Tech Workers Are Moving, Willing To Take Pay Cut To WFH: Report

Are tech workers willing to take a pay cut to work from home remotely? How many have already relocated? Will WFH improve diversity in the IT industry? A new report from Indeed surveying more than 600 IT professional sheds a light on these questions and many more.

Is Work From Home Officially The New Norm In IT?

Monumental questions are arising across the IT industry of whether technology professionals will ever go back into the office or if working from home is truly the new normal. How many technology employees have already relocated with plans to work remotely permanently? Are IT professionals willing to take a pay cut to work from home? Will a remote workforce help diversity within the tech industry? And just how many IT professionals are searching for a new job or a new home in the next 12 months?

Indeed, one of the world’s top employment websites, surveyed more than 600 U.S. employees from the technology sector to find out these answers. Indeed surveyed 616 IT professionals who worked in the office before COVID-19 and have switched to full-time remote work, with an astounding 96 percent of all technology workers believing working from home is here to stay.

Industry legends like Dell Technologies CEO and founder Michael Dell and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger have previously said the coronavirus is the “black swan” event that will permanently change how IT professionals work forever.

CRN breaks down the most important results from Indeed’s report that shows just how much employees believe working from home (WFH) will change the workplace, their careers and the IT world forever.

60% Willing To Take Pay Cut

Out of the 616 U.S. employees who were surveyed, six out of ten tech workers said they were willing to take a pay cut in order to continue working from home.

Several technology giants have already implemented some form of worker pay cuts if the employee decides to work remotely permanently.

For example, VMware employees who choose to become permanent remote workers are receiving a pay cut depending on where they relocate. VMware employees who decided to leave Silicon Valley, one of the most expensive places in the world to live, must accept salary reductions. However, some VMware employees will see pay raises if they choose to move to a larger or more expensive city. VMware said its dedicated to equitable pay based on several factors including location and geography.

Similarly, social media giant Facebook in May said it would allow employees to work from home on a permanent basis, but their pay would be adjusted based on where they choose to live.

Most WFH Employees Plan To Stay Remote

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming not only how technology employees work, but also their IT career paths.

Forty-eight percent of all tech workers surveyed by Indeed now have the option to work from home permanently, even though they weren’t doing so prior to COVID-19. Furthermore, a whopping 95 percent said they plan to take their employers up on the offer.

Now with the experience of working full-time remotely, 55 percent of tech workers said if they do change jobs, they’ll look for one with flexible or hybrid work options. More than one-third say they want a job that is permanently remote. Only a tiny percentage of IT professionals, 7 percent, want a job that requires them to be in the office full-time.

60% Are Planning To Search For A New Job

For IT professionals, the COVID-19 pandemic has not put their careers on hold. Sixty percent of tech workers said they plan to look for a new job within the next 12 months.

However, their reasons for seeking new jobs varied. About half of IT professionals are looking for a better salary. Fears about layoffs and furloughs ahead is also lingering in people’s minds. Approximately 44 percent of respondents cite potential layoffs as reasons for searching for a new job, while 38 percent are fearing furloughs.

With the U.S. entering another surge of COVID-19, IT workers across all sectors are bracing for what might come ahead. Of the roughly 40 percent of workers planning to stay at their job, 37 percent are determining family needs before making a job change. Those planning to remain in their jobs are riding things out due to economic uncertainty and want to see how their employer emerges from the pandemic, according to the report.

Over 50% Of IT Employees Plan To Move

Americans have speculated the impact of virtual work will change where people live in the country as employers are no longer bound to live in expensive cities or specific regions to get their desired jobs or careers.

Overall, 52 percent of tech workers plan to move in the next 12 months. The top reason for moving are to improve their quality of life, followed by reduce cost of living and to be closer to family members.

According to Indeed, while the change to remote work is giving tech workers more options of where they can live, most do not plan to stray too far. Only 19 percent of IT employees plan to move to a new state in the U.S., while nearly half will move to a different city in their current state. About one-third plan to move within their metropolitan area, with 56 percent moving neighborhoods within the city and 20 percent leaving the city for the suburb.

How Many Have Already Moved?

Approximately 42 percent of tech workers surveyed have already moved or temporarily relocated during the COVID-19 pandemic because they have the ability to work from home. About 37 percent of these workers do not intend to return to their previous location.

Why Is WFH So Popular?

Among those workers who plan to stay remote permanently, 86 percent cite the increased flexibility and lack of traveling commutes.

Approximately 83 percent said by working from home they can better meet their home and family responsibilities, with Indeed suggesting WFH provides greater work-life balance. Working from home is crucial for many working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic as they are often juggling work and their children’s care and virtual school, according to the report.

Why Do People Want To Go Back Into The Office?

Of the over 600 technology workers surveyed, only 5 percent said they want to go back into the office. Of that 5 percent who want to go back to the office, the two main reasons cited were lack of social opportunities with coworkers and WFH makes it harder to collaborate.

Additionally, half of tech workers who want to go back to the office believe working from home negatively impacts their career growth, while nearly half also said they plan to look for a new job in an office if their employer switches to a permanent remote work.

66% Work From Home Will Improve Diversity

According to Indeed’s report, shifting to a remote workforce could bring a variety of changes to IT companies beyond simply eliminating traveling and in-person meetings.

Approximately two-thirds of tech workers predict that working from home will increase diversity in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, and disability. Nearly 80 percent believe WFH will help company-wide diversity around people with disabilities, while 77 percent think remote working will help gender diversity. Around 72 percent of respondents said work from home will increase the diversity of their company in terms of race and ethnicity.

A significant 94 percent of tech workers believe WFH will boost geographic diversity that will lead to new hires from different cities or regions.

Remaining Close To Tech Hubs Still Important

Although it seems like there are endless options for IT workers to relocate for various reasons, the majority still feel it’s important to live near technology focal points.

Approximately 76 percent of tech workers surveyed believe it’s important to remain close to a tech hub, even if they work from home full-time. More than half of respondents say local professional networking are important, while 46 percent speculate that employers will prefer workers from nearby markets. Almost all of technology employees, 96 percent, believe remote work is here to say.

Will Finding A New IT Job Be Easier Or Harder?

The 616 technology workers were split in terms of if they thought the new work-from-home environment would make it easier or harder to find a new job.

A slight majority, 52 percent, worried about their future job prospects if more companies make the permanent shift to work from home due to the increase of competition from workers in other areas and new geographies.

Approximately 45 percent of tech workers think the shift will make it easier for them to find a new job. Within this 45 percent, the majority -- about 80 percent -- says job searches will be easier once they can apply for openings throughout their metropolitan area or region because they no longer have to worry about commute times or the difficulties of relocating. Many of these workers also believe virtual work will provide them access to jobs they previously wanted but couldn’t accept due to location.