- A proposed amendment in the Czech Republic would force employers to allow remote work for certain categories of employees, including carers, pregnant women, and parents of children under the age of 15.
- The amendment would also establish a flat-rate monetary contribution to employees for the costs of remote working.
- If it passes, the new rule would make remote work a right — rather than a benefit. Will this catch on?
Remote work was regarded as a novelty before the onset of the pandemic. Then, it quickly became the norm for most office workers.
Now, employers are pushing workers back into the office as they lose money on their empty office spaces.
But many workers aren’t so eager to give up their new way of life, and will look for work that will continue to allow them to work from home or their destination of choice.
Being able to work remotely comes with numerous perks, but perhaps the most important are being able to stay at home with family, as well as avoiding illness in the workplace.
The reality that health is on the line brings up the question of whether remote work is simply a benefit…or if it should it be a right?
The answer isn’t straightforward, but some countries and workplaces are attempting to make this type of flexible work a right.
Legislating remote work options
The Czech Republic does not currently regulate remote work, including when employers should accommodate employees’ work from home requests. But proposed legislation could change that, according to Expats.cz.
The proposed amendments say that employers must allow remote work for certain categories of employees, including carers, pregnant women, or parents of children under the age of 15.
The amendment would also establish a flat-rate monetary contribution to employees for the costs of remote working.
If it passes, ČT24 reported, the new rule would make remote work a right — rather than a benefit.
Employers might also be obligated to pay remote employees’ electricity, heat, and trash costs (all the costs of working from home).
If the proposal passes in the Czech Republic, it’s possible other countries and organizations will follow suit — especially if it proves to be beneficial for employers and the country as a whole.
Rights vs. preferences
Allwork.Space spoke to a few workplace leaders about whether they agree that remote work is a right rather than a benefit.
Jeff Schwartz, VP of Insights & Impact at Gloat, told Allwork.Space that because the workplace and workforce have undergone significant changes, in-person, virtual, and hybrid workplaces are part of the norm and are here to stay.
“A purposeful, flexible, and opportunity-focused work environment is what employees want. If it is through working remotely that an organization can achieve this type of work environment, then so be it,” Schwartz said. “At Gloat, we believe that there are key advantages to in-person collaboration. However, while we have found managers and employees believe in and want in-person collaboration, it should not be a mandatory policy. Companies should take this case by case to ensure overall company culture and productivity.”
Christina Gialleli, Director of People Operations at Epignosis, told Allwork.Space that, essentially, businesses should do what needs to be done in order to operate effectively.
“Let’s be real, the bottom line is for the business to be able to run efficiently. So, if the business model, processes and people make it work, it can definitely be the norm. I don’t particularly like the term ‘right’ though; it’s all subjective and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” Gialleli told Allwork.Space.