Annoyed your employer is making you come to the office five days a week? And isn’t so understanding anymore when you want to work from Italy for a week?
A ranking published today by Flexa, which helps jobseekers find the tech companies with the most flexible work options, reveals there are still many companies willing to give workplace flexitarians the freedom they want.
What about a company that lets you fly off to Cyprus every now and again? Top of Flexa’s ranking is London-based healthcare staffing platform Locum’s Nest, which will pay for accommodation if employees want to work from Cyprus, where the company’s dev team is based.
Also scoring in the top 10 is seed-stage UK research and consultancy company Prolific — where every other Friday is a “wellness day off” — and Norway’s Zoom-like video conferencing site Whereby, which offers unlimited annual leave and sabbaticals.
UK SaaS unicorn Paddle — which recently laid off around 8% of its workforce — also features high on the list, scoring well for its 16 weeks of fully paid leave for new parents, offers of unlimited time off and the freedom to work in a different country for 45 days a year (the company also provides an Airbnb voucher towards accommodation costs).
The main innovation at Paris-based recruitment tech site Figures, which made 24th on the list, is the nine-day fortnight — meaning you get one day off every two weeks. Staff also only need to come into the office three days every two months.
What makes a company flexible?
Flexa scores work benefits, working hours and the working locations on offer at 180 companies in 70 countries. The companies that score highest offer fully remote or hybrid work plus some good benefits — being dog-friendly is basically mandatory.
The pandemic was the start of this unplanned experiment with a different way of working — few white-collar companies have reversed their shift to more flexible workplaces. But talent professionals say that a more challenging fundraising and economic environment could make leaders rethink their stance on flexibility and generous benefits.
How (and how not) to run a startup.
According to the ranking, SaaS is Europe’s most flexible tech sector: 26% of companies that made the top 100 sell enterprise software. One of these is Cobalt, which offers staff travel bonus payouts on their second, third and fifth work anniversaries (that slightly dubious milestone popularised by LinkedIn).
HR and recruitment is the second-most flexible sector. For example, London’s Fika, which aims to boost employee mental health, scores well for its “Recharge Fridays”, where staff are told not to bother colleagues (so no Slacks or internal calls).
Flexa say the number of jobseekers searching for “remote-first” roles — where staff spend most but not all of their time working remotely — more than tripled between January 2022 and December 2022. During the same period, the number of workers expressing a preference for roles with “fully flexible” working hours increased by 23%.
Companies with 300 employees or less take the top 10 spots, and account for 82% of the overall list. Startups make up 54% of the overall list.