Flexible work hours, sabbaticals becoming top job perks as employees stay home


The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the Dutch labor market, not only for what jobs are available, but also on the perks offered. “Working from home”, “sabbatical”, and “flexible hours” are terms now used much more often on vacancies, according to job site Indeed, which compared the secondary employment conditions in current vacancies to similar vacancies last year, AD reports.

“There are a lot of changes to be seen,” Arjan Vissers of Indeed said. The use of the term “working from home” increased by a massive 716 percent compared to last year, “sabbatical” by 194 percent, “flexible hours” by 190 percent, and “paid parental leave” by 117 percent.

“Many companies were forced to let employees work from home. And that has brought new insights. Although the situation may soon return to ‘normal’, there will certainly be a change with regard to working from home,” Vissers said. “Employers want to give employees the opportunity to do their job as much as possible, but the work-life balance must not be lost. As a result, conditions such as flexible working hours, paid parental leave or a sabbatical are increasingly common.”

The mention of office-related perks, on the other hand, faded into the background over the past months. Things like free lunch or table tennis at work are hardly ever mentioned anymore. The provision of public transport reimbursements has also declined, but the mention of a company car increased 74 percent. “The vacancies are set for the long term and do not only apply during the lockdown,” Vissers said. “When people go to work many of them prefer to do so by car. Companies are likely to respond much more to this.”