Negotiating for work benefits such as flexible scheduling can ultimately prove as beneficial to your quality of life as a higher salary. But which benefits do technologists currently have—and which do they really want?
Dice’s new Tech Salary Report gives us some crucial insight on that front. While traditional benefits like health insurance and paid time off remain most important to technologists, there are some emerging benefits that technologists want — but many employers aren’t offering. These “new” benefits include child/elder care options and work-from-home stipends. Take a look at the chart:
Health insurance and paid vacation days remained the most important benefits to technologists in 2021, and many employers are stepping up to offer them. Eighty-five percent of technologists indicated health insurance as an important benefit when evaluating employers, and 83% of employed technologists said they received it. Dental and vision insurance likewise had small benefit gaps between what technologists wanted and most employers offered. Here’s a breakdown of what technologies currently have when it comes to benefits:
As you can see, child and elder care options had a much more significant gap in 2021: 27 percent of technologists cited it as an important benefit, but just 10 percent indicated they receive such a benefit currently. What’s behind this demand? A growing number of technologists have entered the “sandwich generation,” caring for both young children and their aging parents. For these employees, typically aged 35-54 (and usually women), child and elder care benefits can improve productivity and reduce stress. Such benefits also speak to employers’ understanding of our changing culture and the demands many employees face outside of work responsibilities, many of which were spotlighted by the challenges inherent in virtual work spurred by the pandemic.
The opportunity for employers lies with those benefits with the greatest benefit gap — training and education (25 percent benefit gap), work-from-home stipends (24 percent) and stock programs (23 percent). With the post-pandemic increase in remote and hybrid work environments, technologists are expressing interest in a stipend to help them cover the cost of equipment and supplies necessary for at-home work.
Many major tech companies began dispensing work-from-home stipends in 2020 (if they weren’t already offering them). Facebook, Twitter and Google all offer $1,000 remote-work allowances to employees permanently working from home; other tech brands, like Basecamp, issue stipends for specific expenses, such as a monthly fitness allowance or co-working space stipend. Stipends and allowances will obviously differ by company, but they are quickly becoming the tech industry’s trending perk.
Training and education have consistently been an area where technologist wants and needs don’t align with employer offerings, representing a key opportunity for organizations to attract and retain talented technologists. With demand for tech talent at an all-time high, organizations that focus on being a best place to work (culture, flexibility, values) as well as a best place to learn (time, structure, money and support for professional development) can stand out in a crowded marketplace.