Hybrid Working Key Factor For Most Tech Workers

A new report has added more evidence to the importance tech workers are attaching to work-life balance in a post pandemic world.

The ‘Scaleup Culture Report‘ from workspace provider Techspace, explored the current state of workplace culture across the UK’s technology sector, by utilising a YouGov survey of 1,000 tech workers.

One of the most startling findings of the Techspace report was the importance tech workers are still attaching to hybrid working – a practice many big name tech firms have adopted (sometimes reluctantly) after staff returned to corporate offices following two years of pandemic lockdowns.

Techspace report

It is fair to say the Covid-19 pandemic drove a major change in the way that people worked, and it also resulted in sometime of a skills shortage, resulting in businesses increasingly seeking suitable tech talent and making the tech jobs market increasingly competitive.

The Techspace report found that 65 percent of those surveyed believe the impact of the past three years has had a positive impact on their company culture, primarily due to an increase in wellbeing and productivity.

However respondents also noticed a significant negative impact on team cohesion, rapport with colleagues and communication.

The Techspace report highlights the importance of work-life balance, social interaction, and career growth opportunities in retaining top talent.

Among the key findings are

  • 67 percent of employees consider a hybrid working policy a high priority when deciding to apply for a job.
  • 75 percent of tech workers now have either a hybrid model with no set days or a minimum number of days they are expected in the office each week.
  • Hybrid workers are more likely to follow TWiTs (Tuesdays, Wednesday, including Thursdays) and head to the office mid-week.
  • Londoners are most likely to work for a company with a hybrid work arrangement, as opposed to fully remote or full-time in the office.
  • 60 percent of respondents want just 1-2 days in the office.
  • 75 percent see the value of working from an office every week, but engineers want to work from home more than those in non-engineering roles.
  • 80 percent in leadership roles, excluding those who don’t have an office, choose to be in the office 2-4 days per week, due to a greater need for face-to-face interaction with other team members.

The report also found that social interaction is the biggest driver for employees to head into the office.

Retaining talent

The report also notably highlights the importance of work-life balance, social interaction, and career growth opportunities in retaining top talent. Today (not including pay, the role and the location) a flexible working policy is considered a high priority by 78 percent of tech employees.

Other important factors include flexible working policies and opportunities for career development.

“In just three short years, the world of work has undergone remarkable change,” noted Jonathan Bevan, CEO of Techspace. “Driven by the pandemic and the war for talent there has been a big shift towards flexible work.”

“Workplace discussions have gone from being slow-moving and mundane to being a hot topic of conversation,” said Bevan. “Every company needs to continually reevaluate how they work to keep pace.”

“One of the most interesting learnings is the continued tension between what individuals believe is best for them, and what managers and leaders believe is best for their company,” Bevan added. “We may see further shifts in work behaviour as the skills shortage abates.”

The Techspace report found that hybrid working is the new normal, with 75 percent of tech workers surveyed confirm their working week is some form of hybrid – wither Hybrid fixed or Hybrid flex.

The remaining 25 percent is evenly distributed between full-time in the office or fully remote. But in London this number shrinks further.

The report also found that 28 percent of tech businesses across the UK now use a flexible workspace, and that the larger the tech company, the less often workers are in the office.

“At Techspace, we have conducted a comprehensive analysis of our utilisation data and found that our busiest days are now just as busy as they have always been, hovering just below 70 percent across all our spaces,” Techspace’s Bevan added.

“While our average utilisation levels have dropped by 30 percent, we observed a shift in how spaces are being used,” said Bevan. “Companies now opt for smaller spaces that can be used by any group that needs to meet on a given day. At Techspace, we are committed to providing highly adaptable spaces and have introduced support to design each space around the unique needs and preferences of our member businesses.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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