Flexible Work – When Desire And Reality Meet

Flexible working hours and locations were already at the top of the employees’ wish list before Corona. However, as the Kienbaum Benefits Survey shows, only a few companies had planned to offer such options as early as the beginning of 2020. Now top benefits have become a necessity.

From an employee’s point of view, the self-determined choice of working hours and place of work is the most attractive benefit an employer can offer.

This is shown by the most recent survey of around 4,800 employees in the DACH region conducted by the employer rating portal Kununu: 71 percent of those surveyed described flexible working hours and 55 percent the option of a home office as the top additional benefit, for which they would forego an average of eleven percent of their salary if necessary.

A survey by @kununu shows:

For more home office possibilities more than half of the employees would give up an average of eleven percent of their salary.

Companies in the DACH region are not unaware of these wishes: According to the Benefits Survey by Kienbaum, a survey of 109 companies carried out in parallel to the Kununu Study, flexible working hours are among the top benefits from the point of view of the personnel managers surveyed. In more than 93 percent of the companies, they apply at least selectively to certain employee groups, in 65 percent to all employees.

Most important employee benefit: Free choice of time and place


At the time of the survey at the beginning of 2020, one in two companies granted flexibility in the choice of work location to individual employee groups and 31 percent of companies granted it to all employees.
The option of taking time off work on specific occasions, such as a wedding or a birth, which goes beyond the legally required level and which 79 percent of the companies allow all employees, remains popular.
Sabbaticals, i.e. a fixed period of leave, are also offered by 53 percent and thus already by over half of the companies.

“We had already asked our participants the questions in pre-crisis times and can, therefore, access uninfluenced figures. This makes it all the more exciting to see that a flexible choice of time and place was and is a must-have among the additional benefits at any time,” reports Nils Prüfer, Director in the Compensation and Performance Management department at Kienbaum.

Kienbaum describes as “must-have” services that more than two-thirds of the companies consider indispensable and that are offered by more than one fifth.

Home office opportunities before Corona: improvements were planned

Before Corona, however, home office options, in particular, were still in need of further development: regular work on one or more days a week in a home office equipped at least partially by the employer allowed only 24 percent of the companies surveyed to work across all employee groups.
The most common arrangement for making the workplace more flexible was to make specific prior arrangements for individual days.

However, improvements were planned: at the time of the survey, 13 percent of the companies surveyed stated that they intended to introduce more flexible working hours and workplace regulations, while six percent had already made adjustments in the implementation.

Companies that were still in the planning phase mostly stated that they were considering how the offer could be harmonized or adapted for different target groups.

In the meantime, this planning has probably been overtaken by (corona) reality: In a survey conducted by the digital association Bitkom on March 18, 2020, 49 percent of the employees surveyed stated that they currently work in their home office.