UK tech job seekers clash with employers over remote working expectations

A new report from hackajob reveals that while the Covid-19 pandemic has changed tech workers expectations on remote working, it has set them up for a clash with employers.

The research among 2,000 tech job seekers and employers reveals the extent to which remote working is now an expectation among staff in the industry. 67% of UK technology candidates are now looking to work entirely remotely, with only 13% reporting that locality is an important consideration in their job search. More than half (53%) wouldn’t consider taking a pay cut to work remotely, compared with just 27% who believe this might be necessary to secure remote work.

However, hackajob’s research points to mismatched expectations between employers and potential employees. While businesses think workers most want hybrid working (76%) the same is not true of job seekers. When asked about the benefits they want from a job, more than seven in ten (72%) recruits say remote working while just half (55%) agree with employers that a hybrid working model is preferable.

Demonstrating this mismatch further, one in five job seekers (21%) are looking to leave their current job because of their lack of flexibility from their employer, and a further one in five (21%) say the desire to leave is fuelled by a lack of access to remote working.

Furthermore, while job seekers see no ill effects on the office of this paradigm shift, the same is not true of employers. Half (50%) of tech businesses think it is harder to build a strong team remotely and 54% think remote working negatively impacts office culture. Among recruits, just 22% think working from home negatively affects office culture compared to 37% who think it has a positive impact and 42% who believe it has no impact at all.

“In just 18 months we have seen a decade’s worth of workplace evolution and tech professionals now see working from home as a right rather than a privilege,” says Mark Chaffey co-founder and CEO at hackajob, the tech jobs marketplace behind the survey. “They like the freedom that remote working has given them and want to make it a permanent part of their work lives, but their employers are keen to ensure a return to the office in some form.”

The research shows that currently 59% of workers say their policies require staff to be in the office at least one day a week compared to 39% who either don’t require employees to come in or let them choose for themselves.

“The expectations and demands of both employees and employers are not aligned at the moment,” continues Mark Chaffey. “Tech workers are in demand and our data shows it is a buyer’s market now, so employees seem to be in the driver’s seat. It will be interesting to see what shifts first and what shifts furthest – workers’ expectations about remote working or employers’ demands about being in the office.”

Other key findings from the survey:

  • 40% of job seekers cite poor pay as a reason to leave their current position (important with a significant number of employers planning paycuts for remote workers).
  • 70% of potential recruits are comfortable getting a COVID passport to get a job
  • Just 3% say they would leave a job if there was a requirement to be double jabbed
  • 55% of current remote workers say they’re currently treated the same as their in-office colleagues, with only 11% reporting any disparity

hackajob surveyed 2,000 respondents based in the UK and Europe to understand what matters most to technical talent, including software developers, engineers, data scientists and more. The report explores their experiences in job seeking, technical assessments, perks and benefits, diversity and inclusion, and working life post-Covid-19.

enewsletter