Hired: The state of work in tech hubs around the world


Some 53% of tech talent in the San Francisco Bay are concerned about being laid off or furloughed, as are 42% of New Yorkers and 36% of UK respondents, report says.

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Workers are concerned about their jobs and salaries, a Hired report found. The data, released Wednesday, surveyed professionals around the world to determine how compensation and working preferences varied depending on location, gender, age, and parental status.

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

“We published this report to dig deeper into the insights from our annual State of Salaries Report…We wanted to understand how each of these factors impacts things like salary expectations, perception of job security, relocation plans, how a person wants to work post-COVID, and more,” said Hired CEO Mehul Patel.

Hired’s Remote Work: Compensation Trends Report surveyed 2,300 tech professionals on their outlooks regarding work during COVID-19. Focusing a large section of the report on major global tech hubs, the report determined that 53% tech talent in the San Francisco Bay Area are concerned about being laid off or furloughed, as are 42% of New Yorkers and 36% of UK respondents. 

“That’s a meaningful difference, and I believe it could be due in part to the high volume of venture-backed businesses in the Bay Area,” Patel said. “These businesses are often startups, which, while exciting to work for, also fail at a much higher rate than fully-established companies. When you combine that failure rate with the economic impact of COVID-19, it’s easy to see how it could create some anxiety around job security in the Bay Area.”

The coronavirus pandemic hit the enterprise hard, resulting in millions of Americans filing for unemployment in a span of a few months. With employment outlooks appearing to improve or level out, the report identified how employees are feeling now about the current situation.

“As companies of all sizes evaluate how to best support their workforce during these trying times, this data offers a window into what matters most to diverse groups and talent in prominent tech hubs that have been more severely impacted by COVID,” Patel said. “Our insights help employers understand how motivations and priorities influence a candidate’s compensation and remote work preferences. 

“We believe that understanding these differences is critical for companies to not only attract and retain top tech talent, but also foster an inclusive working environment in which people from all walks of life can thrive,” Patel said.

How employees in tech hubs feel

For techies still employed, their view of a salary change over the next six months isn’t optimistic. About 45% of tech talent in the Bay Area, New York, and the UK expect their salaries to remain the same, the report found. 

When looking at relocation, all three locations had similar data, but the motivations for relocation differed. Some 40% of the UK tech talent cited their desire to live in a new place as their main reason for relocating, and New Yorkers said the same (31%). Workers in the Bay Area, however, most cited wanting to move for a lower cost of living (47%).

“it was very interesting that  Bay Area tech talent are more than twice as likely to relocate to live in a less expensive place, despite New York and London also being very expensive markets,” Patel said. “We saw 47% of Bay Area respondents cite the desire to live in a less expensive place as their primary motivator for relocating compared to just 22% of New York and UK respondents. That’s a huge difference, and it stood out immediately when we ran our analysis.”

If remote work remains popular, however, more employees might consider relocating.When asked explicitly what they would do if their employer asked them to work from home full time, 42% of tech talent in the Bay Area and 40% of New York talent said they would move to a less expensive city. 

People aren’t necessarily willing to take a pay cut for remote work though. About 60% of employees across the three locations said they would not be willing to forfeit pay for remote work. 

Workers actually miss the office culture, according to the report. The majority of respondents in all three markets—57% in New York, 66% in the Bay Area, and 61% in the UK—said they would like to return to the office in two to three weeks. 

Along with job outlooks from employees in different markets, the report also identified the variation in views based on gender identity, parental states, and age.

Data based on gender, age, and parental status

When looking at job security, older tech professionals were markedly more worried about losing their jobs. Some 52% of tech talent above the age of 45 said they were concerned about being laid off for furloughed in the next six months, compared with 41% of those ages 35 to 44, 39% of those ages 26 to 34, and 36% of those under 25. 

As for gender, women (47%) were more concerned than men (41%) about losing their jobs, the report found. 

Opinions about possible salary raises were definitely more optimistic with younger employees: Some 67% of respondents younger than 25 expect to receive a raise of up to 20% in the next six months, and 55% of respondents ages 26 to 34 felt the same.

Meanwhile, some 48% of respondents ages 35 to 44 expected a possible raise, and only 34% of. respondents older than 45 thought their salaries might rise. That rate declines even further for respondents older than 45, dropping to as little as 9%.

“This is likely due to the fact that older tech talent simply have more experience working through different economic scenarios,” Patel said. “These are professionals who were in the job market during the 2008 financial crash, and their conservative salary expectations and fears for job security are likely a direct reflection of this experience.” 

Parents were also more likely to expect their salary to drop, with 7% expecting a decline of up to 20% in the next six months, while 53% of nonparents expect a raise.

As for relocation, the data wasn’t surprising: Younger employees without kids are ready to move, while older professionals with kids want to stay put. 

The majority (76%) of professionals younger than 25 said they intend to relocate in five years or less, as did 66% of non-parents. On the other hand, only 36% of professionals older than 45 plan to relocate, and many parents (42%) don’t plan to ever leave their current city, the report found.

“This isn’t terribly surprising, as the older you are the more settled you are, and as a parent myself I certainly understand the aversion to uprooting your child’s life,” Patel said.

Looking at remote salary preferences, older people (37%) were much more willing to take a pay cut to work remotely over younger professionals (28%).

Women were also more likely to choose remote work over pay: Some 29% of women in tech said they would accept a lower adjusted salary to work remotely, while 34% of men said the same, the report found. 

Naturally, parents (34%) said they were more likely to take a pay cut to work remotely and take care of their children, while 30% of nonparents said they’d rather work from home.

Building off of that discovery, older tech talent said they were less likely to want to go back to the office. Some 41% of respondents older than 45 said they wanted to go back, and 39% of parents said the same. 

Across demographics, 50% to 60% of respondents reported a desire to work from the office two to three times per week after COVID-19. Despite these desires, it seems remote work may be the new normal

For more check out Remote work is the new normal. But the tech problems won’t go away on ZDNet.  

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