Return to the office full-time? No thanks say 86% of UK and European tech professionals

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Surveys
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Are you being forced back to the office?

As restrictions continue to lift and organisations prepare to bring employees back to the workplace, a new report from hackajob has revealed that 86% of technology professionals in the UK and Europe don’t want to return to the office full-time at all.

Only 14% of the 1,700 tech professionals surveyed want to go back to a company office full-time. Around one in four (26%) would like to work remote permanently, while 60% are happy to work from the office occasionally and spend the rest of the week working from home.

“Hybrid working is the new deal breaker for tech professionals,” says Mark Chaffey co-founder and CEO at hackajob, the tech jobs marketplace behind the survey. “The past year has allowed for greater flexibility and freedom like never before. Although working from home may not have been the easiest for individuals this past year, tech professionals clearly find the value in not being in the office every day. Employees are feeling more comfortable and happier working from home, having cultivated a work-life balance. They are just as productive when working from home, even more so in fact thanks to fewer distractions and no commute.

“Giving tech professionals the freedom to choose how and where they work is key to attracting the best talent. The office should remain as an option but businesses must remember there is no one size fits all approach for a market where talent moves quickly. They must give employees what they want – a hybrid working model which provides the best of both worlds.”

Interestingly, the survey reveals that 80% of tech professionals don’t think they will be working for the same company in two years. This suggests employees care more about job flexibility and gratification than permanent jobs, private healthcare and pensions.

Mark adds: “For baby boomers and Generation X, it was quite common to stay in the same company for most of their working lives. Today’s working landscape is different, with millennials and Generation Z open to the concept of job hopping. People changing jobs every year or two can be seen by employers as a red flag but, actually, it shows these people are ambitious, adaptable and knowledgeable – traits that every employer looks for.”

The survey also highlights the need for potential employers to ditch CVs and eliminate the bias that still exists in the hiring process today. More than half (57%) of tech professionals want to be assessed on their skills – not their CVs or indeed their gender, ethnicity, education, sexuality, disability and socio-economic status. In addition, many say blind interview processes are crucial if organisations are to both hire people based on their potential and commit to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace.

While 77% of those surveyed feel their current employer’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) policy is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, a deeper dive into the findings shows there is more work to be done. Nearly a third (32%) of people who do not identify as male rate their company’s D&I policy as either ‘satisfactory’ or ‘poor’. Looking further into the job titles of the respondents certain specialists are not as happy with their current employers’ approach to diversity and inclusion as their colleagues. For example, 43% of systems architects – none of whom identify as male – rate their employer’s D&I policy as either satisfactory’ or ‘poor’. 30% of devops engineers and 28% of back end engineers feel the same sentiment.

Funding Circle is one organisation that is committed to building an inclusive culture and wants to become the best fintech company to work for in the world.

Jatinder Bansal, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Funding Circle, comments: “D&I is a big part of our focus at Funding Circle. Building a diverse team, in simple terms, is great for business. Creating an inclusive culture is what will help us thrive and go further. With the help of hackajob’s platform, we hire engineering talent from so many different backgrounds, enabling us to innovate and keep building the place where small businesses get the funding they need to succeed.”

Other key findings from the survey

  • 76% say flexible working matters the most to them – higher than annual leave (63%), learning and development (62%), private healthcare (47%) and pension (35%)
  • 56% of tech professionals say they are ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ in their current job
  • Respondents are split on the future of work post Covid-19. Half are more likely to move to a new role, while the other half are more likely to stay put
  • 64% say a technical Q&A is the best way to assess technical people during the hiring process, followed by take home technical tests (46%), online technical challenges (42%) and live pair programming (32%)

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