In a bid to keep top tech talent in the building, some tech companies have resorted to extraordinary perks, from free sushi at lunch to in-house gyms and dry cleaning. But is the talent actually happy? According to a new survey, software engineers, developers, and sysadmins are pretty miserable in the office.
The company conducting the survey, TinyPulse, asked 5,000 employees in the tech space about their individual experience on the job, including overall happiness. Only 19 percent of respondents felt overwhelmingly positive about their work life; another 17 percent said they felt valued at work; and a mere 47 percent believed they had strong relationships with co-workers.
Compared with the responses from employees in marketing and finance (also surveyed by TinyPulse), those numbers are dismal. In addition to generalized unhappiness, only 36 percent of tech employees felt their promotion and career path were clear—compared to 50 percent of non-tech employees.
“There’s widespread workplace dissatisfaction in the tech space, and it’s undermining the happiness and engagement of these employees,” TinyPulse concluded. “The problem goes beyond workplace satisfaction—Gallup found that engagement is one of the key ingredients for employee innovation.”
These survey results indicate something that should be obvious to any company, large or small: While conventional perks are great, employees are also looking for a broader sense of mission, and want to feel that they’re valued by the larger organization. Encouraging strong relationships between co-workers can also help mitigate feelings of unhappiness. Free sushi only goes so far.