Main image of article Data Shows Key to Your Return-to-Work Plan is Flexibility

There has been a prevailing notion out there that all technologists want to work remotely, all the time. Many do, but what technologists are telling us is that flexibility is perhaps even more important.

In this article, we dive into data presented in the webinar "Remote, Flexible and In-Office Work: What Technologists (Really) Want" in which we talk about how many days technologists' prefer to work remotely versus how many days they expect their employer to allow them to work remotely - and insights on the perception gap between those numbers for the different generations.

Watch the webinar to learn more about how technologists feel about returning to the office.

Watch "Remote, Flexible and In-Office Work: What Technologists (Really) Want"

Collectively, the data shows almost identical interest in full-time remote work and hybrid work (a combination of in-office and remote), with those wanting to return to the office full-time amounting to less than 1/5 of total respondents. This is to be expected with all of the flexibility and cost savings employees have noted experiencing the last year and a half, but when we drill down into age groups, the insights from the data become more interesting.

Surprisingly, technologists aged 18-24 are driving higher numbers in “working full-time in an office” and the hybrid approach. Whether perceived or real, one side effect of the more to remote work for this generation has been that they aren’t getting to experience visibility and in-person connections and there’s a pervasive sense that it’s hurting their careers.

Preferred Number of Remote Days

The data on Desired Remote Days really shows the risk in treating technologists as a single homogenous group. While 5 days a week is still the top choice, 2 days per week and 4 days per week saw big gains over Q4 2020 data. With the wide variety of responses and not one accounting for close to half of technologists, what we’re seeing is the need for flexibility, and that a one-size-fits-all approach has the potential to be an issue for technologists. When we look at the data by age, we find that technologists aged 18-34 are opting for the hybrid approach, while those aged 35+ are still more comfortable with a fully remote environment. For those 18-34, 3 days is looking like the sweet spot.

Expected Number of Remote Days

But there’s a perception gap between what technologists want in terms of work structure and what they think they’ll actually get. This is where the opportunity sits for employers and recruiters – in being flexible.

Nearly 35% of technologists expect that they will be able to continue working remotely full-time post-COVID, but that’s not a very high number consider how many technologists want a fully remote environment. Perhaps more concerning, 16% don’t think they’ll be able to work remotely at all. 18% expect that they will be able to work remotely two days a week, which fits better with the interest in a hybrid approach.

In reviewing age differences in expected remote days allowed technologists in the 18-34 age range are less optimistic than other age groups about how often they will be allowed to work remotely, with nearly a quarter indicating that they expect they will never be able to work remotely. 27 percent indicated they expect a hybrid approach with 2 days of remote work each week once offices begin to reopen. Remember, 3 days looks like the sweet spot.

With such a wide range of preferences and expectations, those organizations that are flexible in their return-to-work plans, adjusting when necessary, stand to earn advantages in recruitment and retention. Watch our webinar “Remote, Flexible and In-Office Work: What Technologists (Really) Want” to dive deeper into the data and learn what technologists are saying are the benefits and detriments of remote work – the “why” behind their preferences on number of remote days.