Want to Work at Home in Israel? Find a Job in the High-tech Industry

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File photo: A woman working from home.
File photo: A woman working from home.Credit: StockRocket / Getty Images IL

If you’re an Israeli and want a salary that is not only almost double the national average but offers flexible work hours, including the option of working at home, then the high-tech industry is the place to be, according to a survey conducted by the Israel Institute of Democracy ahead of its annual Eli Hurvitz Economic Conference.

The poll found that a surprisingly large 60% of full-time Israeli workers from all sectors of the economy reported they had some say in when they could arrive and leave their jobs, and 20% said they had the option of working from home.

But among people employed in Israel’s high-tech industry, the number that could set their own hours reached 80% and more than half said they had the option of working at home. Just 10% said they had no flex-time options at all.

There were also a lot of differences between different categories of workers regarding flex time. About 35% of all men reported they had no flexibility at work versus just 26% of women, which probably reflects the fact that working mothers chomore options of when and where to work.

Job flexibility contracts with age: Only 27% of those aged 34 or under said they had no flexibility in the work conditions, while after age 34 that proportion rises to a third. On the other hand, the higher you rise in the ranks, the more flex time you are likely to get: Only 16% of people describing themselves as senior executives said they had no work flexibility while 26% of those in middle management reported they had none.

In what appears to be a sign of employer trust, or perhaps simply a perk for senior employees, 23% of those who get a fixed monthly salary, as against working by the hour, said they have the option of working at home.

Not surprisingly, 85% said they thought flex time improved their job satisfaction while 75% said if improved their performance and helped the organization they worked for.

That more employers won’t allow flex time could be a function of Israel’s out-of-date labor laws, said the poll takers, Dafna Aviram-Nitzan and Yaron Kedar of the IDI.

They found that between a quarter and a third of employers say labor laws don’t encourage the practice. As one example, they cite a case of an hourly employee leaving early one day and making up the lost time the next day. Under the law, he or she would get overtime pay for the extra hours on day two, even though the total hours worked over the two days was equal to the legal minimum.

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