Will companies’ new remote-work policies drive technologists to quit? That’s a pressing question for many executives and HR staffers as offices figure out the best ways to re-open in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists about a range of issues, recently asked more than 5,000 technologists whether they were satisfied with their companies’ remote-work policies—or whether those policies would potentially drive them to quit. Overall, technologists were satisfied with those policies only by the slimmest of majorities (51 percent). More than a third (36 percent) said those policies made them want to quit—a very bad sign for companies doing their best to retain talent at this crucial juncture.
“The companies that allow employees to either fully work from home or apply to do so are likely to retain most of their employees,” Blind concluded. “In contrast, the companies that mandate employees to return to the office will risk losing their employees.” Here’s the full chart breakdown:
It’s worth noting that remote-work policies vary wildly from company to company. For example, at tech giants such as Twitter, virtually all employees have the option to work remotely full-time; at Google and Facebook, “hybrid” schedules (i.e., working in the office a few days per week, alternating with remote work) is the dominant mode; and at Amazon and a few other companies, there’s the expectation that employees will return to an “office-centric” culture.
No matter what the policies, though, technologists have made it clear in survey after survey that they greatly prefer a flexible work schedule. According to the most recent Dice Sentiment Report, some 85 percent of technologists found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable; moreover, some 94 percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old) found a hybrid workplace either somewhat, very or extremely desirable, compared to 84 percent of those aged 35 and older. These younger technologists clearly value the in-person collaboration and mentoring that an office environment provides, but they also want some time at home for uninterrupted “deep work.”
For team leaders and managers, these surveys make it clear how technologists are emerging from the pandemic with clear preferences about how and where they work. A significant portion may also choose to leave a company if they don’t get what they want when it comes to all-remote or hybrid work—a reality that these leaders must recognize and anticipate.