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The top 10 countries for flexible work arrangements

Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
WEF pointed in its report that that countries that are doing better than others are stronger in having an advanced digital economy, strong social safety nets, and robust healthcare systems. Photo: Getty
WEF pointed in its report that that countries that are doing better than others are stronger in having an advanced digital economy, strong social safety nets, and robust healthcare systems. Photo: Getty

The Netherlands is the most prepared country in the world for one of the key areas to battle the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic — flexible work arrangements.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released a special edition of its highly-anticipated Global Competitiveness Report on Wednesday entitled Global Competitiveness Report Special Edition 2020: How Countries are Performing on the Road to Recovery that takes into account how countries have handled the pandemic and how prepared they are to deal with the evolving aftermath.

The report is based on data gathered from 37 countries. While it says that “no country is fully prepared,” to battle the current affects of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged business across the globe, it has identified 11 priorities for countries to focus on to bring back economic growth and one of the sub-indexes that made up a digital pillar was how countries can accommodate flexible working arrangements.

The Netherlands came out top while the United States was ranked fifth. The UK was not in the top 10:

Table: WEF
Table: WEF

Countries and companies around the world have had to navigate a new way of working, with most of the globe having their movements heavily restricted and rules around social distancing preventing working in traditional office spaces.

But it’s countries that have best been able to adapt and provide flexible working, coupled with social safety nets what do well.

In fact, WEF pointed out that countries that are doing better than others are stronger in having an advanced digital economy, strong social safety nets, and robust healthcare systems.

The report focused on:

  • Recovery and revival;

  • assesses the features that helped countries be more effective in managing the pandemic;

  • and provides an analysis of which countries are best poised for an economic transformation towards systems that combine “productivity,” “people” and “planet” targets.

WATCH: World Economic Forum to coordinate business response to virus

“The impact of the pandemic crisis should serve as a wake-up call for countries that need to embrace the digitization process, incentivize companies to move towards digital business models, and invest in ICT development and digital skills,” said the report.

“Two immediate implications follow for reviving economies. First, the technology frontier will move ahead faster than before: private sector spending on technology is only momentarily retracting in 2020, but it is expected rebound strongly in 2021 and companies are expected to almost double their investments dedicated to digital transformation initiatives in the next three years.

“Economies that have been able to upgrade their ICT infrastructure and expand the adoption of digital technologies will be better equipped for the recovery phase, and those that are lagging behind could allocate parts of stimulus packages and policy action to this domain.”

Check out Yahoo Finance UK for more bite-size articles and analysis from the Global Competitiveness Report Special Edition 2020: How Countries are Performing on the Road to Recovery