While 2021’s big workplace trend was The Great Resignation, 2024’s big trend is likely to be ‘The Big Stay’ in Australia, concludes modern HR platform HiBob in its latest research of young Australians working in the tech sector.
The combination of decreasing Australian job vacancies and a remarkable increase in job satisfaction among Australia’s young tech workers in 2023 could usher in a new workplace trend called ‘The Big Stay’. The trend is already sweeping the US, with workers choosing to stay put at work after a tumultuous year.
HiBob’s research, now in its second year, delves into the world of young tech professionals, discovering what motivates them and how their attitudes are changing. The extensive study surveyed 1,000 Australian tech professionals aged 20–30 and provides a window into this dynamic demographic that plays a pivotal role in the tech landscape.
Surging job satisfaction
HiBob’s research finds that amid the instability of the past 12 months, job satisfaction was surprisingly on the increase with nearly all (96 per cent) of young Aussie tech workers satisfied or very satisfied in their role, and three in four (74 per cent) saying their experience at work reaches or exceeds their expectations. As a result, less than one in five (18 per cent) plan to quit their job in 2024.
Australia’s young tech workers listed many reasons for their current levels of job satisfaction. More than half (57 per cent) feel that they’re trusted to do their job, and 53 per cent say they have the resources they need to do their job well. Four in five (80 per cent) state they’re happy with their work–life balance, and half (49 per cent) also point out being given independence and not being micromanaged.
What young employees value
Moreover, few young Australians working in tech said it was less about the job itself when it comes to satisfaction and more about the people and environment around them. Just one in three (31 per cent) said what they do/their role was what they liked about their job, compared with over half (51 per cent) that mentioned their team, 43 per cent that said their manager, and 37 per cent that pointed to the company culture.
In terms of what young tech professionals don’t like about where they work, limited opportunities to build relationships with their team (43 per cent), no clear career path (38 per cent), company culture (29 per cent), and not enough time in the office (27 per cent) were the top responses.
“Even against the backdrop of a softening labour market, young tech professionals are optimistic about the year ahead,” said Damien Andreasen, APJ vice president at HiBob. “This increased job satisfaction, combined with the cooling job market, has created the perfect storm for ‘The Big Stay’ to hit Aussie shores. Employers looking to attract top talent will need to reassess their strategies to ensure they are providing the right incentives — surprisingly, more responsibilities and management opportunities (53 per cent) beat out a better compensation package (52 per cent) as the top reason new opportunities are explored.”
Preference for office-based work on the rise?
HiBob’s report found nearly half (47 per cent) of Australia’s young tech professionals were required to be in the office five days a week in 2023, and when it came to motivation, half (49 per cent) prefer working from the office with just two fifths (39 per cent) favouring a work-from-home arrangement.
When asked what workplace benefits they value the most, the top three responses were the ability to work from anywhere for a portion of the year (48 per cent), a fully remote work model (39 per cent), and a four-day work model (41 per cent).
“This growing preference for office-based work begs the question — is the tide turning on the work-from-home trend for this generation?” said Andreasen. “Not necessarily — greater flexibility is still one of the key reasons employees look elsewhere (40 per cent), but one thing is clear: being in the office with peers and seniors enables people to learn faster through proximity. This has been a critical gap for onboarding, ramping, and training new talent since WFH began”.
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