Londoners have more freedom to work from home than employees in Paris, according to a survey by Bloomberg Intelligence, suggesting that UK workers have more bargaining power in its tight job market.
The survey, conducted Nov. 15, found that 20% of workers in Paris are not allowed to work from home, while in London the number is 4%. The results from 500 office workers in the UK and 250 in France showed that Londoners have more flexibility overall to work from home, with most having hybrid setups.
Flexible working setups became a way of attracting talent during and after the pandemic when it was hard to recruit. The UK jobs market has shown signs of cooling, with vacancies falling and unemployment rising, but remains tighter than in France. The unemployment rate in July in the UK was 4.3% against France’s 7.4%.
“In terms of compensation for denied WFH, Londoners are also asking more than Parisian counterparts, which could reflect a higher confidence in the job market,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sirine Bouzid said. Despite the slight softening in the UK job market, Bouzid said she hasn’t seen a significant “clampdown on flexibility.”
A majority of Londoners would ask for double-digit pay raises if they could not work from home in their current job, while in the French capital only 28% said they would do the same. On the flip side, one in five Londoners said they would take a pay cut when moving jobs to be able to work from home, more than workers in Paris.
Transportation costs discourage 57% of workers in Londoners from going into the office. Only a quarter of respondents in the French capital cite those costs, but Parisian employers are obliged to bear half of the cost of travel, according to the BI report. Similarly, childcare costs, which are twice as high in London as in Paris, is another issue Londoners cite for working from home.
Those Londoners who are happy to go to the office cite the savings on their home bills. For Parisians, the opportunity for knowledge transfer and networking drives them into offices.
“While energy prices have surged in Europe, the French government have offered some level of cushion, while most of Brits do not enjoy such benefits,” Bouzid said.