Do Technologists Want Flexible Work More than Paid Time Off?

Technologists care about their salaries—but they care just as passionately about their benefits, which can have a sizable impact on their careers and overall work-life balance.

As part of its 2022 State of Tech Salaries report, Hired.com asked more than 2,000 technologists about their various preferences, including benefits. As the following data from the report makes clear, technologists really care about a flexible work schedule—to the point where it even eclipses health insurance and retirement benefits, as well as paid time off:

The data from Hired.com is supported by other recent surveys. This summer, for example, a survey by McKinsey & Company (based off responses from 25,000 respondents) had workers citing greater pay, better career opportunities, and flexible working arrangements as their top three reasons for potentially seeking a new job. In Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, 85 percent of technologists indicated that hybrid work was anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable in an employer (with younger technologists, that number rose to 94 percent). At big tech companies such as Google and Apple, which have already embraced a hybrid work policy, employees are pushing for even more flexibility.

Lack of flexibility will also drive technologists from their roles. For team leaders and managers, this presents both a danger and an opportunity. Offering a flexible schedule (and other benefits) can help them hire and retain technologists, even if rivals with more restrictive scheduling are offering higher salaries. But if your company wants all employees back in the office full-time, it could create significant issues with morale and retention.

It’s also clear that, by this point, flexibility is baked into many organizations’ culture. The latest edition of Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Salary crunched data from 58,958 respondents worldwide and found that around 42 percent were fully remote; another 42 percent were hybrid; and 14 percent were fully in-office. “Smaller organizations are most likely to be in-person, with 20 percent of 2-19 employee organizations in-person,” that report added. “The largest organizations, with 10k employees, are most likely to be hybrid.”

For technologists everywhere, that means lots of opportunities to find a job where the schedule works for you. If you’re unhappy with the flexibility in your current job, you can also negotiate with your manager for a different schedule or more days working from home, especially if you have skills vital to the organization.