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Polish Employees Prioritize Flexibility: Half Want Hybrid Work, Remote Work Popular in IT Sector

CAREERSPolish Employees Prioritize Flexibility: Half Want Hybrid Work, Remote Work Popular in IT Sector

Polish employees are seeking greater flexibility from their employers regarding the location of their work, with over half desiring a hybrid work arrangement. Moreover, nearly one in five would consider changing jobs if their company shifted to a fully on-site employment model. According to research conducted by ASM Research and the job portals rocketjobs.pl and justjoin.it, 30% of respondents would be willing to give up some benefits, and 21.5% would consider a cut in their salary to maintain their current work mode. To return to the office full-time, those surveyed would expect a salary increase of at least 20%.

The study, conducted in April 2024 with over 800 office workers, found that 46% currently work on-site, slightly over one-third work in a hybrid model, and about 19% are fully remote. The desired mode of work is significantly different from the current one, with only one in five wanting to work entirely on-site and the most preferred arrangement being hybrid work, favored by 51.2% of respondents. Remote work is preferred by 27% of those surveyed.

In the IT sector, which has been a pioneer in remote work, flexible employment forms are more popular. One-third of respondents work entirely remotely, and 42% in a hybrid model. Only 7% would like to work on-site, with the majority—54.7%—preferring a hybrid model. Nearly 40% of IT sector respondents expect fully remote work.

The job portal rocketjobs.pl also examined how employees would react if their employer decided to switch to full-time office work. Among all office workers, four out of ten would accept their employer’s decision and adapt to the new reality, while another four would approach their supervisor to negotiate work conditions. However, most importantly, two out of ten would start looking for a new job. In IT, this percentage is slightly higher at 23.7%.

As Justyna Krzewska, HR Generalist at justjoin.it and rocketjobs.pl, points out, this is a clear signal for employers. Today’s employees expect flexibility from their work environment and want to work on their own terms. This does not necessarily mean they demand perpetual home office; they also value office work (over half of white-collar workers prefer a hybrid model). However, they wish to have autonomy in choosing their work location, which they believe allows for greater efficiency. Employers who consider these expectations can often count on greater loyalty and commitment from their employees, says the expert.

To accept full-time office work, respondents would be motivated by a salary increase of 20% or more (66.5% of responses), a free city pass or company car (48.2%), additional training, workshops, and other personal development activities (39.4%), or free lunches (35.3%).

The survey also asked what hybrid and remote employees would be willing to give up to maintain their current work mode. 30% indicated they could forego some benefits, and 21.5% would even consider a salary reduction. Interestingly, respondents from the IT sector are less willing to give up benefits than the general office worker population (26% in IT vs. 30% overall).

Regarding specific benefits office workers could do without, every second respondent could sacrifice a sports card and subsidies for language courses. One in three would be willing to give up additional group insurance and company integration events. 14.5% answered that to maintain remote or hybrid work, they could do without bonuses or commissions.

Does the place of work matter, or should only the results count? Does anyone besides employers and employees care where the work is done, as long as duties are fulfilled? What work models prevail in different parts of the world? These are just a few of the issues addressed in a series of interviews and articles by Just Geek IT magazine under the hashtag #MissionLocation. Adam Łopusiewicz, editor-in-chief of the site, who has been working remotely for 13 years, believes that the role of offices in today’s world, especially in the IT sector, should evolve.

I read somewhere that once someone experiences remote work, they never want to give it up. There is much truth in this. The current market situation favors employers who prefer a hybrid mode of work, and ideally on-site. However, this is not suitable for many employees. Those employed remotely often live 50, 100, or even 150 km from the nearest office. Commuting such distances daily can be more demanding than simply changing jobs, said Adam Łopusiewicz.

In recent years, I have conducted nearly 80 interviews with Polish engineers working remotely, who perform their duties excellently. Their place of residence does not limit them, allowing them to choose from job offers from large, foreign companies. In many cases, remote work later turns into relocation to countries like Italy, Austria, Sweden, Norway, or the United States, he added.

The Polish IT industry pays close attention to how big tech companies respond to market situations. Despite the general trend of at least partial return to offices, they continue to employ remote workers because they value their expertise more than their physical presence in the office. In my opinion, it will take several more years before we return to the pre-pandemic state of work, the expert concluded.

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