Moving Ahead No Longer Requires as Much Moving Around
While the events of 2020 upended the world in countless ways, the mandated closures simply accelerated existing trends in many other respects, including tech employee relocation.
The migration towards remote work that began well before anyone had heard of coronavirus only accelerated during 2020. Many believe that the past year’s experiences and the knowledge that talented tech workers can do their jobs from almost anywhere will significantly reduce the amount of tech employee relocation in the months and years ahead.
Tech Employee Relocation Was on the Decline Before 2020
A combination of now-commonplace technological advancements in communications and collaboration, along with a millennial-driven emphasis on work-life balance, were driving increasing numbers of tech workers to full or part-time remote work. Prior to the remote work surge of 2020, 68 percent of U.S. workers said they expected to work remotely in the future. Between 2005 and 2017, telecommuting among non-self-employed professionals grew 103 percent.
In addition to the attraction of working from home that applies to employees of all stripes, tech workers and telecommuting are particularly well-suited to each other. Tech work is often siloed, and employees can more efficiently complete many tasks that consume the better part of the day working individually.
Technology and Familiarity Make Relocation Increasingly Optional
And while collaboration among teams remains indispensable, technology has reduced the need for in-person interaction to make that happen. The ubiquity of Zoom and other video conferencing tools, as well as Slack and other platforms designed for sharing work and information remotely, increasingly make face-to-face meetings seem needless and burdensome. Similarly, cloud-based solutions like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, GitHub and AWS allow tech workers to access the data they need no matter where they are. The remote work surge of last year introduced millions of new workers to these tools, making remote collaboration second-nature for many folks who were unfamiliar with such technology just one short (or very long) year ago.
Because of these changes, tech workers no longer feel constrained by geography when looking for a new position. Workers realize that their ability to work remotely makes it possible to seek and get a job at a company that may be thousands of miles from where they live without needing to pack up the moving van.
An Expanded Talent Pool and Lower Costs Make Tech Employee Relocation Less Attractive or Necessary
It’s not just employees who are driving the decrease in tech employee relocation. Employers in Dallas and nationwide recognize that not requiring employees to move has several benefits that can give them a competitive advantage and provide them with significant cost savings.
Specifically, tech employers may be less inclined to mandate relocation because of:
- An expanded tech talent pool. For tech employers prioritizing remote work over relocating, the world becomes a tech talent oyster. The best candidates no longer need to be in the vicinity or upend their lives for employers to get them on board, which applies to millennials and older workers alike.
- Big cost savings. It costs a lot to relocate a worker and their family. It also requires more significant overhead to bring an employee in-house, including the office space to house them. Remote work makes for a greater return on investment (ROI) for each successful hire, and reduces the downside for each unsuccessful one.
- Improved employee retention. Studies and surveys show that remote work and flexible work policies improve employee job satisfaction and thus increase employee retention rates, minimizing the disruption and expense of employee turnover.
- Increased diversity. Not requiring potential hires to move increases a company’s ability to attract a more diverse workforce, an increasingly high priority for tech companies that often face legitimate scrutiny for their underwhelming diversity and inclusion efforts.
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