Europeans want remote working and more leave

Workers across Europe are asking for work-life balance through benefits such as remote work options, four-day weeks and additional annual leave, according to new research.

Integrated workforce management platform provider Pro Unlimited published its January 2022 Europe labor market report, which it says is based on billions of data points related to professional and technology roles.

This revealed that employers across the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Germany are facing a crunch for skilled talent amid a strengthening labour market, so are actively increasing pay rates and boosting benefits offerings to attract workers.

The research discovered that additional paid annual leave was a key priority for workers in Germany and the UK, where staff also desire access to sports and fitness equipment. Free food, team events and parking spaces were found to be popular in Germany.

Flexible and remote working options were common across the board, with many Irish businesses offering four-day weeks. Belgian organisations are providing staff with private health insurance to help attract and retain talent, while Dutch firms are enticing workers with educational subsidies and reduced work hours.

Pay rates for IT talent across all five countries increased by 12% in the latest survey, while pay for data engineers increased 20%.

The time needed to fill open positions for IT skill sets rose by nearly a full week, from 14.9 days in 2020 to 21.5 days in 2021.

Dustin Burgess, senior vice president of NorthStar HCM, a division of Pro Unlimited, said the analysis shows that job vacancies across the UK and Europe are outpacing available workers, creating a battle for talent.

“Employers looking to stay competitive are best served with a data-based talent acquisition strategy,” he said.

“Deep visibility into talent availability, competitive pay rates, worker preferences and more will help firms fill positions faster with the right talent and stay agile.”