- The pandemic is changing the way that US tech employees want to work and therefore where they want to live.
- Only 20% of US tech workers said that once there is a COVID-19 vaccine that they would ideally return to the office full time, encouraging many to move away from America’s traditional tech hubs, according to new data from .Tech Domains.
- 83% of millennials living near a major tech hub plan to or are considering a move to a more affordable city since the onset of COVID-19, compared to 73% of Gen X.
- Millennials are also more likely to use freelance work to supplement their income. 84% of millennials in full-time jobs said they are more likely to take on freelance work since the onset of the pandemic.
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Silicon Valley, New York, and other big US tech hubs may see a drain in bright young talent as workers look for affordability and space in the wake of COVID-19.
83% of millennials currently living near a major tech hub, such as Silicon Valley or New York, plan to or are considering a move to a more affordable city because of COVID, according to new data from a survey of 500 US tech workers by domain extension provider .Tech Domains. It coincides with US tech giants pioneering new flexible working policies because of the pandemic.
These changes likely to stick, so employers should rethink the way they attract top talent, says Suman Das, brand director at .Tech Domains.
“While COVID-19 has accelerated these trends, employers need to understand they are likely not temporary patterns, especially when it comes to millennials,” said Das. “As organizations continue to adapt to the impact from COVID-19, reimagining how they will attract, manage, and retain tech talent is a critical piece to consider.”
While millennials, defined as being between 24 and 40 years old, were almost 15% more likely to say that they have “seriously considered” a move to a more affordable city, older generations are also reconsidering where they live. 73% of Gen X signaled that they were thinking about moving from a tech hub to somewhere more affordable.
The data reveals how changing working patterns are likely to permanently change the landscape of US tech, with 61% of those surveyed said that they already working fully remotely. In fact, only 20% said that their ideal work setup once there is a COVID-19 vaccine would involve returning to the office full time.
There has also been a shift towards freelance work and side hustles as people look to supplement their income and take advantage of increased flexibility in their work.
According to .Tech Domains, 80% of tech workers say they are more likely to consider freelancing since the pandemic started.
Younger tech workers look to be taking even greater advantage of this added flexibility. 84% of millennials in full-time jobs said they are more likely to take on freelance work since the onset of COVID and 26% said they are already juggling a 9-to-5 with freelancing or a side project.
“Millennials have grown accustomed to working in remote environments, and financially, they have been hit particularly hard by the fallout from the crisis,” said Das. “Because of this, we can expect to continue to see this cohort seek out more affordable lifestyles, flexibility in how they work, and additional revenue streams.”
The survey also found that the motivation for freelancing differed between men and women.
While 31% of women said the biggest challenge with freelancing is “balancing work and life”, only 19% of men said the same. Men also stated that “making more money” was the main motive for choosing freelance or project-based work, but for women it was “being my own boss” that came out on top.