What do Czech employees want? A four-day work week and more flexibility

While the work landscape has been changing in Czechia, salary by far remains the most important factor for most employees.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 17.04.2023 15:00:00 (updated on 17.04.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czechs would like a four-day workweek, flexible working hours, and unlimited holidays. Most employees also want to achieve a better work-life balance.

Flexible work has a positive effect on the well-being of employees, who are then more productive and at the same time more loyal to their employer, according to a survey by polling agency Ipsos and the HR firm Welcome to the Jungle.

For most Czech employees, salary remains the basic criterion for job satisfaction. It is considered important by 95 percent of those surveyed. This is an increase of 6 percentage points compared to the 2020 survey, when 89 percent of people considered salary to be important.

Other criteria are more related to balancing personal and work life, company culture, and communication in the workplace. Working hours and workload are the second most important criteria at 94 percent, while in 2020 this criterion finished in fifth place. This is followed by relationships with superiors, work-life balance, and relationships with colleagues. These were each mentioned by over 91 percent of the respondents.

Overall, 83 percent of Czech workers have a positive perception of the balance between their personal and work life as good. However, three-quarters of this group says the balance is “good” rather than “very good.”

Relations with colleagues are considered an important criterion by 96 percent of people in the age group of 50 to 65 years.

The workplace is changing

The labor market is undergoing a transformation into an increasingly flexible understanding of work, due in part to changes in work patterns that began during the pandemic.

“The new work standard will probably take a very diverse form. For someone, the ideal organization of work can take the form of a flexible work rhythm, for someone, on the contrary, a fixed regime,” Jan Klusoň, CEO of the Czech and Slovak branch of Welcome to the Jungle, said in the report.

He added that employers and employees need to have a joint discussion so they can effectively organize work and at the same time find the degree of flexibility that workers want. “We are in a period where we no longer focus so much on finding a work-life balance, but on ensuring that work has a sustainable place in our lives,” said.

People are increasingly aware of the positive effects of a flexible work regime Thanks to it, 79 percent of employees say that flexible arrangements have a positive effect on their well-being, while in 2020 this was 11 percentage points less.

A positive view of working from home is mainly held by people who have experience with it. On the contrary, employees who have no experience with remote work are more skeptical about its benefits.

During the Covid pandemic, employees proved that working from home was possible. Two-thirds of people who had the chance to use home office during the pandemic would like to continue with it. On the other hand, a fixed regime suits those who have not yet tried working from home. Employers are now generally more receptive to flexible forms of both the scheduling and location of work than they were before the pandemic.

But there is a “flexibility paradox” facing people working from home or in a hybrid model. They are surprisingly more likely to work overtime, have a broken line between personal and work life, and generally have a lower chance of promotion, according to the survey.

High interest in four-day workweek

One topic that is talked about a lot but not yet very widespread is the four-day workweek. The survey showed that 70 percent of people would like to try a shorter working week, but only one in five employees has practical experience with it. Of all of the options for new measures for flexibility in the workplace, the four-day workweek was the most popular.

This is followed by an interest in flexible working hours, when employees can set their own schedules. This was interesting for 62 percent of workers. The concept saw a gender divide, with significant differences between men and women (53 percent and 72 percent, respectively).

An unlimited number of days of paid vacation was seen favorably by almost two-thirds of employees. “This benefit is not very widespread in our country yet," the survey authors said.

Almost a third of people worried about losing their job in the past six months. People over the age of 50 were least likely to be concerned. At the same time, 28 percent of people, were looking for a new job in the last six months, mainly women and people between the ages of 18 and 29.

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