Czech employees generally have good relations with their foreign colleagues. More than half rate them as positive or even excellent. Only a small proportion of people would expressly not want foreign workers among their colleagues, and the majority think they deserve an equal status.
This would mean the same salary as the Czechs, but also no special benefits. These data come from the Up Czech Republic employee barometer, with more than 1,000 respondents from domestic companies.
The employment of foreigners has recently been widely discussed, especially with regard to the integration of Ukrainians into the domestic labor market. However, foreign workers are nothing new for Czechia. According to the Czech Statistical Office, over 800,000 foreign workers worked in Czechia last year, and this number has been growing steadily in recent years.
“The trend of increasing representation of foreigners working in Czechia has been visible for several years. Some are EU citizens who come to work in the Czech Republic because of good working conditions, but others are also citizens of non-EU countries.
One reason for this demand is that the Czech population is getting older. Weak cohorts are entering the labor market and at the same time the number of people retiring is growing rapidly,” explains Stéphane Nicoletti, CEO of Up Czech Republic.
Many international students studying in the Czech Republic will stay there after they graduate. The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research recently released a poll showing that half of students who study long-term in the Czech Republic stay and either find work or continue their education here after they graduate. More so, 69% were already working in the Czech Republic while studying.
Many stay because of the strong labor market in the Czech Republic. The unemployment rate was only 3.4% in May. 88% of Slovak respondents and 68% of all other foreign respondents said that finding a job was easy.
It is therefore not surprising that, according to the current Barometer, 50% of workers have representatives of nationalities other than Czech or Slovak among their colleagues. In most cases, it is several foreigners, not just one. While in Prague people mostly work with foreigners in white-collar positions, in the rest of Bohemia and Moravia they come into contact more with foreigners who work manually.
An open or neutral attitude prevails even among employees who do not yet have foreign colleagues at work. Only 7% of people would definitely not want foreign workers among their colleagues.
“Good relationships and strong social ties between employees are absolutely crucial for companies in the current dynamic era. Therefore, the majority advocates for the creation of a tolerant working environment regardless of age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, health status or nationality,” says Nicoletti.
The prevailing positive attitude of Czechs towards foreign workers is also confirmed by other results of the Barometer. Half of Czech employees describe their working relationships with foreign colleagues as positive or even excellent. On the contrary, only less than a tenth-rate them mostly critically. Others have neutral relations with foreigners in the ranks of colleagues at the workplace.
“Detecting and measuring mood or relationships in the workplace has become more complex due to the hybridization of work. But fortunately, hybrid work has also brought new technologies and online tools that make it possible to maintain relationships and communicate with colleagues remotely. Simple online polls or the possibility to ask the boss anything are popular in our Můj Up platform. Similarly, these tools can also help with relationships in a multicultural work environment,” explains Ela Honická, HR director at Up Čzech Republic.
Same money but no special treatment
The majority of Czech employees also think that foreign workers deserve an equal working status as Czechs. 75% are in favor of foreigners having equal working conditions, and 60% agree with equal pay.
Czechs also prefer equal access when selecting new employees. 2/3 of Czechs think that when filling positions, decisions should not be made based on nationality, but based on a person’s abilities. The majority of Czechs are in favor of allowing foreigners to work legally under comparable conditions as Czechs. This applies mostly to foreign workers from the EU, but also to those from Ukraine.
On the other hand, Czechs are also quite strict with foreigners. For example, only less than a fifth would grant them some special benefits, such as Czech language courses or time off to travel to their homeland. Additionally, few people think that foreigners perform better than Czechs.