TECHNOLOGY

Big resignation? Tech insiders are trying a cool rethink instead


Ernst Uganda spent Pandemic operates from its home in Virginia, near Amazon HQ2, and supports the Amazon Web Services Network. The work can be stressful—thousands of businesses rely on Amazon’s cloud—but Ogbuanya loves knowing that work matters, and that he can do it without leaving his home. Then Amazon announced that everyone would be Back to the office in january. This did not fly to Ogbuanya. So when the hiring manager arrived from a completely remote job at OutSystems, he jumped at the opportunity and even lowered his salary. “The ability to work from home permanently was the selling point for me,” he says.

Uganda is not alone in reconsidering his priorities for action. More Americans quit In the past few months more than ever, many cited the requirements of the job that no longer deserves the salary. For tech workers – who are already highly paid and in demand – it has led to a reorganization in the industry. Technology workers are transitioning between jobs with new requirements, including the ability to work remotely, more flexibility in working hours, and more time spent on meaningful tasks.

Says Kit Merker, COO of Nobl9, a software reliability platform. “It was about campus, perks, and money. But if you’re sitting at home and you don’t have access to the kitchenette, the barista, and the massage, what really separates this job from another?”

Merker runs a Site Reliability Engineers ConferenceHe says many people in this type of work have been exhausted by the demands of keeping platforms up and running in the pandemic. Companies that make products for remote work (Slack, Zoom), video streaming (Netflix), or delivery (Doordash, Amazon) have faced higher demand, along with higher expectations from customers for how well their technology will work. Merker says some engineers are questioning whether the stress is worth it. “It raises an existential concern for people,” he says. “Like, I’m creating a program to help deliver food. That’s cool, but man, it’s killing me.”

Joseph B. says: Fuller, who heads the Project on the Future of Work at Harvard Business School: “You have people saying, ‘Now that I think about it, I have a bullshit job.'” That’s one reason he and other economists see white-collar workers, including those who In tech, they’ve been looking for new jobs in the past year.Fowler calls this phenomenon the great reconsideration: It’s not entirely a choice to withdraw from the workforce, but a reassessment of what tech workers can expect from their next job.

a Poll from Citrix It found in September that 35 percent of tech workers quit their jobs due to burnout. In their new jobs, 40 percent of workers prioritized flexibility, and another 41 percent looked for benefits beyond financial security — including perks related to well-being more broadly.

For some, luxury includes spending less time on tedious tasks and fewer on-demand nights and weekends. Zach Nikens, hiring manager for OutSystems, says job candidates regularly ask how the team’s workload is divided. One advantage, he says, is that his team is spread across three geographies: some in North America, some in Portugal, and some in India and Malaysia. Working across multiple time zones, he says, “prevents us from having a standard ‘I’m on call day and night’ rotation.” We share weekends across these teams as well, once every 12 weeks someone has to be on call for the weekend. This is really attractive to engineers.”

OutSystems is also the first remote company, which has been an advantage in hiring engineers like Ogbuanya. While some tech companies have vowed to return to an office culture next year, many are finding that their employees are accustomed to working anywhere they want. Deel, an international payroll and compliance startup, has seen a 20 percent increase in hiring its clients overseas. Some, like Netflix, are expanding their global operations; Others, such as Coinbase, have embraced a “remote first” office culture, where employees can work anywhere in the world. But others have had to make concessions to talents who want to leave the country. “We had some big companies come to us and say, ‘My best engineer is going to come back to Croatia. What should I do? They have no choice,” says Alex Bouaziz, co-founder and CEO of Dell.



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