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Remote work in Poland

Key takeaways from the EY survey report published in March 2024.

Remote work and hybrid work are nowadays a way of providing work that is often expected by employees. Almost a year after the repeal of telework provisions in the Labor Code and the introduction of the remote mode, 88% of organizations have opted for a hybrid model of work organization. How the new mode and remote work regulations have worked out in practice is shown by the results of the EY survey, ‘Remote Work in Poland.’  

Companies that have adopted the hybrid work model, as a rule, expect employees to be present in the office for a certain predefined amount of time: 43% of companies require presence in the office a minimum of two days a week, and almost half, or 46% of organizations, specify a requirement to work stationary from the office three or more days a week.

The main reasons for this decision are the benefits of live contact. Employers note that this is an important part of team building and organizational culture, all thanks to direct communication, exchange of experiences, knowledge and relationship building among employees. In addition, the undoubted advantages of working from an office include more effective induction of new employees, as well as immediate access to company resources.

Office work also draws a clear line between work and private life, which can become blurred when working remotely. Nevertheless, the choice between desktop, remote and hybrid models should be tailored to an organization’s specifics, business strategy and employee needs. It is crucial to consider a balanced approach, taking into account both the benefits and risks associated with a particular work model. 

“In our experience, adequate rules and regulations for remote work, including in the hybrid model, are important for the successful operation of modern organizations. Such regulations provide a mechanism that helps reduce potential interpretation problems and eliminates ambiguities related to expectations for work that does not take place in a conventional workplace. This reduces potential disputes with employees and authorities. An additional, but equally important, advantage is that a properly configured remote work model has great potential for increasing employee efficiency. Achieving this goal, however, requires both a well-designed communication system and employee engagement,” says Dagmara Leonik, EY Poland, People Advisory Services, Manager

New opportunities for organizations, but not in every industry

Thanks to technology, companies now have more freedom to find talent wherever they are. Increasingly, they are beginning to work within the concept of the global village, where an employee’s skills are most important, and where they live is only a secondary detail. Also noteworthy is growing interest in B2B work models, known as GIGs. These models are even more flexible and do not require stationary work, making them an attractive choice for many freelance experts. However, when thinking about new opportunities for forming relationships in the labor market, one should not forget about the human aspect of work and finding the right balance between flexibility and the need for human interaction.

“As the last few years have shown, remote work undeniably opens up new horizons. The talent search area is no longer limited to the local market, but is becoming global. Models such as work-life blending, which allow for a seamless intertwining of professional and personal responsibilities, especially among younger generations, are growing in popularity. At the same time, we are seeing increased interest in flexible collaboration models, such as B2B, the so-called GIG, which offer even more opportunities,” says Eliza Skotnicka, EY Poland, People Advisory Services, Senior Manager

As one can easily guess, remote work has proven itself primarily for companies in the services sector, mainly due to the ability to provide it remotely without direct contact with the client. Among those surveyed, 64% of companies in the service industry fully allow employees to work remotely. In the manufacturing industry, only 30% of companies say that remote work can be provided at their company – most often for administrative positions. The size of the company is also significant for the implementation of this work method.

“In the context of remote work, the size of the organization can matter. Large companies, thanks to their resources, are better prepared to introduce new work models and adapt to their requirements. For smaller companies, on the other hand, implementing remote work may require recognizing and appropriately addressing their specific challenges and investing in resources that will enable them to effectively adapt to new employee trends,” says Witold Widurek, EY Poland, People Advisory Services, Partner.

Allowances for remote work

In addition to preparing the system’s assumptions and regulations for remote work, application templates and other documents necessary to handle the process, one of the main challenges employers faced was deciding how to cover the costs associated with remote work, i.e. whether to pay employees a lump sum or an allowance, and how to calculate it. The results of the survey showed that 84% of the surveyed companies, however, decided to pay employees a lump sum. The catalog of costs that can be included in the lump sum granted by the employer is not closed. Depending on the method adopted, as long as it is justified in terms of the provision of work remotely by the employee, the costs can vary. Therefore, the amounts of the lump sum vary from tens to even hundreds of zlotys per month. At the same time, 90% of companies have documentation confirming the calculation of the lump sum in case of an audit.

“For the future, it is worth taking care to verify the correctness of the calculation of the lump sum, to professionally valorize its amount, etc., because there is a certain risk involved in determining the amount of the lump sum due to the employee. If it is determined too high, the employer runs the risk of being accused of paying the employee an undue benefit that is not subject to income tax or social and health insurance contributions. On the other hand, if the lump sum is set too low, the employer exposes itself to the possibility of employees claiming payment of a lump sum that corresponds to the actual costs incurred by them for performing remote work at the location designated by them,” says Marta Larwa, EY Poland, People Advisory Services, Senior Manager, Tax Advisor.

Sylwia Ziemacka
Sylwia Ziemacka
“I believe our unique selling point is that we focus on what brings us together. Poland Weekly offers something you will not find anywhere else: a truly international and unifying perspective focused on content that builds cooperation and mutual understanding. This attitude doesn't make us naïve, but it allows us to focus on mutual understanding and a search for solutions. There are so many new challenges that we are all facing, such as energy transformation, climate change and supply chain disruption, to name but a few. By working together and sharing good practices, we can achieve so much more.”