The technology industry's hunger for talent has driven salaries to dazzling heights for many years. Big-name employers went to great lengths to entice top talent, offering everything from fully stocked fridges to on-site gyms and music rooms, sweetening the deal for their workforce.
But the tide has shifted. It's no longer about what the office can offer; it's about where employees can work outside the office.
While compensation remains a critical factor, especially in the face of rising living costs, it's no longer the sole attraction. According to LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends report for 2023, which drew insights from tens of thousands of users, compensation ranks first among employee priorities, but it's closely followed by a desire for work-life balance and flexibility.
Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s VP of global talent acquisition, emphasizes, “Even with a job market in flux, people continue to reassess why, where, and how they work.” Flexibility, she notes, is a lasting demand.
Yet, employers seem slow to heed this message. A 2022 survey by Adecco found that 72% of companies considered salary the key talent attractor, compared to just 53% of workers. In the UK, the desire to work from home was notably higher than the global average, with 22% of workers valuing this perk.
A recent UK survey of 1,000 office-based workers revealed that 94% saw working from home as a well-being boon, but just over a quarter had access to it. Flexible hours and work location each scored 93% in importance, trumping monetary compensation like bonuses (88%), paid overtime (86%), and market-value salaries (85%).
However, as calls for a return to the office mount, employers risk ignoring these clear signals. Research from the CIPD indicates that workers are willing to switch jobs if their flexibility is jeopardized.
In the UK, though, change is on the horizon. The Flexible Working Bill, making progress, will allow employees to make up to two flexible working requests per year from day one of their employment. Employers must respond within two months and explain any refusals.
Claire McCartney, a senior policy adviser at CIPD, highlights how flexible working can foster fairer and more inclusive workplaces. It can be a game-changer for employees with disabilities or long-term health conditions. Among such workers who left their jobs in the last year, 32% did so due to the lack of flexible work options.
Flexibility also appeals to returners—individuals, often women, who took time off for caregiving. Women tend to value flexibility more, according to Adecco. Thus, businesses looking to diversify their workforce could benefit from flexible work policies.
If you're on the hunt for a role that grants you more autonomy over how you work, explore some of the tech job opportunities available now, with employers offering flexible work options: