Two-thirds of tech professionals may wave goodbye to current employers if flexible working isn’t available

To attract and retain top talent, businesses must redefine what good employment looks like in this new era of work, NearForm research reveals.

Tramore, COUNTY WATERFORD, IRELAND – 8 MARCH 2022 – While it’s clear that today’s hybrid working landscape is here to stay, it seems that this shift in working patterns is now viewed as a right, not a perk, by the majority of tech professionals, with a new survey finding that 67% would consider leaving a company if they couldn’t work remotely. That is according to research conducted by NearForm, a remote-first leader in building cloud native digital products and teams.

Having been remote-first for the past 10 years, and bolstered by the belief that tech talent shouldn’t have to move to traditional tech hubs to have a brilliant career, NearForm has been leading the way at a time where companies have slowly begun shifting more decisively to hybrid and remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey of over 400 tech professionals across six continents explored the opportunities and challenges faced by the technology sector as people adjust to new priorities and create new expectations around workplace flexibility, experience, and life balance. The impact of the competitive, fast-paced talent market continues to be felt globally, with almost two thirds (63%) of tech professionals believing that their company will struggle to find and retain talent over the next 12 months.

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When it comes to what candidates are looking for in a new role, results show a consequential change in how employees view and approach work. Aside from salary, which unsurprisingly remains the top priority for 89% of respondents, a further 78% value elements which contribute to their overall working experience – such as learning and development opportunities, a strong company culture, remote working, and flexible hours – over more tangible factors such as benefits and office location. As such, base reward benchmarking is now a minimum hurdle for companies, who now have to pay much closer attention to the changing needs of a workforce who are now valuing location flexibility over a next-generation office space.

Cian O’ Maidin, founder & president of NearForm, says: “We live in a new era where workers no longer need to be physically co-located to get their jobs done. It is no longer necessary for a person to have to move to a big city in order to have high-quality career opportunities. In fact, high costs of living mean that a person living in a large city has to earn significantly more in order to have an equivalent quality of life as those living in less populated areas. Furthermore, the amount of time spent commuting to and from work can often add up to multiple hours each day and adds an economic burden on commuters. In the software industry, the reality is that there are more jobs available than people to do the jobs – therefore quality of life, employee experience, culture and personal development are critical elements of providing people with an environment where they are happy to stay.”

As society moves into a new hybrid working world, debates have surfaced over the remuneration levels required for those in fully-remote roles. However, only just over a quarter (26%) of employees would accept a pay cut to continue working from home, highlighting the delicate balance that must be maintained for organisations looking to retain and attract top talent.

James Madeley, People Director at NearForm, adds: “These findings represent a clear call-to-action for employers wanting to find and keep the best talent in a challenging and transforming market. It is crucial that businesses move on from outdated location-centric models of work and redesign employment around an experience-first framework, encompassing remote and flexible working options and improved quality of life. Only those employers that re-evaluate their company culture to apply wholesale and permanent change in their offering will be able to entice and keep star talent in the months ahead.”

Learn more about our findings, and how to maintain performance in times of digital transformation during the tech talent crisis in our upcoming webinar.

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