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6. 5. 2024

Over 40% of Czech employees believe home office work structures can hinder career progression

A recent Colliers survey, based on an analysis of responses from more than 500 Czech employees across a range of industries, has revealed that over 40% of employees consider telecommuting to be a barrier to their career progression. The findings further suggest that face-to-face contact with colleagues is more important to employees than the work environment and technology itself, which is often taken for granted and to a high standard. The whole report is available to download at the bottom of the article.

Most important? Contact with colleagues and supervisors

The main advantage of working from the office, as confirmed by more than 78% of respondents, is direct contact with colleagues and supervisors. Personal interaction is key to effective communication and building team spirit in the work environment. The importance of a workplace’s social environment is further underscored by the fact that almost half of survey respondents see lack of access to career progression opportunities as a big disadvantage of working from home. The findings are backed up by a recent GoodHire survey in which virtually all 3,500 respondents agreed that office-based workers enjoy more benefits and career opportunities than their telecommuting colleagues.

Interaction with colleagues also plays a key role in employees' decisions to reduce working from home and return to the corporate office. 83% of respondents to the Colliers survey believe contact with colleagues to be critical. Less than half cited work environment or technological facilities as main reasons for returning to the corporate office. "This finding suggests that quality working conditions and technical equipment are currently an expected standard rather than an exceptional added value that employees demand from their employers. This is why modernisation of the working environment should be given proper attention," explains Jana Vlková, Director of Workplace Advisory and Office Agency at Colliers.

Opinions differ across generations

The survey also showed that each generation perceives the risks and benefits of working from the office or from home differently. For example, younger Generation Z, represented by workers aged 26 and under, is less concerned about limited contact with colleagues and supervisors. This is a 12% difference compared to other age groups. However, they are, by the same percentage difference, more concerned about worsened career prospects. Differences are also evident in views on the introduction of a four-day work week. Generation Z is a full 16 percentage points more interested in this option than is Generation X. "These differences in perceptions point to the need for a differentiated approach by employers to supporting different employee age groups. And this need will increase as five generations will soon meet in the workplace within the same organisations due to the increasing retirement age," comments Jana Vlková.

A strong company culture will contribute to greater satisfaction

According to the Colliers survey, just under half of respondents currently report overall satisfaction with their jobs. Relationships with colleagues (73%) and company culture (55%) are the most important motivators for staying at work. "Interestingly, financial compensation ranked third in our survey with backing from 54% of respondents. Although this still represents more than half of survey participants, in times of high inflation it is actually a low percentage. It shows that money is not everything," comments Jana Vlková, adding that it is company culture and activities that promote teamwork, knowledge sharing and creating opportunities for informal interactions between employees that can significantly increase satisfaction. This includes various team meetings, company events, joint projects or mentoring programmes. It is also important to use surveys to gather feedback on a regular basis about employees’ needs and concerns. This helps the company better understand employee interests and priorities. The importance of a strong company culture is also evident in the results of a recent survey by ABSL, an association of IT and business services companies. According to that research, a full 89% of companies in that sector reported strengthening corporate culture as one of their priorities for this year.

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