Main image of article The Future of Tech Recruiting: The Concept of “Workplace” for 2024 and Beyond

The past four years permanently transformed the notion of “workplace” for nearly every industry. Before the pandemic, American professionals worked remotely an average 2.4 days a month. Since 2020, it’s gone up to 3.8 days, and half of American professionals have worked away from an actual workplace. Remote work was prevalent in the tech industry pre-pandemic and will remain a factor.

While most of us may think of “workplace” as the physical location our team completes work, the definition is dramatically shifting. As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, let’s carefully examine three trends around the concept of “workplace” — specifically, how the concept will impact both the productivity of your employees and your ability to land (and retain) tech talent. 


1. Getting the remote debate out of the way

Despite plenty of headlines around tech companies mandating a return to office, the trend within tech at large still heavily skews toward remote. 

Seventy-three percent of the tech professionals we surveyed for our Tech Sentiment Report said it is “extremely” or “very” important that their next role includes the option to work remotely at least three days a week. In addition, more than half of tech professionals disagree with the idea that having a significant number of employees working remotely is detrimental to their company’s culture. Some key benefits of remote work tech professionals cited include that it is “more cost-effective” (75%) and “more productive” (70%). 

Another key benefit of remote work is increased inclusion and support for tech talent with disabilities. Research conducted by the Economic Innovation Group suggests that remote work enables higher employment among workers with disabilities. What’s more, disability advocates express deep concern about return to office mandates for disabled workers who rely on remote work. 

While remote work has important benefits, it does lead to challenges around building and maintaining connections across organizations and within teams. Working remotely is the first choice for the tech professionals we surveyed across the board, but there is a pronounced interest in hybrid work among younger tech professionals (25-44 years old), who are hungry for the collaboration and mentoring opportunities in-person connections afford. 

How to prepare your organization

If your team is already fully remote and your employee satisfaction surveys are strong, you may not need to change much. But to maximize the benefits of a remote team while finding opportunities for in-person collaboration, consider on-sites as a way to bridge the gap. Note that on-sites are different from “hybrid” roles where people are required to come into the office some days. Quarterly or bi-annual on-sites at headquarters (or if you don’t have an HQ, a fun location near some team members) with structured days and plans encourage camaraderie, collaboration, and teamwork while also letting your team relax and spend time together. 

You could also offer monthly regional happy hours around larger cities where you have at least a few remote employees. Whichever way you plan to carve out collaboration time, continue to ask your employees what they prefer. Defer to a 100% remote workplace if you can — and then give local employees the opportunity to come into headquarters. 


2. “Workplace” will encompass the entire tech talent experience

Aside from work location, the very notion of a “workplace” itself is evolving in a way that encompasses more than just office space. Planning for the future of the “workplace” will involve identifying the right tools and training, providing the necessary collaboration and support, and improving the collective experience of working for the company. 

Upskilling platforms will contribute a great deal to the future of workplace satisfaction for technical professionals. Career development, which includes learning new skill sets, is the top factor for tech talent evaluating jobs. According to our Tech Sentiment Report, tech talent expect AI and ML, cybersecurity, and the cloud to see the most growth. (Check out our Tech Job Reports to see which skills are trending across industries.) 

Tools and training also entail investment in technological accessibility for tech talent with disabilities. For example, this can involve enabling closed captions on Zoom. Leveraging this feature and other tools is of great importance when you consider that nearly three in four members of the disability community say that accessibility and inclusivity are pivotal factors in evaluating a job opportunity.  

For collaboration and support, we expect organizations to invest in tools that allow teams to more seamlessly work together on projects. Today, many teams use tools like Google Workspace, Asana, Slack, Jira, Confluence and other project management software. Expect these tools — and emerging tools — to set the bar even higher, for near-seamless collaboration that mirrors what can be done in a physical office.

Even some of the more fundamental elements of remote work and collaboration will receive an upgrade and become critical components of your organization’s “workplace.” Elements like 1:1s and career planning will be integrated into not only internal processes, but technical platforms and solutions, so that both organizations and employees will be able to track progress and share changes or goals in real-time. “All hands”-type team meetings can become more interactive and engaging, rather than opportunities for employees to take care of work without interruption (this one may sting a little, but we all know it’s true!).

How to prepare your organization

To prepare your organization for these changes, first (as with any case), talk to your employees and to your candidates. Find out what they prefer. And when you receive feedback, be open to change. 

Then, when preparing your organization for the continued evolution of the “workplace,” don’t forget to evaluate your tech stack and ensure you’re empowering your tech talent to their best work. Work closely with both tech talent and HR to ensure the proper upskilling, training, and career planning opportunities aren’t only available to employees but actively offered and encouraged. 

Keep in mind that “career development and advancement potential” was the most-cited factor considered among tech talent evaluating their jobs. McKinsey’s research shows that career development is a top factor (on par with compensation) that greatly influences tech professionals throughout the entire talent experience, from accepting a job to leaving it.

Consider coworking stipends for remote employees to benefit from a collaborative environment, particularly when you have multiple remote employees in the same cities. Throughout your preparations, communicate with tech talent about changes, why they’re being made, and how you envision them helping them to not only do better work, but have better experiences within your organization. 


3. Companies across every industry will operate more like startups

Expect the “startup” model of faster turnaround times, higher expectations, and stronger collaboration (particularly among management and employees) to continue evolving in organizations across various industries. One in three leaders in a recent McKinsey survey named “efficiency” as a top three organizational priority. But, rather than a push toward layoffs and expecting more from less, forward-thinking organizations will prioritize deploying the right resources (human and otherwise) in the right places.

Looking back above to our emphasis on career planning, tech startups tend to have an “all hands on deck” feeling, with cross-skilling as well as upskilling potentially being needed as teams stretch themselves to take on as much as possible — and with as much success as possible.

How to prepare your organization

Your organization may already be on this track, as evidenced by team restructuring and the subsequent increased workloads/demands that can occur. But, recognizing the shift and embracing it can help your employees understand what’s permanent, what’s necessary, and what among these changes can help them achieve their professional goals. 

Some of the key elements noted above — better tools, stronger team building (regardless of location), and career planning and upskilling — can all give your technical professionals the support and opportunities they need in the workplace of the future to not only feel secure within your company, but to invest themselves in their success and yours. 

Keeping tabs on tech talent data and trends is critical to staying ahead of the workplace’s evolution. And choosing more flexible recruiting partners can help you easily pivot and navigate changes in the workplace so you can put your organization on the cutting edge.