Tech workers want hybrid work, many eyeing new positions and new cities

95% of employees with the option to telecommute plan to continue to do so permanently, citing various career and personal benefits, according to Indeed.

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Image: iStock/jacoblund

In recent months, organizations worldwide have adopted remote work policies to enhance public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.  On Thursday, Indeed released a report detailing tech work sentiment regarding remote work in the months ahead. The Indeed survey involved 616 tech sector employees who worked on-site before the coronavirus pandemic and subsequently began working remotely full time after the onset of COVID-19. Overall, 96% of respondents believe remote work is "here to stay" and 95% of employees with the option to telecommute plan to continue to do so permanently.

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Workers who plan to continue to work from home cited various benefits of telecommuting. For example, 86% cited "increased flexibility and lack of commute," and 83% said remote work enabled them to "meet their home and family responsibilities." The author of the report explains that these responses suggest that remote work allows workers to create a healthier work-life balance.

Not all respondents were equally satisfied with the shift to remote work and one-in-20 respondents said they wanted to return to the office. Of these tech workers, 63% said that telecommuting makes collaboration difficult and 62% cited reduced "social opportunities with coworkers." About half of respondents who wanted to return to the office believe remote work could have a negative impact on their career growth and nearly half said they will look for a new in-office position if their current employer permanently switches to remote work.

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Two-thirds of respondents believe that remote work will create a more inclusive workplace and increase diversity related to gender, disability, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, more than nine-in-10 respondents believe remote work will increase geographic diversity as employers are able to hire candidates from outside of a specific city or region.

Nearly half (45%) of respondents said the switch to remote work will make it less difficult to land a new position. Of these individuals, 78% believe searching for a new job will be easier if they are no longer limited to positions in a specific city, region, or need to "worry about commute times or the headache of relocating."

Six-in-10 employees intend to search for a new position within the next year. Among these respondents, 48% are seeking a better salary, 44% are concerned about layoffs, and 38% are worried about furloughs. Among respondents who said they plan to remain in their existing positions, about half (45%) said they wanted to "see how their employer emerges from the pandemic" and 35% of these individuals said they are "riding things out due to economic uncertainty."

Some workers are already on the move due to a shift toward telecommuting. In fact, 42% of respondents said they had relocated temporarily or moved altogether as a result of coronavirus pandemic-related remote work policies. In order, the top reasons for relocating were improved quality of life (69%) and reduced living costs (50%). About four-in-10 (38%) wanted to be closer to their families.

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In the past, working remotely was often viewed as an employment perk with some organizations allowing employees to work from home periodically. Now, many organizations continue to operate remotely months into the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, six-in-10 respondents said they would take a pay reduction to continue to work from home.

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