Would You Quit Rather Than Go Back to the Office?

With the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rate on the rise and companies figuring how to best open back up, technologists everywhere are steeling themselves for yet another readjustment: Having spent the past year working from home full-time, they’ll need to start coming back to the office. And many aren’t happy about that fact.

Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists about a range of issues, recently asked its audience if they would quit if forced to give up working from home. Some 35 percent said that they’d resign their jobs, while 11 percent indicated that they’d already negotiated to work from home on a permanent basis. 

“Not interested in going back in the office full time. I’m focusing on remote opportunities to avoid returning,” one anonymous technologist who works at Bloomberg told Blind.

Others had a more nuanced opinion, as exemplified by one Facebook employee who said: “It depends, if WFH is mandatory but company onsite perk is good I’m happy to go back. Otherwise, I either fight for hybrid WFH or quit.”

On a company-by-company basis, pretty much every tech giant featured a not-insignificant percentage of technologists willing to quit if they were forced to head back to their office desks on a full-time basis. Check out the chart: 

If technologists are serious about quitting, it could present issues for some of these companies. For example, Amazon has announced that it expects employees to embrace an “office-centric culture” once things re-open—in other words, that Amazonians will have to venture back into the office. While it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Amazon may allow valuable technologists to work from home on a case-by-case basis, technologists at the company may find that generalized negativity toward remote work off-putting. And that could drive a subset of those technologists into the waiting arms of another company.

It’s clear from numerous surveys that technologists prefer either remote or flexible options when it comes to work. As we move forward, executives concerned about technologist retention should keep that in mind.