time, the third-lowest percentage in the EU. Only workers in Romania (5%) and Lithuania (4%) reported being contacted during leisure time less often than employees of Czech companies.

A total of 5.2% of employees in the Czech Republic reported being contacted with direct action required within one working day, roughly half of the EU average.

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A total of 9.8% of employees reported being contacted while away from work in Czech neighbor Slovakia, while 17.2% of Germans reported the same.

Employees in Scandinavian countries were the most-frequently contacted, with about a third of workers in Finland (35.3%) and Sweden (32.3%) being contacted on work-related matters during their personal time. Workers in the Netherlands (29.8%) were also frequently contacted outside of working hours.

Across different employment levels, managers (26%), professionals (14%), and technicians (12%) were the most-frequently contacted, while plant and machine operators (4%) and elementary occupations (3%) were the least-often disturbed outside of work.

via Eurostat
via Eurostat

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"Of course, these and similar statistics should be taken with a grain of salt," Czech economist Lukáš Kovanda writes on Parlamentní listy.

"[Employeees] may be burdened with a certain subjectivity, or even self-censorship, resulting from cultural-historical norms and patterns of behavior. What an employee in Scandinavia considers a disturbance, for example, an employee in countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania or Lithuania will not even report in the statistics."