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27 March 2023

Randstad Workmonitor: While half of Czechs are afraid of losing their jobs, flexibility and work-life balance are increasingly important

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According to this year’s Workmonitor survey conducted by the Randstad recruitment agency, inflation and rising prices have once again reinforced the importance of job security for Czech employees. Only five per cent of them do not consider job security important. Forty per cent of Czechs are even worried about losing their job. Up to a quarter of the population take a second job or postpone their retirement as a solution to the difficult financial situation. Despite these trends linked to the macroeconomic crisis, job flexibility, work-life balance, and a sense of belonging continue to grow in importance in employees’ job choices. More than half of them want the option to work from home.

The Workmonitor survey, which Randstad has been conducting regularly for twenty years, included 35,000 workers aged 18-67 from 34 countries, with 750 respondents from the Czech Republic. As usual, it focused on the factors that influence employees when choosing and switching jobs. Newly this year, however, much of the focus has been on the impact of the energy crisis, which strongly resonates in society. The results show that job security is growing in importance, as it did during the pandemic. “As it turns out, job security is important to 95% of Czechs, which is 4 percentage points more than last year. Half of the respondents are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their job security, and forty percent are even afraid of losing their job. Nevertheless, our experience suggests that there is no risk of widespread layoffs and company bankruptcies as Czechia entered the economic crisis with a healthy labour market and the hunger for talent is still there,” says Martin Jánský, CEO of Randstad Czech Republic, commenting on the survey results.

According to Workmonitor, the worsening financial situation of Czechs is also reflected in other job trends. More than a quarter of employees compensate for higher costs of living by having a second job; 14% of respondents have taken on more hours at work and 25% have delayed retirement. Respondents also expect their employers to help them with the rising costs of living. Half of them would prefer a pay rise and a third would prefer compensation for the costs of commuting, energy, and other everyday expenses. Almost 50% of respondents have already received some help. Employers tend towards support in the form of salary increases or one-off bonuses because they realise that supporting workers in difficult circumstances could give them an edge in the competition for talent,” Jánský points out.

However, despite the macroeconomic uncertainty, work-life balance is becoming increasingly important for employees. After the pandemic, many decided to quit if they felt the job negatively affected their life (40%).Some changed jobs because of a toxic workplace environment (35%), and others because their work was incompatible with their personal life (30%). A long-term consequence of the pandemic is the increasing desire for flexibility among workers, with a fifth of the respondents having quit due to a lack of job freedom. According to Workmonitor, the flexibility of working hours is crucial for 70% of respondents.

The importance of working from home is growing continuously in society. The ability to work remotely is important to 53% of Czechs, which is 6 percentage points more than last year. Workers also insist their employers’ values and objectives align with their own (65%) and want their work to be meaningful and to give them a sense of belonging (50%). “The peak of the great rotation may be over, but if companies want to attract and retain talent, they need to meet the employees’ expectations. The ultimate ambition of the employers should be to create an inclusive and inspiring workplace where people feel content and have a sense that they belong in the workplace,” says Sander van 't Noordende, CEO of Randstad.

Compared to last year’s Workmonitor, Czechs turned out to be less conservative than in previous years. Their needs in terms of work-life balance, workplace satisfaction, and belonging have almost reached the global standard, while factors such as a non-toxic workplace atmosphere are even more important to Czechs compared to the rest of the world. However, it remains true that most Czechs would rather switch jobs than try to negotiate better conditions with their current employer.

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