Hydrogen’s Richard Stevenson argues that tech companies can do more to promote flexible working and make it part of their onboarding strategies.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
December 9, 2016

If you haven’t yet read our flexible working report, then I would urge you to do so, as it’s not something you can afford to ignore. Organisations really need to be responsive in offering their people the very best environment and options to help them flourish in their role.

The technology sector is one of the more advanced in promoting and implementing flexible working practices, especially with permanent hires (it’s a little less common for temporary and contract positions).

Given that we’re operating in a candidate-led market in which candidates can often juggle multiple job offers, the onus is even greater on employers to attract the best talent. What will make a highly skilled JavaScript engineer, functional programmer for DevOps expert decide to come and work for you rather than accept a role from one of your competitors? 

Get on board

According to our survey results, half of people in the tech industry have turned down a job as a direct result of employee benefits alone. And what might come as a surprise is that it’s not about the money! Six in 10 would gladly give up a 5% increase in salary to have greater flexibility in their work, while half would go as far as giving up 10%. This begins to reveal the true extent of the importance of flexibility to these specialists. 

The benefits of flexible working are well documented. Whether it’s spending more time with their families/partners (45%) or improving their well-being (41%), it’s something people have come to expect. Not to mention the productivity benefits (43%) which often get overlooked. Remember, this is an industry where flexibility is more widely accepted than other industries – over half (59%) view it as a normal part of modern working life. 

However, just over one in five (21%) employees in the tech sector would rather not broach the subject with their managers – there almost seems to be a taboo about discussing it in some cultures. It’s just not the done thing. Yet I would strongly argue that the onus should be on the employer to bring it up in the knowledge that they’re immediately increasing their chances of hiring that person.

Are you advertising flexible working and making it part of your on-boarding strategy? 

Download the full snapshot report on the technology sector to read more.