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Trends and new regulations on remote jobs in Poland

May 17, 2024job market, Poland, work, work abroad0 comments

A man sits on a chair with his hands folded behind his head

Trends and new regulations on remote jobs in Poland

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the way we function professionally, and as a result there have been significant changes in remote work and hybrid models. Companies around the world, including Poland, have begun to recognize the advantages of remote work. At the same time, they are forced to adapt to the changing demands of remote and hybrid work models. Let’s take a look at recent trends, challenges and changes taking place in the Polish labor market based on the latest data and insights from industry experts.

Definitions of remote work in Poland

The definition of remote work and occasional remote work is one of the key new issues. Polish labor law now formally recognizes these concepts, which creates a legal framework for employers and employees. 

According to Article 6718 of the Labor Code, “Work may be performed completely or partially at a place designated by the employee and agreed with the employer on a case-by-case basis, including at the employee’s home address, in particular using means of direct communication at a distance (remote work).”

The Labor Code provides for both total remote work and hybrid remote work, i.e. work done partly at home and partly at the company, according to the needs of the individual employee and the employer.

Under the new regulations, an employee who is hired on a full-time basis will also gain a new right to request up to 24 days of remote work per year from the employer, known as occasional remote work. The new changes therefore contribute to greater flexibility of work performed. 

However, in addition to these positive changes, there are new obligations and rules of remote work for employers, especially with regard to covering remote work by employees.

 

Changes in employers’ obligations

New regulations on remote work create new obligations for employers, including establishing work regulations:  policies and guidelines for remote work, creating personal data procedures and data protection, implementing health and safety protocols or modifying employee contracts. 

Employers are required to provide the necessary materials and work tools, including technical equipment, for remote work and to cover the costs associated with it for their employees. Provisions on remote work also provide for an employee’s use of private work tools, such as a laptop, in the event that both parties to the employment relationship agree. In such a case, the remote employee is entitled to a cash equivalent in the amount agreed with the employer.

The employer is also obliged to provide the employee whose work is performed remotely with the training and technical assistance necessary to perform work. 

An employee’s remote work brings costs, such as the need to cover expenses such as energy bills, which can be challenging to calculate. Employers should take into account market prices and the amount of materials and tools consumed on working remote in Poland.

 

Conditions for determining remote job 

Both the employee and the employer have the right to request a change in the terms of the contract in case of remote work. The employer may request the employee to work under the conditions of remote work in certain situations. This may include a condition when the employer is temporarily unable to provide safe working conditions. 

Employees also have their rights and can request remote work in certain circumstances, i.e. a pregnancy, an employee raising a child under the age of 4, or an employee who supervises the care of another family member with a disability certificate. 

Both the remote workers and the employer have the right to withdraw from remote work in favor of on-site work. Together, they should then set a deadline for reinstating working conditions on a traditional basis. 

An employee who wishes to work remotely can hold jobs in different locations, as long as each location is approved by the employer. In the event of a change in work location, the employee should inform the employer. 

 

The Evolving Work Market in Poland: Trends and Insights on working from home

In recent years, the work market in Poland has experienced significant shifts, influenced by global trends and local dynamics. Let’s take a look into the current tendencies in the Polish work environment, drawing from recent data to highlight key changes and emerging trends.

 

Labor Policy and Remote Work in Poland: Conclusions from a recent industry meeting

As Recruitment agency in Poland we are part of different association of companies. In May we joined a call with other companies (around 40) active in the Polish market.

These are the findings of the call:

Over the past six months, only 11.9% of companies have altered their work policies, indicating a relatively stable approach despite the broader industry trends. 

  • No changes: 88.1%
  • Changes implemented: 11.9%

This stability could be a result of companies having already adapted their policies during the earlier stages of the pandemic or being cautious about making further changes.

Work from Abroad Flexibility

When it comes to the number of days employees are permitted to work from abroad annually, the responses indicate a cautious approach:

  • N/A: 54.8%
  • Up to 30 working days per year: 16.7%
  • Up to 20 working days per year: 11.9%
  • Up to 15 working days per year: 4.8%
  • Up to 10 working days per year: 2.4%
  • Up to 2 months per year: 2.4%
  • Up to 3 months per year: 2.4%
  • Up to 6 months per year: 2.4%
  • Unlimited: 2.4%

A significant majority either do not allow working from abroad or have not specified a policy (N/A). However, a notable segment, 16.7%  offers up to 30 days, reflecting a flexible yet controlled approach.

Issues with Local vs Corporate Work from Office Policy

Challenges arise when aligning local and corporate work-from-office policies, with 28.6% of respondents reporting issues. 

Those reporting issues cite increased attrition and challenges related to potential unfair treatment under labor law as primary concerns.

Work From Home Trends

The extent of fully remote work varies widely:

  • Below 10% fully remote: 57.1%
  • 10-20% fully remote: 21.4%
  • 40%+ fully remote: 14.3%
  • 21-30% fully remote: 4.8%
  • 31-40% fully remote: 2.4%

This distribution shows that while remote work is becoming more common, a significant proportion of the workforce still operates primarily from the office.

Incentives for Office Work

To encourage office attendance, some companies offer benefits:

  • Yes: 43.9%
  • No: 56.1%

A slight majority (56.1%) of companies do not offer specific benefits or incentives for office work, which may reflect a shift towards valuing remote work as part of the standard employee experience.

Office Attendance

Most employees work from the office 1-3 days a week (66.7%), suggesting a strong preference for hybrid work models that balance remote work with office presence. 19% of employees work from the office 1-3 days a month. Only a small portion (4.8%) work from the office 4-5 days a week.

This trend highlights a dominant hybrid model where employees split their time between home and office.

Hybrid Work Model

The hybrid work models in place vary:

  • Uniform Rules for Everyone: 45.2%
  • Flexible based on teams: 40.5%
  • Policy applied globally: 31%
  • Dependent on role: 26.2%
  • Fully flexible: 7.1%
  • Other: 7.1%

There is a clear preference for either universal rules or team-based flexibility, with a smaller proportion offering full flexibility.

Trends in office work (2021-2024)

Office attendance has fluctuated but shows a gradual increase:

  • May 2021: 5.6%
  • May 2022: 21%
  • May 2023: 24.7%
  • May 2024: 24.6%

Forecast for June 2024: 25.6%

The average daily percentage of employees working from the office steadily increased from 5.6% in May 2021 to 24.6% in May 2024, with a projection of 25.6% in June 2024. This trend suggests a gradual return to office environments, albeit at a moderate pace

IT Industry Perspective 

In the context of the IT industry, which plays an important role in Poland, different approaches and preferences of employees are evident. According to Bulldogjob’s 2023 report, 65% of IT workers participating in the survey worked remotely and 27% on a hybrid model. More than half, 54%, of those surveyed indicate working remotely as their preferred mode of work and only 9% work fully from the office. When asked about the number of days respondents would like to work remotely, 54% said every day, 29% 3-4 days and only 3.6% said they did not want to work remotely. These results indicate that the majority of candidates in this industry prefer flexible working, such as hybrid work, which allows them some freedom to choose where they work. 

There are occupations where the tendency to work remotely is higher than others. Due to the nature of some jobs, remote work may be a better choice that affects the employee’s efficiency and workflow. However, there is still a need for face-to-face interaction in some jobs, which influences decisions to work on-site. Therefore, it is worthwhile for employers to listen and take into account the capabilities and preferences of their employees when writing employment contracts. 

From the companies’ perspective, on the other hand, onsite work can often prove to be a more desirable choice. Our own observations show that most employers have decided to return fully or partially to the office after the pandemic. 

Conclusion

The Polish labor market is characterized by a cautious approach to remote and hybrid work, with an emphasis on structured policies and gradual adaptation to new work models. While most companies have not changed their work policies recently, there is a clear trend toward hybrid models and a balanced approach to office presence. Companies are focusing on recruiting, retaining employees and maintaining a positive work culture in the face of these changes.

The dynamic transformation in the way we work is now noticeable. Remote and hybrid work are becoming more common, and appropriate regulations are key to ensuring the smoothness and security of this process. The challenge for employers and employees is to balance flexibility with the need for social interaction.

At ITSelecta Recruitment, we have supported companies in recruiting talent for fully remote, hybrid and on-site positions. We are ready to help your company as well, tailoring the recruitment process to your company’s specific needs, both in and out of the office.