What Do Tech Workers Really Want?

When we think about today’s tech workplace, we often picture a number of high-profile perks: ping-pong tables, on-site gyms and elaborate snack bars, to name a few. But perks won’t keep staff satisfied if there are fundamental differences between what they want and what the company can provide.

So what’s really most important to today’s tech staff? To find out, Indeed surveyed 1,000 U.S. tech workers, examining the factors they consider when evaluating a new company or job. Here’s what they told us.

Almost all tech workers value transparency from leadership

When we ask tech workers what’s important to them, the answer is quite a lot. Looking at what characteristics they value most in a company, topping the list is transparency from leadership, which a whopping 89% of workers deem important. This is followed closely by the company giving back to the community (valued by 79% of respondents) and sharing their values (key for 78%).

When we look across age groups, we find that older and younger workers prioritize different things. For example, workers age 55 and over value transparency in leadership more than any other age group, with 97% saying it’s important to them — possibly due to experiencing the impact of many different leadership styles over the course of their careers. Slightly younger age groups (ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54) find giving back and sharing values more important qualities in a workplace. And the youngest workers (ages 18 to 24) rank workplace flexibility and the opportunity to learn new skills at the top of their lists.

To tech talent, fancy offices with quantifiable perks may actually be less alluring than more intangible benefits, such as the openness of company leaders, charitable giving initiatives and the company’s brand values. Emphasizing these qualitative aspects of your workplace will likely have a stronger impact when talking to potential candidates than will physical assets, such as the company’s cutting-edge technology.

Flexible work hours are more important than working from home or remotely

Flexibility is something people often associate with tech — so we asked those respondents who value a flexible workplace (83%) for more details. Looking at what aspects of flexibility are most important to them, the winner is variable work hours (cited by 58%). This is followed by the ability to work from home, which one quarter value the highest, and remote-work options (crucial to 14%).

Providing flexible work options is an area where companies can stand out: According to recent research by the Harvard Business Review, almost all workers (96%) say they need a flexible workplace, but less than half (47%) actually get the types of flexibility they need. The problem is even more pronounced for women, with only 34% getting their needs met. And just slightly more than one quarter of workers have access to a sufficiently flexible schedule.

Offering flexibility at work makes it easier for workers to manage different areas of life, such as caring for children and aging parents, as well as taking care of themselves. And…

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