We see ourselves at a turning point in the field of human resources. The generations dominating the labour market both now and in the years to come are those looking for different working conditions, such as flexible hours, the ability to work from home, better work–life balance and more focus on their private life in general.
The consequences are already visible: several European countries are experimenting with a six–hour working day and look to offer more flexibility to their employees. Currently, these “privileges” are more present in the ICT industry, due to high demand for its experts. But companies are gradually recognising the importance of offering their employees more flexibility.
Such practices are still rarely feasible in Croatia, primarily due to laws that do not recognise the term “work from home”. The penalties for non–compliance are quite high and this represents a major problem for many IT and start–up companies.
In Croatia, there is, however, great interest in self–employment and retraining. For this reason perhaps, the country has already enabled its citizens to open simple companies – i.e. small businesses – under favourable conditions. Some of these fresh, young companies have already developed their business and are now even hiring.
In terms of flexible working hours, in most Croatian companies this is unfortunately still more the exception rather than the rule. This is the after–effect of the traditional management style still widely used by Croatian managers. Only with changing attitudes across the board, led by employees “voting with their feet” will the country’s business leaders eventually benefit from these trends rather than curtailing them.