COVID-19’s “reboot” of the US tech workforce

Budget cuts, layoffs, and furloughs prompt 81% of tech talent living near top innovation hubs to look for more affordable areas, a new report finds.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s clear that the COVID-19 crisis had a quick and challenging impact on IT departments throughout the US, as tech staff were heavily relied upon to pivot and transition office staff, devices, and software to employees’ homes so they could work remotely. But a new report from .Tech Domains, .Tech Workforce Reboot Report examined how the pandemic has further affected tech talent and is putting pressure on them to change their lifestyle and even where they live, which highlights new challenges for employers as they manage an increasingly distributed workforce. 

According to the report, 81% of tech talent are looking for a more affordable way of life, to suit their—and their families’—specific needs and preferences, even if it means leaving a location considered one of the US top tech hubs. More than half (61%) of tech workers report working in a fully remote environment.

SEE:  3 ways to help your team stay connected while WFH  (TechRepublic)

And respondents are not so keen to leave their current situation, with only 20% saying that once there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, their ideal work scenario is a 100% return to the office. The report cites a projection from the Harvard Business School that when the pandemic is considered over, one-in-six workers will continue working from home or “co-working at least twice a week.” In fact, the report added that “it’s likely that what many have been calling the remote work experiment may become a permanent reality for the tech sector.”

Millennials

For extra money, 74% of full-time tech workers reported they’re now more likely to consider freelance work since the pandemic began, while 84% of millennial full-time tech workers are considering freelancing since COVID-19’s onset.  And they’re also taking the full brunt of the impact. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported 4.8 million millennials lost work since the coronavirus-triggered recession. 

Millennials in the tech industry were about 15% more likely than previous generations to have “seriously considered” transitioning to a less pricey neighborhood. A recent TD Ameritrade survey found that 39% of millennials on the younger end of the generation are planning or already have moved back in with their parents, as they battle the economic downturn. Still, in the realm of glass half-full, remote work offers them the flexibility to take on full time or freelance jobs, no matter where they’re located.

Freelancing

Freelance job openings increased more than 25% during the April to June quarter of 2020, compared to the first three months of the year. Respondents who described themselves as “completely remote” are 12% “much more likely” to consider a freelance or project-based work, yet of those working a hybrid schedule, 51% said they’re “much more likely” to consider freelance or project-based work.

More than 500 US-based tech workers in IT, software development, internet and hardware who live in or near US top tech hubs—identified as including the Bay Area, Seattle, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Austin—said COVID-19 has put pressure on them to consider moving to a more affordable areas.

“While it makes sense given the flexibility remote work provides, it was somewhat surprising to see just how significant the percentages were when it comes to tech workers who are considering or already have plans to move away from the U.S.’s biggest innovation hubs,” said Suman Das, brand director .Tech Domains. 

“Similarly, when it comes to freelancing,” Das said, “it’s surprising to see just how many tech workers are more likely to take on freelance work since the onset of COVID-19. Aside from the direct impact these things will have on the way tech talent works and lives, these findings also speak to the challenges facing employers when it comes to managing a distributed workforce.” 

Tips to kickstart a freelance career

  1. Expand your digital resume—build a strong file, consider upskilling
  2. Beware of the flexibility paradox—understand you need to develop a feasible work-life balance
  3. Understand the business side—i.e. Setting aside tax money

Tech talent are among the most remote-ready work factions in the world. The COVID-19 crisis brought the viability and benefits of telecommuting to the forefront. Das said: “For workers, I think the report reinforces the fact that there is inherent flexibility in their roles that they can take advantage of it to meet their individual needs and preferences. And for the companies employing this talent, I think the report offers an insightful view into the situations this cohort is facing and hopefully helps them build environments that are conducive to attracting and retaining this talent.”

COVID-19's "reboot" of the US tech workforce

Developer Essentials Newsletter

From the hottest programming languages to the jobs with the highest salaries, get the developer news and tips you need to know.
Weekly

Sign up today

Also see

Did you like this article? You can read it and many others @ Tech Republic!

From The S3 News Community

Check out posts from our own content writers

FRESHEST

Here's the latest news

Judge Barrett’s connection to the small and relatively obscure Christian group People of Praise also attracted attention after a report in 2017 that she and her husband were members. The group grew out of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement that...

"If our kid doesn't want to play soccer and he or she wants to do something else, we're fine with that," Orlando Pride forward Leroux declared in a 2015 editions of MLS Insider. "I mean, they will play soccer." Considering Mom and...

Check Out These Sports Couples Who Leave Us Cheering For More

The injuries started early and didn't seem to stop on Sunday. Saquon Barkley's season-ending knee injury is obviously the biggest news, but Christian McCaffrey, Cam Akers, Drew Lock, Jimmy Garoppolo, Courtland Sutton, Davante Adams, and Raheem Mostert were just some of the...

Best Fantasy Week 3 Waiver Pickups: Saquon Barkley, Cam Akers, Christian McCaffrey injuries open doors for handcuff RBs

Donors gave more than $100 million over the weekend after her passing.Before the latest presidential disclosures were filed, some Republicans were questioning how a Trump campaign that has raised $1.3 billion since the beginning of 2019 with the Republican National...

Biden Has $466 Million in Bank, and a Huge Financial Edge on Trump

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton proved he could still dominate a bottom-tier team last weekend in a win over the Dolphins, but his matchup with the Seahawks on Sunday night should provide a better outlook on what to expect from him...

Patriots vs. Seahawks live score, updates, highlights from NFL 'Sunday Night Football' game
Load More
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap