Main image of article Do Tech Pros Actually Want to Stay in Their Current Jobs?

For quite some time, companies faced an epidemic of “quiet quitting,” where employees did the absolute minimum to keep their jobs. Now one publication is suggesting a new twist on the angry-workers theme: “grumpy staying.”

That’s Business Insider’s term for those employees who begrudgingly decide to stay at their current company despite low morale and little faith in leadership. As evidence of the trend, the publication cited an internal poll from Microsoft, in which 47 percent of employees said they’d stay if a rival company served up a comparable offer—down from 70 percent in late 2022. Another internal poll from Salesforce suggested only a minority of employees feel good about their long-term futures or the company’s ability to retain workers.

Two internal polls don’t make a trend, of course. But whether or not you think “grumpy staying” is a real movement, it’s clear that fewer workers are quitting their jobs despite rising irritation over issues such as pay and remote work.

For example, a recent Axios analysis of data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey found that the rate of people quitting their jobs dropped to 2.4 percent in April, approaching pre-pandemic levels. “That is just a tick (0.1 percentage point) higher than the quits rate in February 2020—and roughly in line with the average quits rate in 2019,” the publication added. “At the height of the Great Resignation, the overall quits rate most recently peaked at 3 percent in April 2022, when there were roughly 4.5 million quits in a single month.”

However, many employees—especially in tech—don’t always like what their companies are doing. Some 45 percent of 2,363 respondents recently told Dice (via LinkedIn poll) they’d stick with their current employer only if they had a hybrid work option (i.e., returning to the office just a few days per week)—and that’s despite an increasing push by companies to bring people back to the office. According to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report, 30 percent of employees were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their salaries in 2022, which is high enough to give retention-minded employers some pause.

But widespread fears of an economic recession, combined with rampant layoffs at some of tech’s biggest companies, have dissuaded many tech employees from jumping ship quite as easily as they did before, despite their possible concerns over remote work, salary, and other factors. Like so much in tech, though, this situation won’t last—when things stabilize again, employees will feel more inclined to actually pursue better opportunities. Employers need to be prepared for that eventuality.