Great Resignation? Technology Workers Are Trying A Good Reconsideration
Ernest Ogbuanya migasto the pandemic working from his home in Virginia, near Amazon’s HQ2, which supports the Amazon Web Services network. Work can be stressful — thousands of businesses rely on the Amazon cloud — but Ogbuanya loves to know that work is important, and he can do it without leaving his home. Then Amazon announced that everything would be possible back to the office in January. That didn’t fly for Ogbuanya. So when a manager takes over from a remote job at OutSystems, he jumps at the chance, and even takes the salary. “Being able to work from home permanently is the selling point for me,” he said.
Ogbuanya is not alone in considering his work priorities. Many Americans quit their jobs in the past few months than before, many citing work requirements that are no longer worth the salary. For tech workers — already high-paid and in demand — this has resulted in reshuffling within the industry. Tech workers are moving between jobs with new demands, including the ability to work remotely, greater flexibility in working hours, and more time spent on meaningful tasks.
“When I talk to engineers, one of the things they prioritize, in addition to freedom and flexibility, is exactly how work can be important,” said Kit Merker, COO of Nobl9, a platform trusted by software. . “It used to be about the campus, the benefits, the money. But if you sit at home and don’t have access to the micro kitchen, to the barista, to the massages, what exactly is separating this job from another job?
Merker midagan a conferences for reliable site engineers, and it is said that many people in that line of work have been burned by demands to keep the platforms up and running the pandemic. Companies that make products away from work (Slack, Zoom), video streaming (Netflix), or delivery (Doordash, Amazon) are all facing higher demand, along with higher expectations from customers how well their technology works. Merker says some engineers are skeptical of whether the tension is appropriate. “It gives people existing anxiety,” he said. “Like, ‘I’m making software to help deliver food. That’s nice, but man, it’s killing me.'”
“There are people who say,‘ Now that I think about it, I have a crazy job, ’” said Joseph B. Fuller, who coleads the Future of Work Project at Harvard Business School. That’s one of the reasons he and other economists saw white workers, including those in technology, looking for new jobs last year. Fuller called this event the Great Reconsideration: It’s not a total opt out of the workforce, but a reappraisal of what tech workers can expect to get out of their next job.
A poll from Citrix in September found that 35 percent of tech workers who left a job cited burnout. In their new jobs, 40 percent of workers prioritize flexibility, and another 41 percent are looking for benefits beyond financial security — including broader welfare benefits.
For some, the benefits include less time spent on strenuous tasks and less evening and weekend calling. Zac Nickens, a hiring manager at OutSystems, says job candidates often ask how to divide team work. One advantage, he said, is that his team is distributed across three geographies: some in North America, some in Portugal, some in India and Malaysia. Working in multiple time zones “prevents us from having a standard‘ I call day and night ’rotation,” he says. “We share weekends with teams too, it’s once every 12 weeks there’s a need to call for a week. That’s really appealing to engineers.”
OutSystems is also a remote-first company, which has taken advantage of recruiting engineers like Ogbuanya. While some technology companies have promised to return to an office culture next year, many are finding that their employees are already accustomed to working wherever they want. Deel, an international payroll and compliance startup, saw a 20 percent increase in clients hiring overseas. Others, like Netflix, are expanding their global operations; others, such as Coinbase, have adopted a “remote first” office culture, where employees can work anywhere in the world. But others have to make concessions to talent who want to leave the country. “We had some big companies come up to us and say, ‘My best engineer is going back to Croatia. What am I supposed to do?'” Said Alex Bouaziz, cofounder and CEO of Deel. “They have no choice.”