Dice’s recent survey of 1,600 technology professionals reinforced what other studies have been saying throughout the year: many people within the tech industry like their jobs, but struggle for work-life balance. For a healthy percentage of respondents, salary also had an enormous influence on their career decisions, to the point where many would uproot their lives and move to another city or even region for a higher-paying job.
More than a quarter (27 percent) of surveyed professionals thought that work-life balance is a myth. Nearly half (47 percent) wanted more of a work-life balance. On the flip side, a mere 5 percent said that work-life balance wasn’t a top priority for them.
While a majority of tech pros (58 percent) said they were happy with where they lived (and another 33 percent rated themselves as somewhat happy), significant percentages thought that housing was too expensive where they lived, and their commutes too long and rough. Only 12 percent of tech pros in major tech cities (such as San Francisco) thought there was enough housing available, for example; another 8 percent thought their city offered the right combination of mass-transit options.
Although many were happy with their current location, a majority of respondents were willing to move to a new city or state; some 55 percent said they would move to another city for a job with a higher salary.
For those employers who want to draw the best talent in 2016, offering high salaries is a good first step, but probably not sufficient; there’s clearly a widespread desire on tech professionals’ part for more balance in their lives. Companies that offer greater flexibility in workflow—such as the option to work from home—likely have a better chance of attracting experienced workers.
Employees who want better work-life balance at their next company should take the time to research a prospective employer’s culture and work environment. Interviewers will (usually) prove only too happy to break down a firm’s work-life initiatives. And if you’re already at a company that doesn’t do enough to ensure your life is balanced, take the initiative by outsourcing tasks, scheduling your own downtime, exercising, and removing what doesn’t matter.