Is remote working the secret to attracting top tech talent post-pandemic?

By now you’re probably a little tired of hearing that remote working is the future, especially when some of us are longing to get back to the social aspects of the office at least some of the time. However, no business leader can deny that if living through a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that for many roles working from a physical office for 8 hours a day seven days a week isn’t always necessary.

When it comes to tech roles, there are traditional views that they need to be in the office, surrounded by seven (yes, seven) monitors and ready to be on hand for any technical issues that may occur. But COVID-19 has shown us that this is not the case. Tech talent actually have some of the most easily adaptable and versatile roles. Give them a laptop and an internet connection, and most of the time Tech people can do their job with no real problems. Which means they can work from home, from a coffee shop or your office efficiently.

Right now, 61% of tech workers saying they are working in fully remote environments, and it seems to have changed the way they think about their jobs. A recent survey found that 74% of tech workers with a full-time job are more likely to consider taking on freelance work since the onset of Covid-19 because they’ve proven that they can work well from their homes and are growing used to the flexibility. While some of us are longing to get back to office life on a part-time basis, only 20% of respondents said that they would like to be back in the office 100% of the time.

We’re currently in the midst of a war on tech talent which is set to become even more intense as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s becoming clear to employers that tech talent is essential to drive their business forward in the digital age. A recent study from Tech Nation found that:

  • The number of advertised roles in the digital tech sector have grown by 36% since June
  • There are over 90,000 digital tech vacancies every week in across the UK
  • The UK tech sector employs 2.93m people which has grown over 40% in just two years
  • Demand for Cloud computing skills alone grew by 22% from 2018 to 2019

With such tight competition for digital tech talent, employers must find ways to make their employer brand more appealing to tech candidates to stand out from the competition. In today’s hyper-growth tech world, it is now the candidate that chooses the company; they have the power. If you want to be their employer of choice, adapting to meet current candidate desires and expectations is a great place to start. Remote working may just be the secret to this.

As we’ve all grown more and more used to the taste of our own coffee in our favourite mug, not having to board a busy train into work and no longer having to wait until weekends to do our laundry; it’s hard to expect people to want to go back to a 9-5 office day. Tech talent is no exception. Offering the option of remote working will improve your employer brand significantly, as it improves employee satisfaction. Flexible working shows you care about the work-life balance of your people and that you understand that tech-orientated-roles are no longer confined to being behind a desk; it’s 2020, most places have WIFI. Obviously, remote work isn’t an option for all industries but for many, COVID-19 has proven it can be a viable option. Employers in those industries that don’t embrace remote working are likely to appear stuck in the past, which will not appeal to forward-thinking digital and tech employees.

If you need more convincing that offering remote working options will help you to attract top tech employees, then we’ve uncovered three more reasons that might do the trick:

More Affordable

Without the cost of your commute and added expenses of buying a coffee or lunch, working remotely can be a much more affordable approach to working. Those that have been working from home through the Coronavirus crisis may have noticed a significant boost in their bank balance. This has led to a reported 81% of tech talent looking for a more affordable way of life. The majority of UK tech jobs are currently in London or big cities, but the rise in remote working has made tech workers realise they could live in more affordable areas and remain in their jobs. Without the daily commute and no longer being limited by geography, your staff could purchase property, move out to the country and potentially enjoy a better quality of life.

More Diversity

Remote work can also widen and diversify your tech talent pool, which can ensure your business is a more diverse and inclusive place. A more flexible and lenient approach to work means your opportunities could appeal to people from all walks of life from parents and carers to Millennials that prefer to be more in charge of their own schedule. There is always a drive to encourage more women into tech roles, and remote working could help this become a reality in your business. Allowing your developers, technicians and other tech talent the option to work from their homes will expand your job search reach, improving your chances of a top-quality hire. Without being limited by geography, the possibilities for your workforce are endless. You’ll unlock your ability to hire people that you may have overlooked previously. You will also make your businesses a serious consideration for those who may have been deterred from applying for you in the past; whether it’s through geography, working hours or an old-fashioned employer brand.

More Human

The ability to work from home makes tech roles feel more human. It shows that as an employer, you care about their wellbeing and don’t expect your tech employees to act like machines. If you offer remote working options for some of your staff, there’s no reason why you can’t offer it to your tech talent too. To create an equal and positive company culture, you should be offering the same perks to all “office based” employees regardless of their role as this will have a positive impact on your employer brand. Treating employees with respect, trusting them to work flexibly and get the job done as well as understanding that work isn’t their only priority will reflect well on you as an employer. We’re all human, and life happens; we occasionally need doctors’ appointments, to take care of kids when the childcare falls through or simply have days where we need to be at home for one reason or another. Flexible working allows for a more human side of working, improving your employee’s wellbeing and reducing stress as well as having a positive impact on your employer brand.

Better Employee Engagement

It’s reported that people who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive. Therefore, offering WFH (work from home) can improve your employee engagement. A happier workforce will work harder for you, respect you more as an employer and will be more likely to stay with your company for the long-term. Reports claim that companies embracing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t. When the demand for tech talent is snowballing, keeping hold of your skilled people is vital. Therefore, if the option to work remotely can improve your retention rates, it may be worth considering.

Improved Wellbeing

Remote work is also better for your employees’ wellbeing – which will again enhance your employer brand and improve retention rates. For one thing, it reduces personal stress. Without the time-consuming commute there are more hours in the day to complete tasks and not to mention they aren’t dealing with traffic or busy public transport. There’s a level of flexibility to remote work which makes managing your work and home life much less stressful. It’s also reported that remote working makes us healthier. Remote workers are ill less often and don’t take as many sick days because working from bed is totally acceptable. Also, 42% of all remote workers believe they eat healthier when away from the office as well as having more time to sleep and exercise regularly; happier, healthier employees will only reflect well on you as an employer.

Remote working has many benefits, and when it comes to connecting with tech talent post-pandemic, it could set you apart from other businesses significantly. In the current state of tech recruitment, the power lies with the candidate, so considering what would make their work-life more enjoyable and more convenient will improve your employer brand and attraction rates hugely.

If you’d like help hiring top tech talent, altering your employer brand messaging to connect with tech candidates or running a recruitment marketing campaign which cuts through the noise, then our experts are ready to help. Our in-house brand and insight, creative, digital and sourcing teams have in-depth knowledge and years of experience within the tech sector. Get in touch to start your conversation today.