The majority of tech employees would move, either to a different country (71%) or a different region of the UK (8%) if they were able to work remotely and retain the same job and remuneration, according to a new survey.

71% of tech workers ‘would move overseas and work remotely if they could’

A new study released today by Remote, an HR technology startup enabling simplified global employment, highlights the wide reaching impact Covid-19 has had on how the UK tech community views the role of location in the future of work.

Key findings:

● 79% of UK tech employees would move - 71% to a different country or 8% to a different region, if they were able to work remotely and retain the same job and remuneration
● 63% of tech employees believe entrepreneurs need to look beyond London if they want to find the best talent in the world
● 57% believe that international remote working is a better alternative to greater immigration because it allows other economies to benefit from jobs and wealth created by the tech industry

For many people during lockdown, remote work meant working from home, but the future may hold a more dramatic shift.

The majority of tech employees (79%) said they would move, either to a different country (71%) or a different region of the UK (8%) if they were able to work remotely and retain the same job and remuneration, with 67% believing people should be entitled to a great career regardless of where they grow up and live. 63% of tech employees believe entrepreneurs need to look beyond London if they want to find the best talent in the world and on average employees expect 33% of tech roles to be remotely located outside of the UK in five years’ time. 57% of employees believe that international remote working is a better alternative to greater immigration because it allows other economies to benefit from jobs and wealth created by the tech industry.

Remote’s "Global Workforce Revolution" study surveyed 764 UK tech employees and business leaders working in the most dynamic end of the tech community; tech start-ups and SMEs. The survey, conducted in July, shows how the technology sector is embracing and identifying clear benefits from remote work and rebelling against the idea that location should define access to career opportunity. Remote’s study spotlights four key areas - the transition to remote work, looking beyond traditional technology hubs for talent, diversity & equality, and the next wave of benefits in the remote work era.

"For years, tech companies have been at the forefront of conceptualising the workplace of the future - whether it’s innovative workplace designs, office perks, generous stipends or other professional development opportunities,” said CEO and co-founder Job van der Voort. “While the tech industry has made small steps towards flexibility, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a huge shift in mindset among how employees and business leaders view location and the future of work. Our survey shows how the tech sector can establish the blueprint for moving to a fully-remote work setup that will ultimately deliver tangible social, economic as well as employee hiring, retention, and business benefits.”

Transition to Remote Work

Since the global pandemic, employers and employees are more likely to embrace a more flexible remote work mindset and approach.
● On average, over a third of employees have asked either to work remotely all of the time (35%) or regularly (35%) as a result of Covid-19
● 11% of employees have asked to relocate overseas
● 15% of companies plan to shift to a fully-remote workforce
● 52% of companies have plans to offer more flexibility in working remotely in the future
● It is estimated that an average of 33% of roles will be remotely located outside of the UK in 5 years’ time
● If given the choice, 79% of workers would move to a different country or region if they were able to retain the same job and remuneration and workers would even be prepared to accept a 10% reduction in salary, on average
● 61% of employees believe remote working helps protect people from recession by giving more job options out of their local area

Beyond London

Traditional technology hubs such as London have become less attractive for companies looking to hire and retain top tech talent.
● 63% of employees agree that entrepreneurs need to look beyond London if they want to find the best talent in the world
● 34% of employees believe remotely employing individuals will provide access to higher quality talent
● 62% of employees believe that enabling companies to recruit the best talent in the world regardless of location will allow the tech industry to drive greater creativity and innovation
● 41% of employees believe greater remote working would unlock a greater supply of skills

Diversity & Equality

While more than half of respondents believe that diversity & equality is important, there is still a significant opportunity for further commitment to change.
● 41% of employees believe a greater level of international remote working could make the tech industry a more global and inclusive community
● 49% of employees believe that providing career opportunities to the brightest talent and not just those who can afford to live in London would help to rebuild confidence in the technology industry
● 57% believe that international remote working is a better alternative to greater immigration because it allows other economies to benefit from jobs and wealth created by the tech industry

The Next Wave of Employee Pay and Benefits

As employers and employees transition to remote work environments, traditional office perks are no longer relevant, and companies will need to think carefully how they consider pay and location.
● 49% of employees agree that employee pay and benefits should be based on ability regardless of where an employee is located
● The perks that employees would value most from a remote business would be the pension scheme (41%), home office allowance (39%) and healthcare (36%)
● 22% of workers would be likely to stay with their current company for 10+ years if they could work from anywhere with the same salary and benefits
● On average, employees would be prepared to accept a 10% decrease in their salary if they could work fully remotely anywhere in the world
● The primary reasons for employees choosing a location to live is family (29%), followed by local culture (21%), weather/climate (17%), strength of economy (14%) and love (9%)

Methodology
The survey was conducted by Sapio Research in July 2020 among 764 UK respondents who work in the UK tech community in start-ups and SMES (companies with 250 or fewer employees). The full report will be available on www.remote.com on August 12.

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